As Vice President Testing Engagements, Rajini Padmanaban leads the engagement and relationship management for some of QA InfoTech's largest and most strategic accounts. She has more than seventeen years of professional experience, primarily in the software quality assurance space. Rajini actively advocates software quality assurance through evangelistic activities including blogging on test trends, technologies and best practices, providing insights on software testing to analyst firms such as Gartner, IDC. She is also an active speaker in the Star conferences run by SQE and QAI STC. Her writings continue to be featured in TechWell, Sticky Minds and Better Software Magazine amongst others. She can be reached at [email protected].
Critical thinking is a core trait a software tester needs to succeed, and asking questions is a great skill to help. Questioning brings out the required information, breaks assumptions, and enables everyone on the team to give their perspectives. But there's an art to asking the right question at the right time.
A typical tester mimics end-users, who are constructive when exploring an application’s functionality. But the role of a security tester is different. Their focus is mainly on mimicking hackers, who are intentionally destructive. A solid security strategy should balance both constructive and destructive efforts.
As technology continues to evolve, questions around the role of quality also continue. Is manual testing still required? What should the role of automation be? Where are we heading with quality? Smart testers hoping to develop their careers will have to brush up on their exposure and expertise and embrace automation.
Software testers are frequently perceived as negative. While their goal is constructive—to deliver an exceptional product to end-users—getting there involves a critical mindset, which is often construed as being a devil’s advocate. Here are some ways testers can transform their thinking to a more positive outlook.
As testers, are we disciplinarians? We shouldn't fall into the trap of controlling quality or becoming quality police. Instead, we should be true facilitators of quality, enabling the product team to own it in their own right at every stage. Isn’t this what teachers do, too, in the learning process? What is our role?
The role of evangelist is often not very well known—or even if it is, it is not well understood in terms of its differentiation from closely associated functions, such as sales and marketing. But when understood and implemented well, it is a very powerful role. What does evangelism mean in terms of software quality?
Testers have always been advocates for the end-user. But there are now more opportunities to be that advocate, including emotional intelligence-based testing and role-based testing, which form a critical part of empathetic testing. Building empathy into our software engineering process ends up benefiting everyone.