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Manual Testing Interview Questions and Answers



What makes a good test engineer?
A good test engineer has a 'test to break' attitude, an ability to take the point of view of the customer, a strong desire for quality, and an attention to detail. Tact and diplomacy are useful in maintaining a cooperative relationship with developers, and an ability to communicate with both technical (developers) and non-technical (customers, management) people is useful. Previous software development experience can be helpful as it provides a deeper understanding of the software development process, gives the tester an appreciation for the developers' point of view, and reduce the learning curve in automated test tool programming. Judgment skills are needed to assess high-risk areas of an application on which to focus testing efforts when time is limited.

What makes a good Software QA engineer?
The same qualities a good tester has are useful for a QA engineer. Additionally, they must be able to understand the entire software development process and how it can fit into the business approach and goals of the organization. Communication skills and the ability to understand various sides of issues are important. In organizations in the early stages of implementing QA processes, patience and diplomacy are especially needed. An ability to find problems as well as to see 'what's missing' is important for inspections and reviews.

What makes a good QA or Test manager?
A good QA, test, or QA/Test(combined) manager should:
be familiar with the software development process
be able to maintain enthusiasm of their team and promote a positive atmosphere, despite
what is a somewhat 'negative' process (e.g., looking for or preventing problems)
be able to promote teamwork to increase productivity
be able to promote cooperation between software, test, and QA engineers
have the diplomatic skills needed to promote improvements in QA processes
have the ability to withstand pressures and say 'no' to other managers when quality is insufficient or QA processes are not being adhered to
have people judgement skills for hiring and keeping skilled personnel
be able to communicate with technical and non-technical people, engineers, managers, and customers.
be able to run meetings and keep them focused

What's the role of documentation in QA?
Critical. (Note that documentation can be electronic, not necessarily paper.) QA practices should be documented such that they are repeatable. Specifications, designs, business rules, inspection reports, configurations, code changes, test plans, test cases, bug reports, user manuals, etc. should all be documented. There should ideally be a system for easily finding and obtaining documents and determining what documentation will have a particular piece of information. Change management for documentation should be used if possible.

What's the big deal about 'requirements'?

One of the most reliable methods of insuring problems, or failure, in a complex software project is to have poorly documented requirements specifications. Requirements are the details describing an application's externally-perceived functionality and properties. Requirements should be clear, complete, reasonably detailed, cohesive, attainable, and testable. A non-testable requirement would be, for example, 'user-friendly' (too subjective). A testable requirement would be something like 'the user must enter their previously-assigned password to access the application'. Determining and organizing requirements details in a useful and efficient way can be a difficult effort; different methods are available depending on the particular project. Many books are available that describe various approaches to this task. (See the Bookstore section's 'Software Requirements Engineering' category for books on Software Requirements.)
Care should be taken to involve ALL of a project's significant 'customers' in the requirements process. 'Customers' could be in-house personnel or out, and could include end-users, customer acceptance testers, customer contract officers, customer management, future software maintenance engineers, salespeople, etc. Anyone who could later derail the project if their expectations aren't met should be included if possible.
Organizations vary considerably in their handling of requirements specifications. Ideally, the requirements are spelled out in a document with statements such as 'The product shall.....'. 'Design' specifications should not be confused with 'requirements'; design specifications should be traceable back to the requirements.
In some organizations requirements may end up in high level project plans, functional specification documents, in design documents, or in other documents at various levels of detail. No matter what they are called, some type of documentation with detailed requirements will be needed by testers in order to properly plan and execute tests. Without such documentation, there will be no clear-cut way to determine if a software application is performing correctly.
'Agile' methods such as XP use methods requiring close interaction and cooperation between programmers and customers/end-users to iteratively develop requirements. The programmer uses 'Test first' development to first create automated unit testing code, which essentially embodies the requirements.

What steps are needed to develop and run software tests?
The following are some of the steps to consider:
Obtain requirements, functional design, and internal design specifications and other necessary documents
Obtain budget and schedule requirements
Determine project-related personnel and their responsibilities, reporting requirements, required standards and processes (such as release processes, change processes, etc.)
Identify application's higher-risk aspects, set priorities, and determine scope and limitations of tests
Determine test approaches and methods - unit, integration, functional, system, load, usability tests, etc.
Determine test environment requirements (hardware, software, communications, etc.)
Determine testware requirements (record/playback tools, coverage analyzers, test tracking, problem/bug tracking, etc.)
Determine test input data requirements
Identify tasks, those responsible for tasks, and labor requirements
Set schedule estimates, timelines, milestones
Determine input equivalence classes, boundary value analyses, error classes
Prepare test plan document and have needed reviews/approvals
Write test cases
Have needed reviews/inspections/approvals of test cases
Prepare test environment and testware, obtain needed user manuals/reference documents/configuration guides/installation guides, set up test tracking processes, set up logging and archiving processes, set up or obtain test input data
Obtain and install software releases
Perform tests
Evaluate and report results
Track problems/bugs and fixes
Retest as needed
Maintain and update test plans, test cases, test environment, and testware through life cycle

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