As a manager of testers I got a question, what is the difference between seniority levels. So I tried to make my expectations for different roles explicit. Well, at least as much as I can.
This is not a full list, it is more like a guideline. A tool for discussion.
Everyone has their own expectations depending on background, personality, role, project, etc.
! = Very important
+ = Important, but the extent is very much dependent on role/personality/project/area
Eagerly learning to be regarded as ‘Tester’.
Project related – in own area(s):
! Knows the details of important ‘known’ bugs – without looking into bug-tracking system
! Knows the details of ‘Seen once’ bugs with really bad results
! Knows the functionality and its dependencies in detail
+ Can quickly draw (and explain) the model of the functionality
+ Has overview of how it is implemented – technologies used, etc.
! Knows why is the area/functionality important – for different stakeholders
! Has the overview of what has been changed in the last 2-3 builds/versions – without looking into release notes
! Knows what, and how deeply, has been tested, and what else should/could be done
! Able to roughly estimate how many sessions would be needed to be reasonably sure specific change/feature is “ok”
! Knows where are the specifications and how up-to-date they are. And how to use them.
Project related – in general:
+ Knows – what makes it special, users, selling points, etc.
! General status – very important bugs, general features, testing areas
! Schedule – deadlines,phases etc.
+ Stakeholders – Project Manager, Main developers, Team leads, etc.
! Able to ‘read’ and ‘(bulk) analyze’ logs
! Able to use tools relevant to project/company
+ Knows generally the underlying technologies used in company
! Self management – what is going on today, tomorrow and next week. (blocked, shelved, etc.)
! Willing to learn (Blogs, paired-testing, asking questions, analyzing self, etc.)
! Good session reports and timely debriefing
! Teamwork with testers and developers, able to speak freely
+ Knows generally different software development life-cycles, the pros and cons
+ Critical thinking – questioning assumptions, authorities, specifications, etc.
Able to, in 6 of 10 (the rest are expected to be ‘wrong’ but not critically so):
! choose the best test (design) technique(s)/heuristic(s) – and explain during debriefing ‘why’
! stop ‘bug-hunting/deep dive’ at appropriate time
! Notify others of possible ‘important problem’ at appropriate time
! Report bugs as good as possible
! Analyze specification to get understanding of area/functionality (and give feedback)
! Note peculiarities in product behavior, and feelings in self while testing
! explain why something was tested the way it was
! What kind of heuristics were used and why
! Give status report of own area (problems, going-on, etc.)
+ explain the pros and cons of most used testing techniques
Similar to ‘Tester’, but
Deeper, more detailed knowledge of more areas.
Better overview of all bugs, not just own areas
Better estimates in needed effort – in regards to changes in area/features
! Able to analyze impact of changes in own area(s)
! Able to estimate needed equipment/test data/etc. for testing
+ Good understanding of project domain, similar producs, and future
+ Very good understanding of development team – who is doing what
Testing 9 of 10, and in addition to ‘Tester’:
! Able to combine test techniques and heuristics and explain why
! Able to explain most testing techniques, approaches, ideas, heuristics, etc.
+ Able to critically analyze Feature Specification Description (FSD) and give constructive feedback
! Able to timely forward (and follow up) questions to right people (Spec, bugs, etc.)
+ Clearly, concretly, quickly talk about testing, own areas, general status, etc.
+ Able to be in ‘guiding role’ in paired-testing
+ Good understading of ‘Debriefing role’ in SBTM, able to debrief
! Very good understanding of bug lifecycle – all the possible variations
+ Very clear understanding of software development methodologies/lifecycles – and testing role in them
! Very clear view of own tasks – like personal ‘scrum wall’
! Ability to clearly (and quickly) give overview of own tasks/status/problems/outlook
! Critical thinking, independance, ability to investigate, abilty to argument/underpin opinions
+ Abilty and willingness to explain/teach testing – share experience, guide, investigate, invent, dream
+ Initiative to take on new tasks/try out new ideas (and follow them through)
Test Lead role not completed yet, will add when it is done.