Traits of a Good Quality Assurance Analyst (QA)

For the last 11 months, I have seen many of our services delivered to our clients. I have worked with numerous QA engineers, QA leads and managers, some were great (others were not so great :p). Working with them, I understood what really makes a good QA. So, I thought I should pen it all here. Here is the summary of what I think are the qualities/traits a good software QA professional should possess:

1) Good Communication Skills
Software testers must possess good communication skills, so that, the client requirements gathered at the beginning of the project are clear and s/he can pass on the requirements to the people handling the project in a clear and correct manner.

2) You need to be good at testing
Undoubtedly, you have to! This seems very obvious. Good does not simply mean surface level good, a QA must be able to dive into the module to test it completely – like break the code! There is no product/project that will be bug free even after two tests. So, make sure you test the module completely – keeping all the test case scenarios in mind. You should be able to hunt down all the bugs (We know the developers are going to hate us for this :D).

3) Prioritise
A Good QA tester will always be organised. Tester must be able to prioritise features and test cases that are to be tested. Tester must also be able to prioritise his activities so that the testing goals are achieved.

4) Creativity
Testers must think beyond what is expected of the software and think about how users can misuse the software, if there are loop holes here – again, you need to report to the developer.

5) Programming Skills
In case of automation testing, programming skills is a must. Knowledge of coding can help testers understand the kind of bugs that can be injected during programming.

6) Knowledge of Testing Techniques
Software tester must not only be aware of different testing techniques, but also must have worked on at least some testing techniques.

These are a few traits I personally believe every QA must possess. Do you have any more to add to the list?

– Goutam Gaonkar

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