If you know anything about the world of software development, you might have heard about QA engineers. However, understanding the role of a QA engineer can be a little tricky.
These professionals play an essential role in software development. So, what exactly is a QA engineer, and why are they so important? In this article, let’s go over the critical job of a QA engineer.
What is Quality Assurance Testing?
Before you can learn what a QA engineer is, you need to know about the department they work in. Understanding QA will give you a better idea of the tasks that a QA engineer has to perform.
Stakeholders have specific requirements and expectations when a company develops software. Adhering to the stakeholders’ standards is difficult without a dedicated process, which is where quality assurance comes in. Quality assurance spots and reports any mistakes during development.
It is the act of monitoring software development to ensure that processes and methods live up to defined standards. The Final product could be compared to project-specific standards, the company’s standards and policies, and external standards like ISO.
Quality assurance confirms that the development complies with all the necessary requirements. Typically, quality assurance is imperative, as it ensures that the customer receives the right end-product without any bugs and errors.
A few years back, software developers worked on a specific project and wholly finished it before handing it to QA testers. Then, QA testers would manually test the software, finding a list of bugs. Then, they sent the software back to the developers to fix the issues.
However, the practice has changed significantly today, as QA engineers are now more efficient. Now, quality assurance takes place every step of the way while developing software.
A QA engineer talks directly with the clients and holds meetings to ensure the best quality product. Instead of waiting for the product to complete, they will inspect codes while the developers write them. In the long run, QA saves time, money, and, most importantly, a company’s reputation.
Many people confuse quality assurance with quality control, whereas the two are different processes. Simply put, quality assurance focuses on a proactive approach. Meanwhile, the process of quality control seeks to ensure reactive corrections.
A QA engineer inspects and tests the program. But professionals in quality control focus on auditing, management, and software documentation.
What is a QA Engineer, and What Do They Do?
A software quality assurance (QA) engineer plays a vital role in developing software. QA engineers help design software, writing source code, as well as reviewing and controlling it. They may also configure and change management as required. Most importantly, a QA engineer is responsible for testing the program and running software integration.
While they may break their job responsibility into smaller steps, a QA engineer looks over the entire project. For example, the smaller goals of a QA engineer may be verification, measurement, and checking compliance with commitment. Through breaking quality assurance, they can perform much better at their job.
The Important Roles of a Quality Assurance Engineer
QA engineers may not be a visible part of the development team. But, these individuals determine the quality of the product and its viability in the market. Not to mention, they ensure that the products do exactly what the clients want them to do.
Here are some reasons why a QA engineer is vital to any software development company.
Define the Testing Environment
It is easy for a small team to work on developing a small project.
For example, a group of three people can be responsible for developing smaller chunks of the software. The three developers can figure out enough test cases to ensure the quality of each piece. Ultimately, the components will work perfectly with each other in no time.
On the other hand, it is challenging for a large team of developers to create the right test plan that will work. A QA engineer defines the testing environment so that the end-product works as a whole.
Look Out for Requirements and the Scope of the Work
Usually, developing a single project involves multiple team members working on small parts of the software.
As a result, it becomes hard to figure out the scope’s effect on each team member. Not to mention, these factors also significantly change individual test cases.
A QA engineer uses their understanding to see how each part of the software fits with another. Accordingly, they may adjust the test cases so that the finished software meets the client’s requirements.
Keep the Developers in Line with the Company’s Policies
Most software companies have specific company policies to develop their projects. These policies act as a guide for the development team, an QA testers ensure that the development team lives up to these standards.
For instance, a company may have modifications, interoperability, and user interface aesthetic rules. The software development team must comply with these policies to create the right end product.
A QA engineer working on the same project ensures that the developers adhere to the company policies. Compliance is critical if a company is ISO or SPICE–certified.
In case of mistakes during software development, a company could lose its certification. Not to mention, it may also have to face legal trouble. Therefore, any big-scale software company needs to have reliable QA engineers.
What Skills Do QA Engineers Have?
Good QA engineers have the following qualities:
A QA engineer will have to interact with the management, developers, and even stakeholders of a developing software.
Attention to Detail
QA engineers need to be thorough while testing and inspecting a product under development. They should be able to spot issues in the code and ensure everything that goes through them is up to a standard.
The job of a QA engineer involves a variety of responsibilities. Thus, they need to multitask at different steps of the way throughout their shift. They should have excellent time management skills to stay productive and meet project deadlines.
A QA engineer uses different methods and technologies to test software applications and programs under development. They are responsible to ensure that the software is error-free and meets the company’s standards.
QA engineers spot bugs so that the end product complies with the company’s policies and the client’s requirements.