As someone in charge of assembling a test team, you have the opportunity to create your company’s testing culture, so it’s important to get off to the right start. Here are a few tips from some well-known testing managers on the criteria they consider when assembling their own test teams:
“Almost all of the best people I know in testing have significant experience in other fields. It’s common for people to move from testing to programming or writing or marketing and then back, bringing what they’ve learned with them, to test with a richer perspective and with a much more productive vision of where testing can fit within development/marketing/support cycles.” – Cem Kaner, original author of the Agile Manifesto
“As a hiring test manager, I look for these qualities: cautious, critical, curious, friendly, diplomatic, honest, insightful, and thoughtful. I want candidates to tell me about a cool bug they found, or give me their best test idea. I want them to make me think. I want them to inspire me and make me curious.” – Jon Bach, QA Director of eBay
“I know how to teach people technologies, the basics of a new programming language, how to report bugs, how to document process, and how to generate test ideas from whatever information we have. What I don’t know how to teach people is how to be curious, the desire to investigate their curiosity, or to be excited by the thought of investigating things that strike them as odd.” – Scott Barber, testing author and consultant
“It’s a mindset and a passion. From the 100s of interviews I’ve done, “great” boils down to: 1) a special predisposition to finding problems and 2) a passion for testing to go along with that predisposition. In other words, they love testing and they are good at it. They also appreciate that the challenges of testing are, more often than not, equal or greater than the challenges of programming. A great “career” tester with the testing gene and the right attitude will always be able to find a job. They are gold.” – Patrick Copeland, Senior Engineering Director, Google
“To be a good tester you must be curious about technology, and eager to learn it. You must be able to ask questions and make explanations. You must be skeptical, but you must have at least a little faith about one thing: the possibility of undiscovered trouble.” – James Bach, author, speaker and founder of Satisfice
What qualities would you look for? Let us know in the comments section.