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We all know the heuristics which says that the more differences you have, the more close-knit team could be formed. Such a thing is true for specialists in different fields. Even in the software testing field.

According to studies done by James Marcus Bach, we can identify 7types of testers:

  1. Administrative tester
  2. Technical tester
  3. Analytical tester
  4. Social tester
  5. Emphatic tester
  6. User expert
  7. Developer

Before we thoroughly analyze every type, it must be clear that it’s just a psychological model, not a label. It’s trivial heuristics clusters or even roles.

Style and peculiarities of any QA specialist who will analyze the following material, can fit for more than one model and type at the same time.

Types of Testers

Types of Testers

Administrative tester

Administrative QA specialist is constantly trying to go only ahead. To work on new tasks, overcome all technical obstacles, to do his/her work qualitatively and professionally.

High-specialized administrative testers can attend meetings, conferences, approve the start of working on a new technical resource, summarize the deliveries of projects and situation as a whole. They are in some way coordinating specialists, managers.

In the same time, low-specialized administrative testers like to completely dive into paper side of testing – work with tables, make charts, analyze diagrams. When we talk about a high level, we don’t mean higher level in comparison with other specialists.

Such description takes into account those who can be considered as admirers of a general testing picture, who doesn’t like to divide the tasks into details (divide the task to the smallest test or check).

A “low level” is completely obsessed with any clicking of a mouse, and can’t wait a new possibility during everyday testing.

Note: administrative testers may simulate the process of performing a defined task – move the testing process by big reduction of quality of efficiency.

Technical tester

The everyday tasks of a technical tester include creating the tools for new methods of testing. Such a picture describes a QA specialist as a person who thinks only in categories and groups of program code.

They are first-class defenders of testability since they speak with developers in the same language. People called a software design engineer in test (SDET) are good examples of technical testers.

Such giants as Google and Microsoft adore and appreciate them.

Note: all technical testers sometimes strive to avoid testing of things that are badly checked by tools you have at hand. And they sometimes don’t want to study the process of testing as a whole, preferring to study the technics and methods of used tools.

Analytical tester

All analytical testers like models and usually (but not always) mathematic calculations, algorithms. Such a group of testers likes to create diagrams, schemes, and tables.

They are happy to study long specifications. They are fond of combined testing.

Note: all analytical testers suffer from the “stroke” of testing. They dream about optimal test suites but forget about the quality of such a combination.

If there is something in their work that can’t be modeled, they may easily ignore it.

Social tester

A social tester needs only you! Such a type constantly finds those who can help them.

In other words, social QA specialist prefers to work in a team than to work on their own. They clearly understand that someone could have done previously what is needed for a project and the solution shouldn’t always be in the hands of one person.

Social QA specialist knows that developing is not important while testing: the main thing is to know and interfere well with a developer.

First-class social tester knows how to cultivate qualitative social capital and knows what to give to the surrounding world.

Note: some social testers can be lazy and may seem that they parasitize on the hard work of other people. Also, they can actively make social connections thanks to the work done.

Empathic tester

Every empathic tester deeply dives into his/her project. Their fundamental approach is a variation to walk in the shoes of the developer. It’s not the same as clients expert – there are many differences between testers who play the role of clients defender and clients who performed the testing procedure.

Such an approach is often used by people who don’t have technical skills. They often try to work in the administrative and social model.

Note: every emphatic tester doesn’t really know how to describe what and how they are doing.

User expert

All usability experts can be considered testing specialists. They don’t call themselves as subject matter testers – they see themselves as potential clients of a product who help while performing testing.

It’s very useful for all experienced testers.

Note: testers-users who don’t associate themselves with the testing process, never strive to learn and develop QA skills that are important for any tester.


Software developers very often test the software they created. Tester-developer is perfect for writing a group of unit tests, and they may also build testability into the project.

Any technical tester can win from time spent in the role of developer. When developers become testers, they often become technical testers.

Note: developers who don’t associate themselves with the testing field, will never try to study something new and develop the skills which are important for QA specialist.


All above-mentioned categories of testers can be used for thematic training and meetings on which you may guess the and weak sides of specialist, helping him/her to move to a new level of professional development.

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