Posted by IN / 3 responses

The Tester’s Mindset

13 December 2017

What is a tester’s mindset?

Monday during the webinar, Angie mentioned that a “test automation engineer is a hybrid role comprised of a developer’s skillset and a tester’s mindset”.

I decided to take a moment and write down some of the characteristics I see in people that have a tester’s mindset. They…

Are creative

Want to know the rules

Try to understand when the rules do and do not apply and to whom

Must suspend the rules when appropriate

Are willing to think differently

Are exceptional communicators

Want to help

Bring people together

Love exposing problems

See differences

See similarities

Are detail-oriented

Question everything internally and question loudly when appropriate

Have a constitution

Are brave

Give bad news when no one else is willing

Keep trying and do not give up

Understand their limits

Ask for help

Know testing never starts and never stops

Learn constantly

Recognize assumptions and challenge them when appropriate or necessary

Are thorough

See gaps between facts…
…between people
…between evidence
…in arguments
…between requirements


Work to be objective

Allow themselves to be subjective

Know the difference between the objective and subjective







Are tenacious

Work hard

Are confident in the face of ________

Are adamant

Make strong arguments

Love evidence

Use tools







Let me know in the comments what I missed.

About the Author

Paul Merrill

Paul Merrill is Principal Software Engineer in Test and Founder of Beaufort Fairmont Automated Testing Services. Paul works with clients every day to accelerate testing, reduce risk, and to increase the efficacy of testing processes. You’re Agile, but is your Testing Agile? An entrepreneur, tester, and software engineer, Paul has a unique perspective on launching and maintaining quality products. He also hosts Reflection as a Service, a podcast about software development and entrepreneurship. Follow Paul on Twitter @dpaulmerrill.

3 responses to The Tester’s Mindset

  • Michael says on December 19, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    What I missed on that list is
    a.) Explore and
    b.) embrace the unknown

    • Paul Merrill says on December 19, 2017 at 3:52 pm

      I love these! I think it’s difficult for almost anyone to “embrace the unknown”. Do you see testers having that ability innately? or good testers tending to have that more often? Or is it more of a “stretch goal” for most folks? Great stuff Michael!


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