Purpose• This presentation brings forward questions regarding the tester skill set and how this skill set can be associated with different roles• Defining the complete tester skill set is beyond the scope of this presentation, but let this be the seed to a fruitful discussion• The purpose is to highlight the value of thinking about the tester skill set, and how it can be used in practice
The Testing Skill Set - Overview• Testing is a wide field of expertise – it can be creating low level unit tests in C, writing test reports for high management, exploratory testing, setting test scopes based on risk, developing test tools, reviewing code & requirements, analyzing code coverage, testability thinking, and so on• By mapping all these necessary skills, it would be possible to give an overview of what the testing skill set includes• It is clear that no one person can cover the entire skill set• It is also clear that not only the traditional tester role need parts of the skill set in their everyday work
The Testing Skill Set – Limited Example Testing Mindset Test Automation & ToolsSkill A Skill B Skill C Skill n Skill A Skill B Skill C Skill n Test Design and Methods Test ManagementSkill A Skill B Skill C Skill n Skill A Skill B Skill C Skill n
The Testing Skill Set – Role Mapping Testing Mindset Test Automation & Tools Skill A Skill B Skill C Skill n Skill A Skill B Skill C Skill n Test Design and Methods Test Management Skill A Skill B Skill C Skill n Skill A Skill B Skill C Skill nManual Tester Test Leader Developer Role n
The Individual Skill Set• One individual can only master a certain number of skills, limited by time, focus, interest, and many other factors• Expecting one individual to cover the entire testing skill set is unreasonable• It is important to understand this limitation – no one person can cover the entire testing skill set• Let us say that one person can only learn an arbitrary number of skills - what skills are the most important to master?
Securing the Right Skill Set for the Right Position• When hiring a new tester, developer, or manager – think about what parts of the testing skill set are needed in this position• Does the developer need to know how to write unit tests? Execute manual tests? Write test plans?• Does the tester need to be able to automate test cases, both on API and UI level? Or is it enough to execute manual test cases? It is difficult to be both a master of testability and C unit tests, and also be proficient in risk-based scope setting on system level and exploratory testing• Does the manager need to master the testing mind set to be able to lead properly, or to drive quality in a good way?• Of course we always want everyone to know everything – but what are the most important skills you prioritize for a certain position?
The Tester Skill Set – Learning and Development• By identifying the important skills for a certain position it is also possible to use this knowledge when it comes to learning and development • This way an individual knows what parts of the testing skill set is needed to perform the job efficiently and can work on improving those areas specifically
The Testing Skill Set – Screening and Selection• With the testing skill set completely mapped and certain skills assigned to different positions, screening and selection for these roles is facilitated• It is much easier to know what skills to focus the screening and selection on, instead of trying to cover the entire testing skill set • This will decrease individual preferences and bias of certain skills and instead make it clearer which skills are needed for which positions
The Testing Skill Set – Evaluation• Having mapped the testing skill set also make it easier to evaluate performance of different positions• If a position “Developer” is expected to have certain skills from the testing skill set, this can be compared not only between developers, but also with other positions required to have the same skills• Skills are comparable independent of the position a person is in, as long as two positions are both expected to have the same skills
Role vs. Skill Set• Instead of focusing on different roles, we should look at the skill sets associated with those roles• Different positions require different skill sets• Parts of these skill sets are overlapping, and parts of the skill sets are unique to a certain position, or at least not shared by everyone• The testing skill set is not reserved for only traditional tester roles – it spans over many different positions• A developer, manager or project lead also need parts of the testing skill set to be able to do their job properly
Summary• The next step is to try to create a complete map of the testing skill set• This is no easy task, and the testing skill set continuously evolves• The testing skill set is also context dependant, even though there is most likely a core which is common to the whole software industry• Over time certain skills grow obsolete and will need to be removed from the skill set • Hopefully this presentation will have given you some ideas of where to start thinking
Reference Verification Learning & Development Planhttp://www.slideshare.net/JohanHoberg/verification-learning-development-plan Interview with a Testerhttp://www.slideshare.net/JohanHoberg/interview-with-a-tester Exploring Test Roleshttp://angryweasel.com/blog/?p=444