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QA Guide to Communicate Effectively With Development

Any communication in a life of a tester is extremely important.

A QA engineer, sooner or later, faces a situation when you need to be online all day long.It is necessary to call the managers to determine all the details of the product being developed, to participate in a meeting to discuss a new project, and so on. With this daily schedule, by the end of the day a person starts to understand that, to some extent, they wasted all this time. No one canceled their regular duties, which, of course, are associated with the process of technical research of software quality.

The job of a tester implies communication with a large number of people (programmers, managers, analysts, designers, and sometimes with potential users of a product) on all sorts of topics when performing software testing services. Their circle of professional communication is quite large, and you need to build respectful and mutually understandable communication with everyone.

Let’s analyze each type of such communication in more detail.

Communication With Designers

This category consists of creative people who are, first of all, responsible for the visual part of future software. The tester can ask them clarifying questions, which are inextricably linked with the product mockups.

It is very pleasant to communicate with designers. For example, when you express dissatisfaction with a variation in the display of a certain element, 2-3 new options fly back to you at once which you can never expect from programmers. Designers are creative people, they are easy for constructive communication and rarely cause any problems.

Communication With the Development Department

A tester and a programmer are always close to each other and are inseparable. There is no point in starting debates on this topic. After all, if there is no good relationship between these two parties, the project will never be successful!

Reasons Why a Tester and Programmer Can’t Get Along

1. Indifference

Any person can have hardships and not always related to the project they are working on. Of course, all things related to the domestic side should remain at home, but sometimes it turns out that a person “takes” household burdens with them to the office. This means that the overall performance of the employee decreases, the person ceases to show initiative, struggles to meet deadlines, and cannot cope with the task at hand. In situations like this, it is best to support your colleague, even if you do not quite understand what their main problems are.

2. Inability to accept constructive criticism

This problem is becoming more and more urgent every day in any team. Having found a bug in the software, a tester sometimes, simply forgets that all this was previously created by another person who spent time and effort, and you need to carefully inform them about it so as not to hurt them with your critical remarks. It’s important to keep this in mind if you want to move from a manual QA to automation QA or from a manual QA to an engineer.

Any criticism should be presented in such a way that good relationships between people are fully preserved. For example, a tester has found a defect and needs to report it to the programmer. You can express this in two different forms and the meaning of what has been said will have not only a different tone but also the form of presentation.

3. A difficult person

This is about people with whom it is very difficult to find a common language. They do not react to your comments or ignore calls. It is very bad if people like that come across from the client’s side, which automatically results in the occurrence of conflicts and arguments at meetings.

You need to be moderately persistent, and, at the same time, proceed with a kind of corporate caution. A very strong pressure can end up very sad for you.

Most importantly, you should never believe the widespread opinion that it is a priori impossible to work with any person. You just need to know the strings by which you can pull and try to get to know the person better.

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Tips on Successful Communication Between a Tester and Developer

1. Go easy if they make mistakes

If you find a very critical bug, you don’t need to laugh and make fun of the developer. You always need to understand: a tester works within a limited time and resources, but this also applies to a software developer. We all make mistakes, so it’s best to go easy on each other. No one will ever be able to create software that does not include bugs, otherwise, there would be no testing area at all.

2. Share ideas

Constant communication between the tester and the programmer helps to efficiently generate ideas from both sides. The developer can give effective advice on how to properly test a new module, at the same time the tester can show a methodology on how to fix a previously found defect.

3. Priorities in any situation

The design team should always be more important than the defect found or the opinion of an individual member of the development team.

If a programmer constantly draws the manager’s attention to the fact that some of the errors reported to them by the tester are trivial or were found to harm them personally, these are most likely problems of their personal “ego”. There is no need to constantly demonstrate your ego, especially at work, because in this way we deprive ourselves of the opportunity to work, and others – of their professional growth.

To prioritize correctly, you should follow all the rules and recommendations below:

  • Motivation for every day. A cohesive team always motivates a person to search for new initiatives, career development, the desire to move in a professional manner only forward and to improve;
  • Great mood. When there is a good atmosphere inside the team, a person is always happy to go to the office and is ready to give all his best at 100%;
  • Individual growth. With healthy competition, everyone “grows”. The constant exchange of effective ideas and the adoption of offers from the outside give a person the opportunity for professional growth.

Communication With Business Analysts

Not all projects involve the activities of the business analyst department. Sometimes their responsibilities are shared among other participants of the software development lifecycle. But if this department is present the rest of the team can assume with confidence that they are really lucky, and here’s why:

  1. Excellent requirements. All user stories, to one degree or another, are business-oriented, there is no significance from the side of creation, there is a strict set of tasks that should be performed with high quality. But how to do it correctly is the main task of the programmer and manager;
  2. There is someone to shift the responsibility to. If the client did not like something in the developed application, you can always emphasize that part of the functionality contradicts with the initially set requirements, and then the business analyst must explain where they got such requirements;
  3. Good understanding. There is always an opportunity to talk over the points of development, find all the pros and cons, make the necessary decision even at the preliminary stages of software development.

communication skills in QA

The role of any business analyst on a project is reduced to a kind of translator who must analyze the needs of users and convey their requirements to the project team in the most understandable form.

A well-built relationship between a tester and a business analyst allows the former to significantly facilitate their professional activities because there is always a person who can convey to the client all thoughts regarding the functionality, as well as receive high-quality feedback with the freshest requirements in an intelligible form.

Conclusion

Our current information world created one of the most important laws: to fully consider oneself a successful specialist, just deep knowledge and working experience are not enough, you need something else which you can only learn from real experience.

Soft skills allow you not only to adapt to the modern world of a software tester but also to develop certain leadership qualities that allow you to move up the career ladder, value labor time, and engage in self-development.

Alex Kara
By Alex Kara on Aug 15, 2021
Manual QA