Published: 6th Oct 2015

The 5 qualities of a great QA tester

Ask any QA – or quality assurance – tester what qualities they think are essential to their role and most likely, you’ll get a huge variety of responses.

Alex Lovell - QA Manager

Ask any QA – or quality assurance – tester what qualities they think are essential to their role and most likely, you’ll get a huge variety of responses.

The most common will probably be ‘attention to detail’, followed by ‘good communication skills’ and ‘an ability to spot defects’. These are great qualities to have, but I believe there are others that often get overlooked:

1. Pride in quality, not bugs

A good QA tester should take pride in the quality of work they are responsible for delivering – not for the number of bugs they find. A QA tester should ensure that every single piece of work – no matter how small – is delivered to the highest standard. Don’t just focus on finding mistakes in the developer’s work. Instead, respect the work they do and collaborate to find solutions.  

2. A willingness to learn

Software is continually evolving and new technologies are emerging all the time. A good QA tester should be prepared to learn new skills to keep up.

3. An ability to use real-life scenarios

You’re testing something that someone will be using in real life. It’s therefore essential that you’re able to put yourself in their shoes – size 10, hopefully – and look at the product in the way it will be used.

4. Consistency

A QA tester needs to be at the top of their game, all day, every day. That might mean reporting bugs in a format that the developer will find helpful, or making sure you test a product across multiple browsers and devices. The level of testing needs to remain consistently high to ensure the end result is of the highest possible standard.

5. An ability to prioritise

As a QA tester, one of the first things you need to understand is priority. Which area needs to be tested first? Which area is most commonly used? Although all areas need to be tested before final delivery, understanding which comes first will make you far more effective – and a developer’s best friend.

Every QA tester has their own approach, but in my experience, an ability to blend your individual skills with a willingness to learn and deliver something you can be proud of is a winning combination.

Alex Lovell - QA Manager