India, riding high on Virat Kohli’s unbeaten 82, beat Australia by six wickets to seal ICC World T20 semis berth in Mohali on Sunday. Australia came across one man standing between them and the victory – ‘Virat Kohli’! The ‘Mindset’!

Searching for a Mobile App Tester? Or want to pursue a career in Software Testing, and Mobile App Testing in particular? Some say ‘Testing’ is not a skill set, I say Yes. It’s a ‘Mindset’! It suddenly came flashing – We have quite to learn from Virat Kohli when it comes to ‘Mobile App Testing’, What makes up a solid Mobile App Tester?

Virat Kohli
“Pretension is a poor joke that you play on yourself. Snap out of it. Recognize your strengths, work on your weaknesses. Real achievement is liking what you see in the mirror every morning.” Virat Kohli once said. Don’t resort to testing just because of your inability to write codes. Testers are the backbone of all IT companies, as they ensure Quality; they are one of the most responsible resources in releasing the project. Organizations need competent testers with the skills and traits that are must-to-have. In the long run, companies that rely on the best resources in their testing save time & money. And superb resources save you even more! There are no specific guidelines, but there are definitely some qualities that can help you test better and with perfection. Be Proud to be a tester.

Skills Competency
‘Virat Kohli’ skills needs no introduction. They say ‘India has found its Tendulkar’!

Skill Competency
The demand for Mobile testers with a solid technical background has never been higher. As a Mobile Tester you need to be familiar with different testing methodologies. Which is the best Test Strategy for a Mobile App? With different testing skills available, superb testers won’t be restricted to the specific situations. The increasing popularity of automated and API testing means that testers with programming and scripting experience have an upper hand. In case of manual testing, knowledge of programming languages can help a tester create tools and snippets of codes to quicken manual testing. In general, knowledge of coding and related concepts can help a great Mobile tester understand the kind of bugs that can be injected during development as well as the places/instances where the presence of bugs might be higher.

Understand the Game
“Cricket is the most important thing to me, so the rest of it (The level – Internationals, IPL, Test, etc.) pales in comparison”

Understand the Game
Mobile testers must have a different perspective of how to go about their jobs. The Mobile tester needs to understand the entire architecture of the mobile device’s system including hardware, firmware and software interactions. Look at a situation in many different ways. GUI and functional testers find it difficult to see different perspectives. Seeing beyond the GUI tests, considering possible behavior patterns, asking “what if…” all help the Mobile tester.

A great Mobile tester must understand the ultimate goal of the system being built from the business end. The tester, only when knows and understands the bigger picture, can help analyze the system’s strength and weaknesses and go beyond the mere testing duty. The ideal tester has deep insights into how users will use the application – starting from download to full use of it. By thinking big, QA folks focus on use cases, usability and user experience – managing all of this while building their test cases/scripts for mobile app.

Contextual Adaptability
“It was a pleasure to watch Kohli play safe till his 50, and then open attack when needed the most” – on India’s victory yesterday.

The tester needs to be able to adapt to different testing approaches depending upon the context of the projects. While one approach might work in e-commerce App testing, the same might not work in a Mobile Game testing environment. As a great Mobile tester, he needs to be flexible and possess experience and sufficient knowledge in several approaches of testing. Whether the project has weekly test cycles or monthly ones, the tester needs to test the right way and the most efficient way. Requirements change, features shift focus, and deadlines are inevitably moved forward. That’s a day in the life of a tester; so being highly adaptable to different situations is a good quality to have.

Continuous Learning
“Never at any point did I feel like missing a Training session. I was very keen on improving as a Cricketer and as an International Player”

Continuous Learning
Mobile App development and testing is an evolving industry. New technologies, tools and concepts are introduced almost every day. So as a Mobile tester you need to be prepared – and willing – to keep up with the latest technology trends. A tester should be willing to come out of his own comfort zone in order to push the boundaries of his testing knowledge.

It’s not about gaining expertise of specific scripting language; it’s about keeping up with latest technology, about learning automation tools, about learning to create ideas, about learning from experience and ultimately about constantly thriving.

Team player
“No cricket team in the world depends on one or two players. The team always plays to win.”

Team Player
This is a general skill that is required in any software based industry. The importance of a well-collaborated business cannot be emphasized enough. Mutual respect and trust is necessary for team performance. The tester’s ability to collaborate with other programmers, test managers and customers must be impeccable. Strong verbal and written communication skills – to get across their point to the other party without difficulty and knowing how to put across a defect all are important personality traits of a great tester. They are also ready to assist someone else who is temporarily off the project.

Risk Management & Prioritization
“I delayed my father’s funeral because of cricket”

The test environment, requirements and timelines vary frequently. A Mobile tester must be able to identify & analyze the risks, then organize and prioritize the activities such that the testing goals are achieved without compromising the quality of the Mobile App. Prioritizing tests that assess fundamental requirements and basic functionality improves efficiency and saves time as well as effort. What to Test, what should be automated, which task should be taken up first – once you are master of defining priorities, software testing would be really easy. Understanding priority only comes with experience, so be patient and keep evolving!

Don’t Compromise on Quality
“Endorsements are a reward for good performance on the field, and the commitments made after signing them need to be done”

Don’t compromise on Quality
Don’t ever compromise on the App Quality! Without passion to get your mobile app super robust and work as expected, by everyone – developers, testers and users – you are just delivering average. In today’s competitive Mobile landscape average doesn’t score anymore. Don’t think that your responsibility is just to validate App against a set of requirements. Be proactive, do your market research and provide suggestions to improve it. This research will also help you understand the product and its market.

