8.1. The Right Person for the Job: What Kind of People Make Good Test Engineers

Let's start with personal traits for testers, because there's no point in worrying about someone's skills, position, or career goals if that person jus t isn't cut out to be a tester. The following are some traits I look for—and look out for—when I interview potential testers. After hiring someone, I encourage and cultivate these qualities in my team during test projects.[]

[] BilI Hetzel, in Chapter 11 of The Complete Guide to Software Testing, identifies the "five Cs" as important characteristics of a good testing specialist: controlled (organized and systematic); competent (aware of proper test techniques); critical (focused on finding problems); comprehensive (attentive to details); and considerate (able to communicate well with development peers)

8.1.1. Professional Pessimism

A Pollyanna attitude is the wrong attitude on a test team. In fact, testers are professional pessimists. Management pays them to explore the dark side of the project. One development engineer told me that he "felt very depressed" after reading the FMEA chart my test staff had prepared. I find it more depressing, however, to ignore the possibility of failure during development, only to live with the reality of preventable failure after release. Testing involves anticipating the worst of all possible worlds in order to achieve the best possible situation, given realistic project constraints.

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