What skills & technologies should I acquire / learn for performing my role as a Test Lead?



  • I have 7 years of experience in testing and recently I have assumed the role of test lead. I have to manage a team of 7-8 testers and our work is mostly comprised of Manual Testing. I want to know in order to become a competent test lead what skills and technologies I should learn or acquire so that I can get the best out of my team & also improve the overall process? Any suggested books or blogs or tools?



  • First off, everything I say here should be checked against your job description - that's going to tell you what your employer expects of you. As a lead, you probably don't have hire/fire responsibility (that usually goes with the manager title), so your employer's expectations will probably fall into these areas: resource management - making sure that all of your team members have sufficient work to cover without overloading them. mentoring - guiding your team members and helping to improve their skills. evaluation - assessing how well your team members are doing, most likely linked to whether or not they're going to get a pay raise. What you actually do should include those areas, but add: acting as the buffer zone or "Speaker to Management" for you team - a big part of what you do will be taking whatever heat is coming from management so your team can get on with their jobs. You'll also be phrasing test outcomes in ways that your manager (who probably doesn't have a background in testing) can understand and more importantly support. acting as the team go-getter - if one of your team members needs something to do his or her job more effectively, it's up to you to make sure they get it and get it quickly (Expect arguments about what constitutes 'need' - many places put a low priority on tester equipment, so chances are you're going to have to make a solid financial case). providing or building tools to enhance team productivity - this can be as simple as arranging for team group email lists and as complex as setting up and maintaining reporting tools, test hardware, automation systems, and in some cases a complete dedicated test subnet. You don't need to do it all yourself, but you're likely to be the driving force behind making things like this happen. For useful websites, my first recommendation is always Joe Strazzere's All Things Quality. Joe has a wealth of solid, useful information in his blog, most of it from his many years of experience in the field.



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