Blog Tester

The Challenge of Being the Only Tester in Your Project.

April 20, 2023
Solo Tester

Have you ever questioned being the only software tester on your project and adding value? Are you working on some Agile project as the only tester? Have you carried off performance testing, frontend and backend test automation, and functional testing?

Many responsibilities and possibly a solitary path for one person! 

Solo Tester

If you are the sole tester in your company or project, please know that you are not alone. Possibly you have faced much pressure trying to deliver something, or maybe doing much arduous work, but today I want to share some lessons that helped me work as the only Tester (Solo Tester).

There is no greater solitude than that of the samurai unless it is that of the tiger in the jungle… Perhaps…

– Jean-Pierre Melville

Get strategic about your Testing time

Get strategic about your time

Each of us has experienced the pressure of receiving more work that leaves us juggling numerous deadlines while working past our bedtimes. I see many testers making this mistake, particularly Testers who have no intention to add value, only finishing activities.

They get anxious about the sprint time, test cases, and tasks. If you want to be a successful solo tester, you must concentrate on specific Testing activities. It is preferable to build equity by providing value and expertise to clients. There are other considerations besides how many test cases, test scripts, or defects you can complete in a sprint.

Devote your time only to the testing tasks that will benefit your clients in the long run. Spend the rest of your time doing efficient work, reducing repetitive actions, and optimizing your current testing workflow. You can use some simple code and testing tools, but if you feel overwhelmed, try talking to your manager. This could be an opportunity to enlist a bit of assistance.  

Focus on delivering valuable work, not just finishing tasks

Focus on delivering valuable work, not just finishing tasks

I understood that it is required to dig into its product/service and current activities to provide value. You must start generating results as soon as possible when working alone as a Tester. If you are the only Tester, your eyes will be on you and your testing activities. Always keep in mind the fact that finishing tasks does not matter with regard to time.

By concentrating on results, you won’t get any. You achieve results by concentrating on the actions that lead to outcomes

I recommend focusing on testing activities that could provide long-term value, such as Testing tools implementation to help reduce time and add real value, Quality mindset practices, shift left, and shift right. Last but not least, a testing plan that outlines where we are right now and where we hope to be after completing those tasks.

It is valid to set limits

It is valid to set limits

When I initially set out as a solo Tester, I agreed to everything. I routinely took on every task as I needed to get results as soon as possible, not because it was valuable work. I was eager to demonstrate my abilities and lacked the self-assurance to decline a task or activity.

Main Challenges in Automation Testing

Businesses today must meet their customer’s increasing demands. It necessitates the regular release of software updates and features. A solo tester must use automation testing to accomplish this. If you are new to automation testing, you ought to learn about the challenges and how to overcome them.

Choosing the Best Automation Tool or Framework is an essential step a freelancer or solo tester should take. As important as choosing the right tool, a  tester should also consider test automation  Strategies. The main way to choose tools efficiently is through capital investment. The testers should also build capital to ensure they grow with the upcoming market trends. Compared to testers who work in small teams, those who test alone receive less feedback. 

Main Challenges in Automation Testing

A single tester discovers testing ideas while conducting tests, which they then incorporate into the software. Nobody else is even aware that this operation is happening. Nobody can object to, criticize, or make suggestions about covert testing. It is especially valid if the lone Tester struggles to track or report their progress. As a result, the solo Tester must ensure that they are regularly successfully interacting with others. 

Creators give significant weight to testability. They could have a few suggestions and want you to test their code immediately. Silence is the worst thing a solitary tester can do. Please talk about your problems instead of keeping them to yourself.

“Focusing is about saying No.”

― Steve Jobs

Define your limits; remember, sometimes it’s valid to say no. Less is more; please avoid those activities draining your energy; stay motivated otherwise; if you continue trying to be a superhero finishing all and being there for all, your health can deteriorate.

Final Thoughts

It might seem a little intimidating, but trust me, being the only tester on a project does not mean you are on your own; you are a member of a team and a company. You can ask for advice and share your experience by joining multiple testing communities. As a recap, consider the following:

  1. Spend your time only on testing activities that will ultimately benefit your clients and become more strategic.
  2. Focus on delivering valuable work and on activities that could provide long-term value.
  3. Set your boundaries; it’s okay to say “no”; less is more.
  4. Spread the word, communicate your ideas, and share with others, you can be the only Tester, but you are not alone.

Being the only Tester can be good or bad depending on how you handle the responsibilities and your daily tasks. It is not only doing Testing; we must also positively impact our testing landscape by doing smart Testing. There’s no need to worry if you consider yourself an independent tester. 

Additionally, even if you are the only person in the organization to perform a specific function, you are still an essential component. Never feel isolated because of your employment or commitments.

Your coworkers must be aware of the work you do, as well as how everyone will help each other out. You don’t complete projects by yourself. Additionally, even if they take different routes there, they can all work towards the same objective. Also, note that you are in charge of the remaining testing. 

The choice between testing and consistent roads is now before you. Look for ways to simplify the work because it’s likely to become stressful. Examine the daily schedule to identify areas where you can cut back on time and effort.

Happy Bug Hunting!

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