Why Developing Soft Skills has Value for the Quality Assurance Analyst

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Wikipedia describes soft skills as a term often associated with a person’s social graces, personality traits and interpersonal skills that characterize their relationships with others. Essentially, it’s having emotional intelligence. As a QA analyst, what are the benefits of developing these people skills if our primary interaction is with a screen?

Communicate Effectively

Getting our message understood is by far at the top of the list. Defect resolution depends on our ability to accurately explain an issue to product owner and developer. Take the time to develop a rapport with discipline team members. Learn to clearly summarize ongoing testing progress in the daily agile team stand-up meeting. Be the person that listens well in meetings, interjecting when appropriate with questions or answers.

Choose your battles wisely

Most of you have experienced a team meeting where there has been a heated debate over how many pixels of white space should be displayed. Differing opinions are a fact of life. A good indicator of when to prove a point is understanding the value of winning. Keep in mind how it will affect the quality of the final product. It’s a waste of time and energy fighting for the wrong thing.

Learn Common Sense

For a QA professional, having common sense means you have the ability to make a judgement call based on your experience. Applying general knowledge to the current situation and having confidence that what you are doing will have the desired results. Being able to know what to test beyond the requirements when it makes sense to do so or understanding that spending time on testing scenarios that has little business value.

Soft skills are necessary for professional growth. Being able to speak with intelligence, having successful rapport with an agile team, and knowing how to analyze situations and think for yourself are just as important as your technical skills in the field of Quality Assurance.

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