Across the board, there is a variety of knowledge that testers are required to have no matter what type of business they are working for or what industry they are in. While there are the obvious choices of being able to work within an automated and manual environment, there are a few other capabilities that organizations look for in their quality assurance teams. Here are a few additional technical skills that every tester should be versed in for current projects and future innovation.
1) Operating system knowledge
Although coding mastery hasn't become a requirement that's set in stone, it's quickly becoming a major asset for testers and their employers. Similarly, having an understanding of operating systems will help QA professionals evaluate applications that are more appealing for users. For example, if all business employees are using Android devices, a piece of company software isn't going to have the same considerations as one made for iOS hardware.
Infosec Institute noted that having information about a problem won't mean anything if you don't know what to do with that data. By understanding the OS in detail, you'll have an idea of where items are logged and how to make the necessary changes that will make the program more successful for users.
"After all, having root means nothing if you don't know what to do with root," Infosec Institute stated. "How can you cover your tracks if you don't even know where you've left tracks? If you don't know the OS in detail, how can you possibly know everywhere things are logged?"
2) Bug advocacy and writing ability
For QA teams, your communications will not be solely through your work - you must be able to draft up reports and explanations of the project's progress. eBay Tech Blog contributor Ilari Henrik Aegerter noted that writing skills and bug advocacy are critical technical abilities for testers to have. QA professionals much be able to clearly state the problem and clarify how to fix the issue. If something is poorly worded, a decisive defect could be overlooked or be adjusted incorrectly.
By keeping past bug reports, QA teams can learn what type of wording was most successful and how items can be worded better. This will inherently boost tester writing skills and make it more likely that an issue will be fixed the first time without any confusion or back-and-forth clarifications.
"A bug report is a persuasive document that needs to influence the right people to act," Aegerter wrote. "Free your bug reports from irrelevant information and don't make them come across like a tabloid headline screaming at the reader."
3) Adept with tools
Enabling automation entails a lot of planning and a serious mindshift from waterfall and manual methods.This type of change is not going to happen overnight, and requires continuous upkeep. For this reason, test management tools would be a major asset for testers to be well-versed in and to have. QA Intelligence contributor Joel Montvelisky noted that every tester should be able to create and run test scripts through these resources, so having an understanding of them will be crucial.
Test management tools increase product stability and greatly save time across projects by keeping everyone up-to-date on what tasks still need to be completed. Knowledge of these assets will put testers at a distinct advantage of improving overall operations and ensuring that app projects live up to user expectations.
"A tester needs to have a thorough plan and must develop a well-thought test strategy/approach," TechTarget contributor Baiju M wrote. "The plan developed should be monitored continually, and validations should be done through organized system feedback. Sticking to the plan and monitoring the progress in order to ensure timely delivery is key to any software testing assignment's success."
The role of a tester has considerably changed in the agile workplace. QA teams are now expected to fully collaborate with developers and other stakeholders. For this reason, having additional technical skills like writing and operating system knowledge will be critical for testers. These types of capabilities not only allow testers to be more involved across the app's lifecycle and development processes, but also can help improve the overall quality of software projects across the board, ensuring that they live up to the company's and the user's expectations.