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QA Engineering Roles: Skills, Tools, and Responsibilities in a Testing Team
Any product, whether a website or a mobile application, is tested for quality. In the IT field, this is checked by a QA engineer. The engineer imitates situations where end-users may find themselves and acts as an expert in identifying problems in the operation of an application, website, game, or other custom software product. The engineer ensures that the software is reliable both from the user and the technical side.
There are also manual and automated testers. Depending on the project’s requirements, testing can occur in different scenarios. Automated testing is required for tasks associated with a large amount of routine or a huge amount of data when such studies can be automated to speed up the process.
Manual testing is designed to solve problems that machines cannot objectively solve. The convenience of the interface, forms for interaction, bugs, and holes in the shell require careful analysis by an individual; there is no linear algorithm for checking. Thus, there is a division in the environment of testers. Read more about all the responsibilities in the article.
QA Engineering role
An engineer can be a freelance employee or a permanent employee of the project team. The second option is preferable from the point of view of professional growth since the tester is involved in active work with the product at all stages of its development.
Initially, the employee becomes a Junior QA engineer/tester. Employees take this position with little or no work experience. Skilled QA outsourced engineers https://testfort.com/qa-outsourcing are responsible for the delegated piece of work. Responsibilities are participation in the creation of test scripts, the direct conduction of various types of testing, and sometimes writing automated scripts to test the application.
A senior QA Engineer is also responsible for the delegated piece of work. Responsibilities are participation in the creation of test plans, the development of test scripts, the direct conduction of various types of testing, and, of course writing automatic scripts to test the application. A senior QA can also be a mentor for junior QAs.
A QA lead is responsible for the quality of the project as a whole and the people who work under his leadership. Responsibilities are determining project quality indicators, drawing up test plans, distributing tasks among team members, and communicating with Tech Lead regarding quality, bugs, etc.
What about education and technical background?
Testing specialists have an unspoken motto: “If you think the software is perfect, it was poorly tested.” You need to look at the software product through the “perfectionist’s glasses” and constantly ask yourself questions:
- What does not work?
- What works?
- And what doesn’t work as intended?
- Why doesn’t it work the way it should?
There is an opinion that this profession is monotonous and does not require the applicant’s creativity. This is not entirely true: the vacancy will be offered only to those candidates who can be smart and creative when approaching the problem. In addition, the creative component and the routine are combined here, which experienced testers skillfully balance to not burn out at work.
QA Engineering Responsibilities
Let’s briefly review the primary job responsibilities of a QA engineer.
Monitoring and troubleshooting
First, a QA engineer has to control the quality of the developed products and analyze the errors end users may experience when using them.
The next stage is the development of test sets and their regular run, preparation of test data, and writing test methods.
The data obtained during the checks are analyzed. Discovered defects are classified and entered into the database.
QA engineering roles: Support
A QA engineer does not fix the problems and shortcomings found. They regulate and support the process of their elimination – find defects and report them to those involved in their correction (for example, developers), and supplement the necessary information about the bug if necessary.
To conduct testing and record its results, A QA engineer has to enter information in the technical documentation correctly.
QA Engineering Skills
- Understanding, organizing, and conducting different levels of testing (from modular to acceptance tests;)
- Ability to work with bug-tracking systems;
- Have the skills to work with automated testing tools (such as Selenium for Java;)
- Communication with clients, developers, analysts, and other testers;
As we can see, the position of a tester requires high analytical competencies. The skills of a technical writer and systems analyst are also welcomed.
QA engineering roles: The bottom line
To start working in the testing field, having specialized technical education or previous similar work experience is not necessary. It is enough to master the basics of software testing, have a great desire to study programming skills at a basic level, and gain knowledge of software technologies, queries, and scripting languages in the future. And today, many companies offer courses and internships, after which you can be employed.