What are your "Top Five" - in Testing?

It's not how you do it, it's how you do it together. 

Ah testing. It's a passion. It's a lifestyle. For some of us more than others. We can't help but think about testing, and think about how that fits in our lives and what we can do with it. 

While watching "Top Five", in which a great story about being true to yourself and finding your passion after a lot of life happens to you, I got this idea, about what would be my top five in testing. In the movie it was music which I think could apply to my life as well. I have a hard time making a top five of music or musicians, but of testing, I think it would be much easier, and even more to the point.

So here goes, my top five in testing, in no particular order:

Usability - because seriously, it should be the top of every tester's list to make the internet a better place. And if not the internet, maybe just the app you are working on right now.

 Data - I love me some serious queries. I love writing them, or figuring out how to write them. I love figuring out how the whole app uses data and where it goes to after it's pushed through the pipeline. And I love asking questions about why choices were made to handle data in a certain way or to replicate data or even finding points were we aren't capturing the data needed. That's all pretty freaking neat to me. Side note: If you think code comments are lacking, you haven't seen anything until you go through some stored procedures or look at a table structure and try to understand why someone put it together like that.

API - this might fall back a little on the data stuff too, but as things get more and more service-y, API is one of my go-to when tracking down a problem. Seeing if data isn't getting where it's supposed to go, or a call is just broken for whatever reason. Plus, playing with Postman is pretty fun.

Performance - I've been learning more about this critical but often neglected corner of testing. It has a little bit of automation to it, and maybe some voodoo as well, but if you get things working right, it can give you those magical tolerance numbers everybody talks about but mostly guess at until you do some testing with it.

Writing -  Communication, communication, communication! If you can't express yourself via text, or get a lot of questions about your defects, you might want to take up a writing class or two. This is the most used skill we have as testers. We practically write novels over the course of a career. There is a magic sauce of writing a great defect. Pictures are worth a thousand words, and words along with pictures are even better. If you are one of the lucky few that don't have to write up some kind of defect and have a very awesome iteration loop with your development department, cherish it. That's not the norm for everybody.

Comment here and let people know - what are your top five?

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