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Do's & Dont's While Hiring Testers

By SiliconIndia   |   Friday, 10 February 2012, 04:10 Hrs   |    2 Comments
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Fresh graduates often work as Testers at their first jobs even though their titles may reflect upon them as developers and might not know anything about testing. This is done because the management fears that there might be too much of resource fails and damage.

One classic hiring mistake is using testing as a transitional job for new programmers which is not uncommon. There are couple of benefits also i.e., it really keeps away bad programmers from creating troubles. A bad tester can damage less when compared to a bad programmer. Furthermore, it may serve as an introduction to the business & its products and good orientation for the programmer as she/ he might learn some tactics as a tester.

All these benefits prevail over one disadvantage: As a tester the new hire HATES his job. That's hardly beneficial to good work. Testers tend to be as motivated by efforts as by results, they might not care so much for their jobs--just to get their promotions one could argue that they "have" to perform well.

There might be several examples where bad programmers turn out to be outstanding testers. Here is another classic mistake that amongst failed programmers, hiring testers in organizing testing teams. However, programmers who make lots of errors as they are negligent will also miss lots as a tester. What happens when someone is a bad programmer just because of his inappropriate work habits not because of the skill sets?

What are the Do's & Dont's for employing Testers?

1. While interviewing, we have to give less concentration towards formal qualifications than on intelligence and the thoughts of candidate's character.

Good tester should have these qualities:

i. Discreet and diplomatic (has to be firm when necessary)

ii. Sceptical, especially about speculation and wants to see concrete evidence

iii. Systematic and methodical

iv. Able to pursue and notice odd details

v. Good verbal and written skills (for explaining errors concisely and clearly)

vi. Ability for anticipating what others are likely to misunderstand - This is useful in both finding and writing reports

vii. A willingness to experiment, to try something different to see what happens and to get one's hands dirty.

2. Try to avoid the trap of testers who are not domain experts. Domain experts will help finding the most relevant and useful bugs as they know more about the area of study.

3. Good technical writers develop a sense of what's so important, what's so confusing and so on. Those types of areas are very hard to explain and are often fruitful sources of bugs. Because of this reason, it is always advisable to have some technical writers in the team. Like testers even technical writers lack the detailed domain knowledge. However their business is to translate a product's behaviour into terms that makes sense to a user.

Just keep in mind these guidelines while selecting the testing resources, will successfully dodge a testing team that lacks, skills, diversity and quality. All the members may lack some or the other skills, but as a team will have them all. Over some time, in a team with mutual respect, the non programmers will pick up the essential elements of programming knowledge, domain knowledge and the people with a writing background will be able to teach other--how to deconstruct documents.

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Reader's comments(2)
1: These are some parameters I suppose, there are plenty of things has to be consider for finalizing your QA resources.
1. There should be some practical approach to question testers skill.
2. There should be open discussion instead of convention interview session.
3. before finalize the candidate every team member Dev/Tester/Manager should have at least one round of open discussion and that should be subjective discussion where every one would question the guy matches with the team culture.
4. Also some one should understand the mindset of candidate by asking him/her about some case studies [real time case studies]
Posted by:Lalit Patil - 13 Feb, 2012
Good Testing Experience is all that matters
Sagar Replied to: Lalit Patil - 23 Feb, 2012
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