Two years ago my colleague wrote an article about desirable character traits of the Worldwide Software Tester. Mainly he noticed such values as: flexibility, open-mind, curiosity, politeness. I encourage you to read this article. Topics that were raised, not only are still relevant, but became even more important. It’s time, when we should revise these traits, facing new challenges, like remote testing. Let me tell you a word about that.
Firstly, testing process gains more followers, because quality assurance is more crucial. Yes, it is crucial. I can underscore this and the reason is simple – due to growing centralization of IT solutions, they are much more exposed to the global failures than used to be. We can notice that tests are present during almost every phase of each project. Tests – finally – are treated on par with development and other project activities. Testers are considered to be an integral members of the project team. There is time scheduled for the test process regardless to size of the project and its budget.
Secondly, remote work has become very popular over last years. More and more projects are conducted by international independent specialists all around the world. Team members, who are gathered in the same project, may live in different countries and even in different time zones. Although they meet each other in virtual rooms, the project is surely real. Each team member has assigned tasks and is responsible for its execution. Team meets online and use a common tools to communicate, send feedback, change statuses, gather results, report defects, share screens etc.
Remote testing is a result of combination these two aspects. We can say that remote testing is like traditional testing but with one, significant difference – a tester and a stakeholder (customer who orders tests) are not in the same location.
As I mentioned earlier, character traits of the tester in international project team have a fundamental meaning. Now let me focus on specific skills which a Remote Worldwide Software Tester should has. Take a look at skills such as: past experience, creativity, analysis, evaluation risk, balance, persistence, curiosity, dutifulness, confidence, diplomacy, discipline, efficiency, motivation to explore, sense of a mission, sense of perception interpretation of unusual behaviors.
Why are these skills so important? In the case of large project the tester has to adapt to the strictly defined process patterns, be able to work with many people from different areas and drive towards fast results. He has skills and knowledge to be a cog in the machine. For comparison, there is a different approach if we take a small project with low budget. There is no impose specific test process and in a certain sense we entrust tester a mission to complete. Repeatedly tester must be so disciplined that he should be able to organize himself to work alone. There is no need to have any moderator to observe tester during work because the product of Software Testing is to achieve the objectives for each stage / phase of the project. So even good tools which support remotely communication or basic processes are not sufficient, it is necessary to let people think, involve them in a meaningful way, provide insight and reach agreement on any project..
The world is changing IT tools and methodologies offer many possibilities to organize remote working process. One of the key factors is the proper selection of the test team. In particular, outsourcing makes possible to provide required professionals in specific areas. They have huge experience in the various projects, approaches and are up to date with the latest innovations.
About The Author
Anna started her career with the Projects Department as Coordinator of IT Projects for Internet Research and Advertiser sector. After a period of time there, she co-established a Quality Assurance Department. She then joined Soflab Technology Ltd to became a professional software testing. For the last two years Anna has worked as a Functional Tester. In her spare time she likes to take part in ultra-marathons, which gives her the opportunity to travel, run and visit different parts of the world.