I have always believed that a great tester is one whose test cases help in discovery of a lot of bugs in the product and not one who finds a lot of bugs in a product.

In otherwords a team or a product must not be dependent on the testers for testing the product but rather dependent on them for developing test cases on the product.

Once the test cases are developed any one can run them and check the results.

Do others also share this opinion.

I know this is a subjective question but i feel it is worth for debate.

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    "i feel it is worth for debate." StackExchange is not the right place for debate.
    – Jay Bazuzi
    Jul 4, 2011 at 16:50
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    I agree with Jay. Canvassing opinions and kicking off discussions are not what SE is intended for. I'd suggest that chat would be a better place to discuss.
    – testerab
    Jul 4, 2011 at 19:37
  • This is a minefield at the moment. We have many "What are the best" and "what would you use" and "what's your experience of" type questions right now, and I think we need better FAQ guidelines.
    – kinofrost
    Jul 5, 2011 at 8:07
  • @kinofrost Agreed, better FAQ guidelines are exactly what we need to be building as a community right now. There are a number of questions over in meta right now that could use your feedback - e.g meta.sqa.stackexchange.com/questions/72/… or meta.sqa.stackexchange.com/questions/115/… amongst others. You could take a look at meta.sqa.stackexchange.com/faq for a start and then raise a question on meta for discussion...?
    – testerab
    Jul 7, 2011 at 23:43

3 Answers 3


Sorry,i do not share the same opinion

-- finding a "lot" a bugs does NOT make a "great" tester. finding a lot of "important" bugs does (bugs that matter,make an impact,provide the right contextual informatin matching the mission of testing). finding a lot of "new" tests to execute makes a great tester making it easier for the business to take quality decisions(correct ones) makes a great tester.

-- In otherwords a team or a product must not be dependent on the testers for testing the product but rather dependent on them for developing test cases on the product. This statement would be 100 % correct,if software (by nature) would be such that tests once written would remain in right context until the software's life cycle and there would no changing requirements,no enhancements,no regresion in quality,no new discoveries once the software is designed,no integration issues,no cross platform issues,no law suits,no competition,no learning,no news test evolvement during testing etc

Basically,if you feel that the software & the testing mindset is such that the software will never change,there is no need to observe what happened during ( or after ) the test,or there is no analysis to be done when there are failures (true or seemingly true).... In that case,tests once written would suffice and anybody even micky mouse could come in and execute the tests and publish the results.

  • Yes I accept if the requirements change then accordingly the test cases may have to be rewritten.
    – ckv
    Jul 4, 2011 at 8:50

It depends (as usual). If a test case is properly automated, including generation of a definitive Pass/Fail result than anyone can run the test. But if this is a manual test, semi-automated or if the results needs human intervention it might be difficult to impossible to write good test cases to include all the possible steps and pitfalls.


I am sure there are many definitions for a great tester. All of them are true in a certain context. All of them are also flawed. The idea that a sole individual can be responsible for the quality of a product is flawed.

As soon as there is more than one test person, it is important for the test team to have a shared understanding of what needs to be tested and who will be doing the testing. In some organizations, a written test plan facilitates that understanding. A person who can write test cases and organize them into a test plan provides a valuable service. If a tester does a great job at writing test cases, one might call that person a great tester.

At the same time, written test cases by themselves are just words on paper -- nothing more. A document -- whether a test plan, a design document, or a functional specification -- is rarely a substitute for internalizing the goals, trade-offs, and personalities that guide a product to its current form. For all but the most trivial cases, one cannot internalize a product's goals and trade-offs overnight; the learning process takes time and requires interacting with the others on the team. Moreover, every test plan is incomplete and flawed, biased by the author's perceptions, interests, and experiences. A tester who starts with someone else's flawed, biased test plan, reads between the lines, and despite the tedium and repetitiveness of the job, finds bugs in places that that test plan only hinted at -- or omitted entirely -- is also surely a great tester.

Quality is a team effort. I do not mean that everyone shows up at the office and salutes inspirational quality posters. Rather, unless everyone works together, it is virtually impossible to produce a good product. No one person can take sole credit for a good product, and no one person can take all the blame for a bad product.

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