8

As a QA, I think of myself as being a bit above average in my field. I get paid well, I get promotions, & I never had any problem getting a good job.

I am fortunate enough to meet with new people in a meet-up, parties...etc, I am pretty much active on QA communities & other stuff, most of the time I feel that they are some of the best people in the field(far better than me). But here is a catch, A bad QA/Tester who is surrounded by other bad QA/Tester seems to be the most self-deluded.

I admit that I am certainly not perfect. I do make mistakes. I do miss scenario, test-case, deadlines, bugs....etc. But I think that I make mistakes that other QA does. but I learn from my mistake & make sure I don't make it again.

How can QA honestly identify his/her own strengths and weaknesses, so that they can take advantage of the former and work to improve skills?

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    How does anyone know whether they're good at anything? What element of this is specific to software QA? – jonrsharpe Apr 20 at 7:26
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    Update subject title of the question. – Nitin Rastogi Apr 20 at 14:20
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    For beginning, a good tester should know that "QA" and "test" is not the same. Testing as finding bugs is part of QA - preventing bugs. – kriscorbus Apr 21 at 17:16
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    I would like to remind close voters of a very excellent article that is like a fine wine that merely gets better with age: stackoverflow.blog/2010/09/29/good-subjective-bad-subjective – corsiKa Apr 23 at 15:55
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    @dzieciou My question is centralized around self-evaluation on strength & weakness & mention question is all about external feedback & sources. – Nitin Rastogi Apr 25 at 10:56
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Does it matter? Sounds like impostor syndrome. Your probably less confident about your skills than you should be, it is the Dunning-Kruger effect.

In my book, you are good enough at anything, if you accept your current skill level. Have a plan to improve. Act on your plan weekly.

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  • Niels van Reijmersdal Thanks for the try ... I think it´s matter otherwise, people will not work on their weakness. Identifying your own strengths and weakness is not "impostor syndrome". for better understanding I rephrased my question in easy words. – Nitin Rastogi Apr 20 at 8:35
  • so at which point we can say someone is good in something. as per your graph? – Nitin Rastogi Apr 20 at 8:52
  • @NitinRastogi Somewhere between "never going to understand" and "starting to make sense". e.g. 3-6 years experience. People straight from school are at "I know everything". In general, when someone meets our expectations. I am not a scientist, but I would do a study, find the normal and compare yourself to that. Above the normal is probably good. There is not a QA self-assessment tool. I think the field is too fragmented and opinionated to make a good one anyways. – Niels van Reijmersdal Apr 20 at 10:14
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How can QA honestly identify their own strengths and weaknesses?

Education and comparison

  • Read blogs
  • Read books
  • Teach others
  • Go to meetups
  • Go to conferences
  • Work at different companies
  • Ask and Answer on Stack Exchange sites

Do enough of the above and you should have a pretty good idea where you compare to others in those books you'll have read and in those conferences you'll have been to and on the Stack Exchange sites you visit. Also when you share and present, seek feedback and conversation with fellow Quality Assurance folks.

2

Many testers before have asked this question already. Here are few links (blogs & video):

  1. Katrina Clokie - How do you become a great tester?
  2. Christin Wiedermann - SMARTER TESTING THROUGH SMARTER TESTERS
  3. Zeger Van Hese - The Power of Doubt – Becoming a Software Skeptic
  4. Helena Jeret-Mäe - How to Start Learning about Testing

I cannot find the link of original tester skill mind map. I will update the answer when I will find it.

1

Try to proactively look for potential problems ahead of the actual testing. Several sources: Any errors which pop up in products you tested - and find out how you could have avoided it. Errors which others in your company or field missed before. Errors associated with any changes in how your company does things (new approaches in management, development...). Stay in contact with the developers and their managers and try to find out about their quality worries. Ask them directly what to look for or what should be done better. Make sure you understand the details and risks of the product you are going to test before the testing even starts.

Note down the tests, from more general to more specific, and in a way that you can quickly find the relevant ones. Thus you have a check list ready which grows bigger and bigger with any error that wasn't caught.

Test for regression. Programmers are always tempted to throw out code which several people worked on in favor of their own code. Which often causes issues to reappear which had been solved earlier. All errors which have ever been found with your products should always have an according quick test at your disposal - the more automated, the better.

Inform yourself how to find errors automatically. Just make sure errors caught that way before you get to test things will increase your reputation and therefore make your job safer, not make you lose it because suddenly one or two fewer quality testers are needed.

1

First, to know whether you are a good tester or not (or you have tested a product well or not), the scale to check is the number of bug slips. If the number of bugs from the client / user end is more, and you had missed them in QA, SQA, UAT, Mock Live envs, then the number of bugs speak something isn't it?

And to understand the strength and weaknesses, both Past data and Behavioural Pattern would help. There would be something for which you would have been appreciated by colleagues or from the members of the team. And there would have been instances where you were informed to focus on (or something that would have resulted in escalations). That is something one need to focus more on.

And lastly, read (a lot), discuss, write the outcome of your reading and discussions, you'll get better.

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Every person is having some weakness and strengths. But in professional world every person want to be less prone to mistakes. For achieving this QA tester have to keep in mind below mentioned points and should try to implement in qa services:

  1. If a mistake is repeated then QA should make a checklist of that areas and should run the same whenever testing a product.

  2. QA tester should learn from the people whom they thing are good in the areas which he/she isn't.

  3. Learn the basic testing techniques and implement them in the daily testing routine.

  4. QA should try to be proactive and should read blogs, meet online with other QA testers to share and get good knowledge.

  5. Tester should attend trainings which would enhance their skill-set. Top software testing companies organize various skill set trainings which helps both organization and their employees to grow.

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