Monday, February 23, 2009

Must Be a Writer

If you're going to work for me, you must be able to write.

Wait, what?

I mean you must be able to communicate clearly a variety of technical and business concepts in such a way that your audience both understands and is satisfied with the information.

Just this past week, my team has had to produce the following:
  • several status reports for a release that goes to support and manufacturing Monday
  • logged bugs based on automated tests that failed
  • a summary of all the issues with one area of our product, including bugs, ideas for improvement, and "gotchas" that are related to customer configurations
  • an explanation for a client about why an Active Directory user that our system uses must have certain privileges
  • a script and accompanying documentation to handle diagnosis and cleanup of machines left in a bad state by nightly tests ("handling" here is logging a bug with appropriate information and logs)
  • written results of a log analysis of a third-party product that is a client to our product and was having some problems interfacing to us; this was sent to the support team of the third-party product
There's no way one person can write all of this on their own. Producing a report of what you're doing is an essential part of being a good tester. I don't care how good you are at doing things; if you can't effectively talk about them to a variety of audiences you are less effective.

So next time you're bringing a new person on to your team, think about their testing skills and their ability to integrate with your group. Just don't forget to consider their writing skills as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment