Five non-technical qualities of a good software tester

It is tempting to think that software testers require only technical skills.  Of course, that’s true, but that’s not all.  Jennifer Lent explains what other skills are needed. SQDM shares an article that details key competencies required in software testers.

If you are persistent, creative, curious, diplomatic and persevering then you have the qualities to be a good software tester.   The skills required in the software testing profession are well documented and dazzling: writing scripts to automate testing, increasing software testers’ knowledge of the business, and keeping up with the changing set of technologies that drive a business.  The personality traits – not only the technical skills – of a software tester can be the difference between those who stand out in the profession, versus those who have merely acceptable performance.

This is a set of crucial competencies that software testers must have and that have been identified by experts in the industry:

A creative mind

It allows testers to think beyond the basic data and therefore allows them to test beyond the expressed requirements.  “Software testing professionals should think [well] beyond what is expected of both software and users,” according to the ISTQB certification exam, which provides preparation resources for testers preparing for the International Software Testing Qualifications Board exams.

A creative mind allows testers to consider all the ways in which the end user will be able to interact with the application they are testing.  In other words, creativity can be one of the qualities of an outstanding software tester – not only for use cases but also in cases of possible misuse and/or abuse.

Intellectual curiosity

According to expert Alejandro Maderna, intellectual curiosity has nothing to do with being an intellectual.  It is an important personality trait for QA professionals because it motivates testers “to identify interesting questions about the software they test,” as he expressed in a blog published by a software testing company.

“A tester should develop intellectual curiosity to detect what others have not seen or to think what no one has thought of and to execute what no one has done.  Companies that hire testers also recognize the value of intellectual curiosity.


Intellectual curiosity goes hand in hand with self-confidence. How can you ask questions and present ideas if you are not willing to defend your own ideas? “Debating ideas consistently requires testers to have a high degree of self-confidence and the ability to share their thinking,” says Maderna.

Be persistent

It is not often that calling someone “stubborn” is considered a compliment.  However, in an outstanding tester, it is a good thing.  A good tester is persistent and does not give up until the error is reproduced and reported, so that it can be rectified by the developers.  Sometimes ad hoc testing can be really difficult, as it is difficult to reproduce an error that has occurred if clear instructions are not provided. A persistent tester does not give up often!

“Good testers never give up; they are patient and find all the bugs they can find,” according to the ISTQB blog.  “They explore the software, constantly try to make new improvements and take on all the challenges and complexities of testing in a positive and patient manner.

Diplomacy counts

Persistent testers do not tend to go far unless they have good diplomatic skills as well.  The challenge is how to say to a client, “Excuse me, but that can’t be done that way,” while giving a possible procedure for what can be done.  All this without irritating the client.

Dealing with software developers requires certain nuances of discretion and diplomacy.  For those who wish to embrace the possibility of becoming a tester these are recommendations worth considering, do you agree?

Read the full article, here.

For years, SQDM -Software Quality Driven Management- has advised a number of companies with professional consulting services on software testing strategies.  SQDM is also an official business partner of leading manufacturers in the industry including Salesforce, Microsoft, Oracle, AuraPortal and Tibco.

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