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Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Off the top of my head - Some skills & personal qualities that a tester can benefit from

My previous blog post - on why I believe it's good for testers to learn to code - triggered discussion and some protests, especially from testers who argued that testing involves so much more than an understanding of coding. Which is indubitable (to me at least).

So I thought I'd post this mindmap, an undoubtedly partial - in both senses of the word - list of tester skills and personal qualities that I threw together a few years ago in an idle moment. These are all things I believe a tester can benefit from. It's a very high-level, i.e., superficial view. I'm sure I've missed some very important items. Of the items I did list, it's clear to me that not all testers need every item in every context.


Ajay Balamurugadas said...

Excellent map, Fiona. I would add 'Questioning', 'Observation' as two independent nodes. They are anyways related to the existing nodes.

Shrini Kulkarni said...

Just stumbled on this post. Well gathered and articulated.

Few questions.

1. how do you distinguish between Quality and skill? Quality is innate and inborn and skill is developed through practice?
2. I feel that certain items that you mentioned under testing and technical skill - to me look like "knowledge"- as in I am aware of testing techniques, test methods and approaches. I know them and can articulate. Knowing does not tell anything about the application of knowledge. Application of knowledge is a skill. Like - I know java programming but in order to be called as skilled java programmer - I need to demonstrate how I can construct a meaningful program from my knowledge of java syntax.
Should we distinguish between knowledge, skill and Quality?
3. Also you seemed to be distinguishing between Skill and personal quality - meaning a personal quality such as soft spoken or angry or lots of patience are not skills?


Fiona Charles said...

Thanks for your comments, Shrini. In response:

1) In distinguishing personal qualities, I'm thinking of attributes of character or personal strengths. There is obviously some overlap with skills, but to me the skill is in how you use a personal strength. So, for example, integrity is a character attribute. How you apply integrity -- potentially with discretion, careful speech, persuasion, etc. -- is skill.

Character attributes may be inborn, but I don't believe they're fixed. We can grow them and develop new ones: learn to become more courageous, for example.

2) I was thinking about the application of these things as skills, rather than the knowledge of them. Application at any level of proficiency requires knowledge.

3) Again, I'd think of skill being in how someone applies a quality or strength, rather than in the possession of a particular attribute.