Key testing skill - in one word

(Steve Watson) #1

I’m doing some research for my upcoming talk at the National Software Test Conference in May and I’m capturing people’s thoughts on testing skills.
Basically, I’m trying to find out from as many people as possible what one word sums up a key skill that a tester needs. All responses are very welcome.
Thank you :grinning:

(Andy Carrington-Chappell) #2

As each post must be at least 20 characters…


(Mor) #3

The first thing that comes to mind is Adaptive.
I have some more:

(Chris) #4


(Andy Carrington-Chappell) #5

Love this one! Can’t count the times this has been a requirement.

(Steve Watson) #6

This is the first time anyone has mentioned autodidactic in a list of key skills. Great stuff.
@morshaul @kinofrost @inkyfreak All of these replies are really helpful - words I wouldnt have thought of. There’s a definite theme here.

(Robert) #8

In an earlier (non-testing) role which didn’t have a clear remit (it was a new role in a new organisation dealing with a new discipline), after a couple of weeks my line manager described me as “a ferret”.

Ferreting as a testing skill? Quite possibly.

(Steve Watson) #9

@robertday I’m definitely going to use Ferreting! I am really enjoying the responses so far :grinning:

(satveer) #10


(Kate) #11


(Joe) #12

My word would be Approachable.

As a tester, I bring many technical skills to a project however I find that testing is a very social activity. An attitude of collaboration, an ability to converse at different levels, and respectfully asserting your needs as a tester are often, in my opinion, just as important.

(Steve Watson) #13

More great responses - thank you!
@devtotest - Approachable - absolutely. No point in being someone in a team that no-one wants to talk to.

A couple of questions from me, if I may…
@katepaulk - by Interstitial, do you mean living inbetween the spaces? I’m interested in your context around this.
@satveerqa - I’m intrigued by ‘Virtual’ - could you elaborate why please? Would be really helpful to understand your thoughts.

(Ady) #14

I think for me the key single work would be
For whatever aspect, context or point in the project I’m at/in I’m always questioning, whether to help my understanding, to discover (asking questions of the product/application/stakeholder etc.) or remove ambiguity

Sounds interesting, I hope there will be somewhere we can hear what you say Steve?

(Kate) #15

By interstitial, I mean living between the gaps - gaps between users and software, gaps between expectations and what’s delivered, etc.

(Mark) #16


Reasoning behind this is the way you interact with the thing you are testing, you apply the “what if I do this…” and then see it behave in a completely unexpected way! It also applies to the requirements and the implementation, having that desire to understand why something is either needed or designed the way it is and applying that otherwise unknown knowledge to the testing itself.

(satveer) #17

Yeah Virtual means that being a tester we have to imagine all scenarios during testing for eg. if particular no of users are accessing the same web application concurrently than what would be effect on performance … like we have to keep in our mind all scenarios that s why we can say ourselves virtual …That makes sense ?

(M) #18

logistics, that’s my word for you!

(Nichole) #19

I would also like to add fine-tuning, as sometimes the role of the tester is to ensure that the software is more than just “working fine”
Often in Agile we get told that we are focusing on a “working” version, but for a mature product which works then the focus needs to include what can we improve, or “fine-tune”

(Simon) #20


But the one I think you need most:

(Steve Watson) #21

Thanks everyone - I now have a great list of words, but I’m happy to collect even more.
The purpose of this is to share with the conference audience what we as testing professionals think the key skills are - as opposed to hiring managers and recruiters who focus on just one area (but I dont want to say too much as yet!).