I'm a developer and the person I'm describing has been with us for over a year as part of the Quality Assurance team. They've been trained up by a true veteran of QA and while they aren't exactly the most software literate, they're capable of producing decent test plans and thoroughly testing pieces of functionality if they're given sufficient explanation as to what it is and what it needs to do.
However, this requires quite a degree of hand holding; explaining some relatively simple shell commands*, database queries used to validate results**, and the general meaning of certain stack traces that really shouldn't be brought to development's attention as something urgent. This sort of situation has been going on for a while; it did slow down while they were being trained and mentored by the veteran QA member, but since they announced their resignation, the person in question has needed more hand holding.
This afternoon I was helping them with a typical RESTful request, with query parameters attached. I explained to them that the resource needed to be written in a specific way and that it required two specific query parameters. They seemed confused at the notion of query parameters even though they had been testing our RESTful application for about seven months.
I'd like to raise my concerns with my manager. I'm not known for being blunt or confrontational, I'm normally a peaceable developer who looks to help the team out when they need it. However, I feel that this issue does need to be brought to their attention.
I'm not sure how to go about it tactfully. In communicating this concern to my manager, what should I seek to avoid saying, in addition to expressing my concerns? I don't want to sound panicked in an already panicked situation (the testing needs to be wrapped up in a relatively short time frame).
*: The person in question has been using these commands most the entire time they've been here, and they involve things like tailing logs, listing the contents of a directory, and changing directories.
**: These were queries that they requested that development author, which seems strange all unto itself.