Morpheus unflinchingly states, “There’s a difference between knowing the path and walking the path” in the Matrix. That’s enough to help you realize that merely learning about being a QA engineer is not the same as being a QA engineer. To understand its practicality, you will have to dip your hands into the field and gain valuable experience.
However, a short and helpful post can guide you in the right direction to know what it takes to become a QA engineer. A “Quality Assurance” or “QA” engineer tests and ensures software products are ready for use. Before software makes its way to the end-user, QA engineers check it for any possible issues.
A QA engineer tests software applications and programs via various methods and technologies. This post will take a comprehensive look at the responsibilities, importance, and requirements of becoming a QA engineer. For now, you need to have a “hunger for tech-related and coding knowledge,” tech experience, and problem-solving skills.
What’s a QA Engineer?
Simply put, a QA engineer inspects a software to ensure that a software error-free. The central part of their process is to run multiple tests on the new software release. Then, they closely identify any bugs and the right solutions for those bugs.
The team that developed the software works closely with a QA engineer to relay the information that could either make or break the success of the new release. A QA engineer must also check for regulatory and company standards in the latest software under inspection. A software product only makes it to the market once they give the approval depending on how well it’s working.
QA Engineer’s Responsibilities and Roles
Some may also refer to QA engineers as QA specialist or QA expert. However, these job titles are synonymous and refer to the same work that an individual does. After being hired in a company, their primary responsibility is to ensure a software product is up to a specific standard and ready to use by the end-users.
The QA engineers also look over the whole software development process. Sometimes, a quality engineer also creates test cases and predicts users’ behavior to evaluate the applicability of the software.
The day-to-day tasks of QA engineers can be very diverse. However, here are a few examples of the primary duties that a QA engineer at a typical software/tech firm would perform.
- Check and ensure software products are up to company and industry regulatory standards
- Work as a liaison between application users, company managers, and product development teams
- Create company quality assurance guidelines and security rules for product developers
- Conduct various types of tests on software products and identify bugs/issues
- Find the perfect solution to get software products ready for the end-user
- Run automated and manual test scripts to keep searching for errors and bugs
- Document all stages of the development and testing processes
- Keep a detailed database and extractable information about the test cases
- Ensure the development takes place under due timelines and dates
- Check for government and market guidelines once the software product is ready
- Manage the first and all forthcoming software releases
You can apply for a career in multiple industries as a QA engineer. These include electronic manufacturing, computer manufacturing, software publishers, computer design, and finance industries. Further, a QA engineer can earn over $102,000 annually, based on the statistics report from Glassdoor (December 13, 2021).
The Art of Becoming a QA Engineer: Steps to Success!
So, what does it take to become a QA engineer? From choosing the correct programming language to preparing for an interview at a top-tier tech firm, you need to take several steps to become a QA engineer. Here’s what you need to do!
- Pick a Programming Language for Specialize in
The programming language and software development world continues to grow more complex. You can’t hope a programming language will be the same for even a month or a week!
The first step of the process is to choose the correct programming language to master. Your objectives should involve C#, Python, or Java, an object-oriented programming language. The language you decide to master will also depend on which field you want to specialize in.
- Gain Coding/Software Knowledge and Develop Experience
Once you select a programming language to learn and specialize in, you need to choose the right coding program. You will have opt for software engineering, computer, and IT system training to become a suitable QA engineer. You can attend coding boot camps if you’re searching for an alternative to a traditional college education.
However, you should know that a traditional college course can lead to an official degree. And as educational requirements vary from employer to employer, some may even require a full degree. Bootcamps are quicker and only last between 3 and 9 months, with some exceptions.
- Opt for Internships (or Contract Job Roles)
Even if you’re in school, don’t ignore the importance of getting an internship at a reliable firm. Even if you’re in school or studying in college, getting an internship can get you plenty of experience, giving you a head start in your professional career. It will familiarize you with a professional workplace and how a colleague network operates in a QA engineering firm.
- Work On Technical Skills
Technology never stays the same because it’s ever-evolving to accommodate new developer requirements. The best part about becoming a QA engineer is that you get the opportunity to learn as much as you can on your own.
You can learn from offline courses and choose independent courses for yourself. You can learn technical and coding skills related to QA engineering while at an internship.
- Achieve Professional Certification
A professional accredited and authentic certificate increases your chances of getting a higher-paying job. For instance, the American Society of Quality issues CSQE (Certified Software Quality Engineer). That’s a professional certificate worth getting. So, make sure you get a representation of your time and efforts spent on studying coding and programming language.
- Draft a Resume and Software Developer Portfolio
The next step is to draft a resume. We’re not talking about an ordinary resume. You need to have a technical resume if you’re looking to enter the IT field, mainly QA engineering. You will have to list your technical experience, qualification, and skills. You cannot get the job you want without doing so.
You must have a software developer portfolio. That will showcase your projects, accomplishments, and professional certification earned over years of learning coding and programming languages.
- Hunt for a Job
A software developer portfolio is a simple website showcasing all your accomplishments. It also shows ways how companies can reach you. After you’ve created a technical resume, you should start looking for a that suits your requirements.
The interviewing process that will get you a job as a QA engineer won’t be easy either. It will be a technical interview. Hence, you must prepare in the best way possible. Moving past the standard interview preparation, you’ll have to learn how to answer technical questions and solve problems in real-time.
Becoming a QA Engineer: Top Qualities You Must Have!
Although learning programming languages and coding can get you closer to the role of a QA engineer, nothing beats possessing a few needed skills. The following skills make a successful QA engineer, and you won’t need statistics or survey reports to tell you that. Here are some of those qualities:
- Attention to technical detail
- Prowess about programming and languages and coding
- Instant communication abilities
- Authoritative project management
- Efficient leadership
- Research skills
- Abilities to work under pressure and complete under deadlines
The Bottom Line
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics states that the average growth rate of the QA engineering market and the job outlook is around 22%! Considering the recent stat, applying for a QA engineering program or specialty training could be highly beneficial.
The abovementioned tips could help you become a QA engineer quickly and more efficiently. Of course, our interest and technical skills in this field will be huge factors. However, you can determine early on whether QA engineering suits you by checking for the abovementioned qualities.