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T Ashok @ash_thiru on Twitter

Smartness is a brilliant combination of knowledge and skill. Skill is acquired by intense practice. Intense practice happens when you have good habits. In this article I look at SEVEN habits that are key to SmartQA.

Habit #1
Visualise well, see the big picture of the system.
Who uses, where, when, using what interface. See the big picture of how it is structured/architected, visualise the flow of control and data and the technologies used(aka tech stack). Appreciate the environments it should run on the dependencies of external systems and changes/modifications done.

Habit #2
Question well. Question to know. Question to know what you do not know. 
Ask about users and their expectations ask about the how it is constructed, ask about conditions a behaviour should satisfy.
Ask, ask… The limit to questioning is unbounded. Note you may not get all the answers, the key is to question.

Habit #3
Prove with facts. 
Show proof of adequacy of tests, hypothesise potential issues and prove that they may be detected.
Understand changes done and prove why an entity(ies) need to be regressed, after all you do not want to more that needed.

Habit #4
Iterate continuously. 
SmartQA is about experimenting, exploration.
It is about iterating with minor changes to understand better, to observe better.
Chew well to digest.

Habit #5
Revise what you know.
 Understanding is not about knowing more, it is also discarding what you know. 
Chew to digest and spit out the rest.

Habit #6
Put yourself in others’ shoes and feel them.
Get inside them to understand what they expect, what they will dislike, their constraints, what value they expect of the system. SmartQA is not testing the system technically, it is about delivering value.

Habit #7
Simplify the problem solving.
End users use systems to solve their problems. Great software solve them well.
Good testing is about ensuring systems do just enough i.e. simply.