First time right User Stories

Testers use requirements to create test cases, check them for testability, and participate in general requirement reviews. However, many testers lack knowledge or skill in Requirements Engineering. In terms of quality and detail, what can be reasonably expected from requirements documents? What does the term “testability” really mean? What can testers do to improve requirements? It is essential that testers are able to answer these questions, as well as possess skills in requirements engineering.

Many testers complain about untestable requirements: “I can’t test this, it’s unclear, I don’t have enough information”. But they themselves can’t answer questions like “What would you consider a testable requirement?”.

Testers should know this because they are the main stakeholders for requirements and are heavily involved:

  • They help reviewing them, so they should know which level of quality is reasonable.
  • They base their risk analysis and test designs on them, so they should know when they are ready to be used as a baseline.
  • Their test designs might even be used as requirements themselves, or project documentation, so they’d better be based on good requirements.
  • In some (agile) environments testers even help identify and/or specify requirements, so they should know what the best practices and main characteristics are.

Testers need to stay on top of recent software testing trends. An ISTQB certificate, and simply understanding testing, is no longer enough.

Requirements or User Stories?

With most companies practicing (some kind of) agile development methods, requirements are now often called User Stories. For agile project teams, User Stories are essential. Within those environments, testers are more involved within the User Story’s, and their Acceptance Criteria’s, documentation process.

A User Story describes a small functional unit that is designed, developed, tested and demonstrated in one single iteration. It includes the functionality to be implemented, non-functional criteria, and acceptance criteria that must be met in order for the story to be considered complete.

The Acceptance Criteria of a User Story are the conditions that must be met to be accepted by a user, a customer, or other systems.

Testers need to keep their skill set on point

Testers need to stay on top of recent software testing trends. An ISTQB certificate, and simply understanding testing, is no longer enough. Many testers are facing challenges as they need to learn new knowledge and skills.

Testers are no longer working in ‘safe’ independent test teams, doing mainly manual testing. They collaborate more closely with business representatives (product owners), analysts and developers, assisting each other when necessary and working as a team to create a quality product.

Aside from Requirements Engineering (Analysis) Skills, testers are expected to have a variety of skills these days.

Testing skills (2)

How do we handle this at Brightest?

The software quality experts at Brightest make sure testers learn those skills and keep themselves up to date with the wide training portfolio within The Bright Academy, and through various R&D groups. They can follow various training courses, technical tracks, lunch sessions, and try-out new tools and technology. This on interesting and cutting-edge topics. Go and have a look at our website, because all of the courses and sessions are open for anyone to join (free or requiring subscription)!

Since we were talking about Requirements Engineering (Analysis) Skills today, we’ll dive a little deeper into that one. There are numerous ways to acquire the necessary knowledge and skills in requirements engineering as a tester. But a good way to achieve the right knowledge is to take a Requirements Engineering course based on the IREB certification scheme. You can check our website or contact us to find out when it is hosted next.