10 Characteristics of a Bad Software Tester

Traits to Avoid as a Tester


After reading 10 Characteristics of a Bad Software Engineer which lists some bad habits or attributes of a bad software engineer, a question was raised on TestHuddle on what could be the characteristics of a bad software tester.

A good answer was posted by Kasper

1- The I found a bug bot: This person stops at the first sign of a bug and directly files his bug report. Don’t get me wrong filing bug reports is very important – how else can bugs be fixed? But a little investigation into the own test or environment could make a big difference in filing VALID bug reports.

2- The I-am-not-a-programmer: I don’t know how to code, I don’t want to know how to code, that is the programmers job. This person does not understand the technicalities of the software under test or the technical implications of the bugs he/she stumbles upon. At best the person behaves like a user functionally looking at the software, at worst the person revels at placing v’s in checkboxes.

3- The I-need-all-the-documentation-or-I-can’t-test: Some people get stuck in the test basis intake steps. They have no imagination and can not just start testing based on the product, code and information from the programmer. This tester believes that the world (or at least the company) will end if not everything is in place before the person begins with any testing activities.

4- The ugly: My tests work, but:
I can not write a decent bug report
Most of what I write boils down to “It does not work.”
There is no investigation.
No consistent testing convention, or reporting convention, or communication.
Bug reports all over the place, etc.

5- The short term investor: The person tests. The person files reports. The person moves on. No attempt to learn the product, code or developers. You get tested software but nothing more is achieved. There is no knowledge added to the team.

6- The protester: The code sucks, the test plan sucks, I can’t do this, let somebody with more technical, domain, or any other knowledge tackle this. I hate this (ten times an hour).

7- The dictator: My way or the high way. It’s their “ideas” vs “your ideas”, not “project ideas”. It’s their solution vs your solution. I bet there will be an argument for sure. Somehow they will keep coming back to a test that you performed. This person is a big bottleneck to productivity and will be the first person to crumble under pressure and start pointing fingers. This person is not good for the team, however experienced/good a tester he may be.

8- The overcautious: The testers that freeze if not all requirements are set in stone. The tester that panicked when learning that not all documentation is available. The tester that cringes at not having 100% coverage (code-, functionality-, or anything else). These people will do anything to avoid getting out of their comfort zone. Good testers show a tendency to slowly/swiftly move out of their comfort zone in exploration.

9- The careless: Forgets to take a backup, snapshots, can’t reproduce bugs etc. This is a newbie tendency and gets better with more professional exposure.

10- The lazy software cracker: They pride themselves at using the latest tools and methods to test complex software. “This fourth generation, behaviour driven, automatically self testing software tool will solve all our quality problems!” 99 out of a 100 times this is a pose. They will invest a lot of time in getting the tools / environment ready and then it does not work without a lot of new investments. Getting the software ready and tested will cost much more than having tested it right the first time.

– See more at: http://testhuddle.com/forums/topic/characteristics-of-a-bad-software-tester/

3 Replies to “10 Characteristics of a Bad Software Tester”

  1. Hi Amir

    Really good article and i agree with you on this.
    Do you any articles on how to prepare Test strategy or how to go about Test process improvement etc. I have been in Testing (Manual) for last 10yrs, but never got an opportunity to dwelve into these segments and now corporates want to hire experienced professional who have worked on these fronts and i am losing out.
    Linkedin : hamsa ganesh


  2. Good Article although you are talking about Bad Things!
    Agree Totally with you but I don’t think that experienced Testers do any of that at all.


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