You might imagine testers as a hive of worker bees that swarm upon your mobile application.

Yeah, that’s really not the case. Each and every tester has unique qualities that opens their eyes and helps them see things other users cannot.

A good mobile application tester has that special something, a drive, a special kind of energy, and a keen eye. And at Testlio, our immensely talented mobile application testers aren’t just mechanical turks pressing buttons — they’re relentless tinkerers and critical thinkers.

So based off our professional experience, what makes for a great mobile application QA?

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Constant curiosity is less of a skill and more of an innate characteristic of someone’s personality. Something fun we do is test our testers before we even allow them to sign up — we give our potential Testlions a little test of our own to see if they’re asking the right questions and looking in the right places.

Are your testers poking around to see the root of a problem?

This one almost goes without saying, but are your testers detail-oriented?

And not just detail-oriented — do they know the big picture and what the application is aiming to accomplish? How do these bugs impact user experience, and in the big picture, how do they affect the way the entire application is meant to be used?

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Depending on what “role” the tester is playing (novice, power user, developer, hacker), technical skills aren’t always necessary. But keep track of your tester’s technical knowledge — a technically advanced tester can connect dots between errors, crashes, and back-end architecture.

A key element in a good tester’s skillset is their ability to document bugs as they pop up, succinctly and constructively. But another skill you need to consider is their ability to communicate to customers as well — their people skills.

Your tester is often going to be engaging not only with the customer, but developers and product teams to report the impact of bugs on the entire user experience too. Is your tester skilled at conveying experiences between writing and verbal communication?

A good thing to consider is if the application is already live and in a marketplace. Do your testers look at reviews to see if they’re a treasure-trove of bug reports? Are there online communities that are focused on this app with user experience feedback? That way a tester doesn’t need to waste their time finding bugs that have already been identified.

We’ve all heard the phrase “think outside the box.” In fact, you probably hear it on at least a weekly basis to the point where it’s tired you out. But creativity is not one of those things you find in everyone. Creative testers come up with valuable testing scenarios that aren’t always straightforward, and tend to reveal critical issues.

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Let’s be honest for a moment and reflect upon the fact that mobile application testing is, and can be, tedious sometimes. After testing fatigue (which can happen), your best testers need to dig deep. They need to engage in repetitive behavior that may sometimes prove nothing — but when an elusive bug that leads to a critical development issue is spotted, it’s worth the time and effort. Not everyone is patient, and it’s something to value.