A Good Observer (Knack for details)
“It’s surprising to see how Kohli find the gaps (to hit 4s) all the time”

Good Observer
Identifying glaring issues is easy enough, but where your expertise as a Mobile tester really comes in is in identifying bugs that aren’t quite as obvious. So in addition to the big picture, an effective tester knows to pay attention to the details. Testers see symptoms, not bugs, and both of those can range from harmless to catastrophic. A superb tester is able to focus on the most fine-grained details of use, usability and user experience, and find out how symptom shows up. This is important information for app developers in order to fix it. For being a successful game tester, you need to have exceptional talent in finding the oddities. You’d have to keep your eyes wide open and find all those camouflaged and unwanted bits that can decrement your game’s aesthetic appeal. Observe and understand test progress and make necessary changes if it is off the track in terms of schedule or testing activities. This skill will essential help you to keep yourself updated and ready with course of action for any situation.

“Virat’s success does not surprise you. His failures do.” – Sanjay Manjrekar

Most testers are content with completing their tasks for the day and put no effort in trying to learn a bit more about the product at hand. Understand where the App fits and how it influences the economy, markets, businesses, consumers and end users. This will help cultivate a sense of ownership. “To err is only human”! Testers should own up to their mistakes instead of finding someone else to blame it on. Apart from gaining the respect of co-workers, this will also help maintain a good working condition within the team. Take accountability for Testing success or failure.

“Whatever you want to do, do with full passion and work really hard towards it. Don’t look anywhere else. There will be a few distractions, but if you can be true to yourself, you will be successful for sure.”

The testers’ world is more chaotic than the programmers’. Most of the Mobile App defects are concentrated in the 10% of the code. Some testers give up after seeing 90% tests passing and some testers are able to focus on that problematic tithe. Also, it is very important to be able to focus on testing while the development is ongoing. If testing starts once application is ready, lot of time will be wasted and end-users needs to wait for your app.

“Highest Average in 2nd Innings in T20I History”

Today’s mobile app testing is all about speed – Fast iteration means time-to-market and revenue generation. Superb testers are very conscious of errors and are able to jump into bug fixing immediately. To fully achieve your agile development and testing scheme, responsiveness is another very critical trait that testing folks have. Great tester learn things faster, produce better results and bring more value to your team.

Analytical thinking
“Sachin Tendulkar has carried the burden of the nation for 21 years. It is time we carried him on our shoulders”

This is a must for requirement analysis but even further this could be helpful for understanding customer feedback while defining test strategy. Question everything around you. Being a Mobile tester, you are not expected to do testing only. You need to understand the data collected from testing and need to analyze them for particular behavior of the Mobile App. To reach out to the root cause, you need to analyze the test environment, the test data, the interruptions etc. For Automation testing, creating scripts and executing them for numerous time is not a big task but analyzing the data generated after execution of those scripts, is the most important part.

Meeting deadlines and working under pressure
“Virat thrives in pressure situation. The more the pressure on Virat, better he plays. There aren’t too many batsmen in world cricket today, who love chasing and burden of trying to overtake a big score.” – Harbhajan Singh

Working under Pressure
Overtime and working weekends can become unavoidable when deadlines are to be met. Employees should be willing to accept this and should have strong willpower and motivation towards delivering performance when working under pressure.

Entertaining the fans (End User Satisfaction)
“I loved the support from the fans. Wish I could play better & better and keep entertaining Indian Cricket fans”

Entertaining the Fans
Every Mobile App is developed for customers. Customers may or may not be technical persons. Hence you as a Tester first need to understand your customer. Their age, education even the location can matter most while using the Mobile App. How they can use the product with ease? What can make end user happy? Don’t stop by testing the standard requirements. After all project is said to be successful only if end user is able to use the App successfully & provides a positive feedback.

Open to criticism
“It’s a good reality check. We needed something like this to re-group, see our faults and correct them going forward. You cannot go and win every time.”

Open to Criticism
It’s common to blame others for any leaked defects. But not for a great tester. In any situation never blame anyone. If an error occurs, first try to resolve it rather than finding someone to blame. Work as a team to build team spirit. Be Open to Suggestions – Listen to everyone even though you are an authority on the project having in depth project knowledge. There is always scope for improvements and getting suggestions from fellow testers is a good idea. Everyone’s feedback to improve the quality of the project would certainly help to release a bug free Mobile App.

“With time I am getting better at controlling aggression, instead let my performance talk”

Communication – both verbal and written – is a vital skill to have since you’ll find yourself in close contact with developers, business analysts, and other major stakeholders in a project. Read and understand specifications, describe test criteria, explain how to recreate issues, report bugs and to write a clear and concise report to management. As a software tester, you also can’t be afraid to ask questions or vocalize your concerns. Being able to communicate clearly, accurately and demonstrate a high capacity of comprehension are great qualities for a tester.

‘Play to Win’ attitude
“To become a Good player, you need talent. To become a Great player, you need an attitude like Kohli” – Sunil Gavaskar

Testers should have ‘Test to break’ attitude. They say “You should be hacker of your own App to keep other hackers away from it”. Negative testing is equally important.

Play to Win
Play for a Cause
“I always dreamt of holding the bat and winning games for India. That was my inspiration to take up Cricket”

Success Hungry
Why did you become a tester? Don’t tell me that you didn’t have an option. Everybody has an option, it’s just that you were lazy or you loved the Testing mindset. Don’t just test the Mobile App for standard requirements – Testing has a bigger role in the success of the Mobile App. Understand the Business, technical aspects, technology trends, App requirements, suggest improvements – after all you are playing it for a bigger motive – a Successful App that brings appreciation & subsequent business to your company!

Last, but not the least – “Self-belief and Hard Work will always earn you success” Be Success Hungry!

Hope India continues its winning spree 🙂 If you find this article interesting and useful, then don’t forget to share this with your friends. You are welcome to add your comments/experience.