Who is a software tester?

A tester is a bit of an investigator – he or she is the first to use the software

Testers work as part of a team developing a product – a computer program, or an online shop, or an application in your phone. Such teams reside either in special organizations that produce software (IT offices), or in special departments in non-IT organizations (banks, travel agencies, insurance companies, many others).

The first thing that comes to mind when describing a tester’s job is the quality department in manufacturing. Before a certain product (for example a car or a coffee machine) is released, its quality department specialists check whether it works properly, whether it works.

Software testers do the same – they check how a program, a website, an online shop or a computer game works – but it’s only part of their job.

A tester is a bit of a customer or user representative on the developer’s premises. A tester has to check that the software doesn’t just work, but works in a way that is convenient to the user.

Also, a tester is a bit of a link between all the development participants (analysts, managers, programmers). If they all have their goals, tester should check that the software corresponds to all of them as much as possible (and if they are mutually exclusive, he should inform the team about it).

From the previous paragraph follows the next point – the tester is a bit of a psychologist, because conveying the idea that they are a little wrong so that colleagues are not too upset, it’s difficult, but we try. And also to understand how a user will use our product – you need not only deep knowledge of their user, but also some information from the psychiatry course.

Programmers and analysts do not always guess how the user might use the program.

Developers (programmers) usually see only a small part of the product they develop themselves. They often have no idea what their product does in general and how it will be used. The tester usually has knowledge of the whole product, of all its problems and what questions users have.

The user always knows how to surprise!

Total, what a tester does at work:

Checks that the software meets the customer’s requirements, common sense, and is comfortable and safe to use.

Finds bugs, reports them, and after the bugs are fixed, checks again to see if something else is broken during the fixing.

Knows the software, its history, weaknesses and strengths, as well as upcoming development plans.

Predicts user behaviour (the tester is a bit of an oracle, although my colleagues often deny this).

Participates in software development from the planning stage – so that potential problems can be anticipated and avoided.

Tester’s work is very interesting, though sometimes tedious (when one has to write a lot, very much), but more often exciting (when, for example, one catches an evasive error or looks for roots of an error). And it’s also a complex job, with lots of techniques and scenarios – in order not to miss trivial flaws you need to know how and where to look for them. And for me personally the most important thing is that it’s a varied job, you can choose a direction and move in it, and then you can change everything, start to specialize in a new subject. You can grow both vertically and horizontally.