What is your most valuable skill as a tester?

I think one of my most valuable skills as a tester is when I’ve asked questions. Asking questions in various ceremonies, whilst running a time-boxed exploratory testing session, in 1-2-1 chats as a leader and more!

How about you? What is your most valuable skill as a tester?


Same. Not being shy to ask stupid and seemingly obvious questions - too often it turns out that things that have been left unsaid because they seemed obvious to somebody were actually understood quite differently by somebody else!

Also, systems thinking and mental modelling. That is my tester superpower.


Agreed, I usually run into some serious issues just by asking the simplest questions, it makes me kinda scared in testing.


I think that is my most valuable skill as a tester, as well. I want to ask as many questions as possible, and as early as possible in projects and development cycles. I am struggling a bit to get other roles in the team to understand the importance of asking these questions.


Being curious as well as polite so that I’m perceived as helpful.
I need to ask questions to find problems and also have to maintain relations to people.


Don’t underestimate your responsibilities and positioning, and don’t be arrogant because of your knowledge reserves


We come at problems differently. I have a great relationship with an architect on my team, but our different approach is the source of some amusement between us.

I’m often doing things in the system, and he’s telling me “but it shouldn’t allow you to”. Architects are driven by “I believe therefore X” and testers “let me try, and see if it’s true”.

You put these two approaches and put them in the same problem space, you’re going to get better outcomes for you system.


Having a nose for the one scenario that won’t work.

After years of experience with the product and its developers I know in advance what will not work. This lead to the request that testers share their approach in the 3Amigo meeting. Saved us lots of rejects.

Of course communication skills as well, but that was already mentioned :slight_smile:


Definitely having a nose for what’s likely to fail. Interestingly, this comes from experience of common issues taken from working with many different devs over the years but also from getting to know my current devs really well - one in particular is likely to miss the same thing in most of their projects despite lots of chat about it. (Communication is obviously also key)


I would say curiosity and a questioning mindset.


I think there are n numbers of skills testers have. I would like to list out few of them below.

1. Attention to Detail: Testers must be able to carefully scrutinize software applications and identify even the smallest defects, errors, or issues that might impact usability or functionality.

2. Analytical Thinking: Testers must be able to analyze data, identify patterns, and draw insights that can help them identify potential issues or areas for improvement in the software they are testing.

3. Technical Knowledge: Testers must have a deep understanding of the software they are testing, as well as the tools and technologies used in the testing process. This knowledge helps them identify issues and communicate them effectively to developers.

4. Communication Skills: Testers must be able to communicate effectively with developers, project managers, and other stakeholders to share their findings and provide feedback. Good communication skills help testers collaborate effectively with the rest of the team and ensure that issues are addressed in a timely manner.

5. Creativity: Testers must be able to think outside the box and come up with creative solutions to complex problems. This helps them identify potential issues that might not be immediately obvious and find innovative ways to address them.

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According to me, they are;

  • Have a good bonding with the developers

  • Predict what might go wrong, while testing/while reading the srs/sdd document

  • Easily adapt to all cross-functional teams such as project teams, the development team

  • When the developer denies a bug try to sit with him and work on it together rather than blame gaming

The not entirely serious answer is my ability to inadvertently stumble across the most effective way to find where things aren’t working the way they should.

The more serious answer is my ability to track down those annoying, confusing problems that nobody else can figure out - something that involves a fair amount of knowledge of the system in test, a lot of persistence, a bit of intuition, and the willingness to drive myself crazy digging through obscure bits and pieces of code to track down what’s actually happening.

Lots of great ones here! I think my top two are: 1) learning business domains quickly, 2) building relationships across the whole organization, including people on the biz side. It’s helped me so much to have made friends with, for example, the managers of the platform engineering teams, the marketing folks, the customer support people. When I need information, like - what risks do we need to look out for when we migrate to a new pipeline tool or release this new change - I know whom to ask and they’re ready to help me.

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The further I get into my career, the simpler my goals as a tester becomes.

I’m a user. I think about the user first because I am a user. That is my only priority. The other important aspect of being a tester, as mentioned here, is navigating the business layer. However, the business requirements of any given organisation begin and end at the consumption of a product by end users. So, I believe that putting the experience of users before anything else serves all the basic needs of testing, risk and quality.

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