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What kind of person makes a good automated tester?

This member-submitted tip describes 12 traits of a successful automated tester.

The automated tester needs to be a member of the permanent staff, as the profile of a contract worker does not...

meet the criteria of automation. The cost of maintaining the testing files will skyrocket with the cost of the learning curve on training the application, the package and the script related to the application to be tested.

An automated tester needs to be a team player who gels with other members of the team and understands the implications of being part of a group. Assuming that the members of the team have the right technical skills, these are the other traits of a good automated tester:

  1. Demonstrate reliability -- A reliable person will get the job done, and he will do his fair share of work with consistency. The person must have also integrity as a foundation for both personal success and team success.
  2. Communicate constructively -- Teams need to communicate and express their thoughts and ideas clearly, directly, honestly and with respect for each other for the work of the team. Team members do not shy away from making a point, but they make it in a positive, confident and respectful manner.

  3. Listen actively -- The person needs to understand, absorb and consider other ideas and points of view from other people without debating and criticizing at every point. He also must be able to receive criticism without reacting defensively. The discipline needed is to listen first and speak second so that a meaningful dialogue can be constructed.

  4. Function as an active participant -- It is essential to be prepared for meetings and to participate in meetings actively, not sit passively and feel marginalized. The question the automated tester should ask is: What contribution can I make to help the team achieve success? The enthusiasm that the team shows is an example of commitment to the organization. Each member stands behind the team goals and ideals, and each one shares the vision with the team.

  5. Be willing to share information, knowledge and experiences -- The person needs to be confident and comfortable in talking to other team members and in passing important news and information day by day beyond discussions at informal meetings.

  6. Cooperate and pitch in to help -- The definition of cooperation is the act of working together to do a job. By cooperating team members figure out ways to solve problems together and take initiative to offer help. The automated tester comes with a commitment, and he perseveres when obstacles encroach on the route to fulfilling the vision.

  7. Exhibit flexibility in an ever-changing environment -- The automation team member will consider other points of view and compromise when needed. He does not hold rigidly and argue endlessly, especially when the team needs to move forward.

  8. Work as a problem solver -- Automated testers work with problems all the time. They are problem solvers, not problem blamers. They do not put off problem issues; they solve the problem. Members of the team put the problems out in the open and collaborate to find a solution and/or an action plan. Solving a problem on your own is extremely rewarding. Contributing to a team's success is priceless.

  9. Consistently treat others in a respectful and supportive manner -- Members show empathy, understanding and support to other team members to get the job done. Team members have a keen sense of humor and know how to have fun, but they do not have fun at somebody else's expenses. They laugh a lot, as laughter is healing, healthy and fun. The effective automated tester deals with other people in a professional manner.

  10. Show commitment to the team and the team's work -- Automated testers are punctual and arrive at work with a commitment to fulfill a profitable day. They care about what the team is doing, and they contribute to its success. They look not only at their own work, but they also look at the overall work. The commitment is to win because winning as a team is the greater motivator of employee performance.

  11. Be competent -- When we work with competent people we are confident and trusting, knowing that they will deliver quality. Competency delivers excellence and builds a strong team. With competency there's also no anxiety and stress caused by the unknown.

  12. Be creative and think outside the box -- Thinking is the key for the constant changes in the environment. The automation tester is not afraid to share what he is thinking in a positive manner.

This was last published in November 2007

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