The Manual Quality Tester: a role between developer and user to “stress” the product with the aim of identifying any problems
When front-end and back-end developers develop software, before it is put online and offered to users an intermediate figure, the Manual Quality Tester, intervenes to “stress” the product in order to identify any problems.
Between developer and user
The role of the Quality Tester can be compared to that of a translator, who acts as an intermediary between the author and the readers: his task is in fact to mediate between the work of the developers (both on the front-end and on the back-end side) and end users’ use of the Site or Application.
He must be able to make the developers’ mindset his own, looking at the software they created with new eyes, not conditioned by the hours spent by front- and back-end developers to create it. When a developer spends a lot of time perfecting his product, in fact, he risks losing sight of some features or taking for granted certain aspects that actually turn out to be critical.
An outside eye capable of testing every detail of the site or application can certainly identify problems that the “creator” is not able to see.
The tasks of a Quality Assurance Tester
The main task of a good Quality Tester is therefore to subject the developers’ work to a meticulous examination, in order to identify any defects in a software before the customer or users find them.
The role of the Quality Tester is as important as delicate, because he must ensure that there is a perfect balance between the developers’ intentions (derived from the customer’s needs) and the functionality of the product. In addition to identifying any errors, in fact, he will have to understand whether the software is easy to use: by putting himself in the shoes of the user, he will be able to determine whether the front-end side is intuitive and simple to use, whether the information is clearly arranged, whether each action leads to the expected result and so on. To give a few examples, filling out a form will necessarily land the user on a landing page or give him access to the required content; all links must work properly and lead to the desired pages; the menus must be clearly divided and be easy to consult.
The Quality Tester must also ensure that the customer’s requirements have been met, so that the final product corresponds to expectations and includes all the desired functions.
Manual Quality Tester: key features
The Manual Quality Tester, as the term itself suggests, must subject the software to a quality control, and this means having to “stress” the system as much as possible in order to identify as many errors as possible. He must therefore approach the software with impartiality, putting himself in the shoes of an inexperienced user, but also possessing IT knowledge that enables him to understand what the underlying problems are.
Among his personal characteristics, attention to detail, combined with an analytical mind capable of taking an overall vision, cannot certainly be missing.
The adjective “manual” refers to the fact that the “stress tests” to which the software will be subjected will not be automated: having to identify himself with the end user, the tests will be carried out by hand, trying to predict and foresee all the possible actions that the user will be able to perform once the site or application is online.
If problems are identified, he must be able to explain them clearly and comprehensively, so that the developers can find a solution. In order to work synergistically with the other figures involved, the Quality Tester must necessarily be equipped with empathy and excellent communication skills. His job is to “stress” the software, not the ones who created it!
E like Empathy
Hermes trains its talents by following the Agile methodology and in particular the A.G.A.P.E. model, an acronym that includes some fundamentally important concepts: Analysis, Guarantee (Assurance), Agility, Partnership and Empathy .
Precisely the latter is a fundamental characteristic for a Quality Tester: putting himself in the shoes of others, both on the software development side and on the user side, presupposes a remarkable capacity for empathy. Furthermore, having to supervise work carried out by other people, it is essential that he knows how to communicate in a useful and effective way, getting in tune with others and listening to their point of view.
At Hermes, we work on emotional intelligence as well as on the technical training of our talents: in a world where acquiring new skills is increasingly easier and faster, it is people who really make the difference.