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Role Spotlight – Quality Assurance Engineer

QA engineers don’t always receive the same attention as software designers or developers. However, without them, we would all be tearing out our hair as websites and applications keep failing. They are the unsung heroes that find all (or the majority) of the defects that impair a product’s functionality and appeal. Additionally, they ensure that the client’s needs are satisfied, carry out tests from the perspective of the user, and correctly record and prioritize any errors detected in order to deliver quality software. Even though every quality assurance engineer has their own methods and every project is unique, the following are some responsibilities of a quality assurance engineer, regardless of the specifics of the project:

Staying involved right from the beginning…

Even if the actual testing is done later on in the project, QA should start right away. By being a part of the early phases of software development, it will be possible for a QA to ensure that they have a thorough understanding of the business objectives and requirements, the software design, and the intended end user. This understanding will be useful when creating a quality test plan. You should find out as much as you can about the designers and developers you’ll be working with as a QA engineer. This knowledge can help throughout the software development process in preventing, instead of fixing bugs.

…And remaining integrated throughout

Once integrated, they have to continue to stay active. The Agile software development methodology involves building and testing the software simultaneously to allow Quality Assurance engineers to engage with the product’s iterations and provide developers immediate feedback. This ensures that any flaws are found and fixed right away, preventing delays and more expensive remedies in the future. Consequently, a QA engineer is supposed to establish open lines of communication with other stakeholders (project managers, designers, developers, etc.). The role is all about collaboration with the software development team.

Finding a Balance

A huge part of a QA engineer’s job is to know the right balance of manual and automated testing required for a particular project. Automated testing may save time and money, especially for complicated projects with lots of repetitive steps. QA engineers that specialize in automation use coding to create a testing framework that is efficient and meets the needs of the project. Manual QA engineers typically focus more on test execution than planning. Although manual testing takes more time and is more prone to human error, it enhances flexibility and enables a “real-life” evaluation of the product. QA engineers constantly evaluate how end-users may interact with a software product to determine the bugs they might come across when using it. They conduct scenario-based testing to predict the behavior of the users. Essentially, their job is to be user-centric and perceive things through the eyes of the target audience so they can note where the UX (user experience) is lacking.

Building Bug Reports

A bug’s proper documentation and reporting are just as crucial as discovering it in the first place; the better the bug report, the higher the likelihood of a speedy and trustworthy remedy. A QA engineer is supposed to provide developers with concise and clear information about the issue so they can replicate it and begin resolving it without needing to contact them again for clarification (though that might be unavoidable in some cases). A good QA report answers questions in an easy and accessible way, such as: where did the issue occur? What’s the problem, exactly? What is causing it? How to reproduce it?

…And Knowing How to Present Them

The bug report’s hard data is crucial, but how it is presented is equally important for quickly resolving the issue. If a report is perceived as being excessively harsh or accusatory, developers may become defensive or even insulted, which raises the likelihood that the issue won’t be resolved effectively. A QA engineer’s job is to collaborate rather than assign blame for code faults. The QA process also includes acknowledging that not every problem you find will be worth resolving as well as reassuring developers that your bug reports are impartial and objective. Therefore, the QA engineer role also requires good communication and interpersonal skills.

Developing a Good Relationship with The Developers

A QA engineer should have a good working relationship based on mutual trust and respect with the developers to ensure the project goes smoothly and leads to great end results. This lessens the possibility of communication errors and can improve both sides’ performance over time. Collaboration with developers allows QA engineers to have a better understanding of the reasoning behind the code and be more aware of the “risk areas” where defects may be detected. As a result, more integrated developers become good at finding and correcting any glaringly obvious problems in the code without the need for replication processes and bug reports.

Prioritizing the End User at All Times

Bugs are unavoidable. In some cases, they can interfere with fundamental operations and need to be addressed immediately. Is the login process no longer functional? Fix it immediately! But occasionally, the bugs can be ignored, especially if shipment delays would end up being more costly. Maybe some typos were spotted, or the UI (user interface) needs some tweaking to improve engagement- would it be better to address these tasks first before releasing a new update? The QA engineer is responsible for prioritizing what needs to be fixed first and what tasks to log for the next time to get the most user benefit. This is where a well-documented bug history of the project helps them make the most user-centric decisions.

The Learning Does Not Stop

Every project involves new challenges and difficulties, and every difficulty has the potential to teach something that will be helpful in the future. A QA engineer’s duties include constantly reading, seeking feedback, enrolling in training programs, attending seminars, and planning get-togethers with coworkers. These things allow QA engineers to polish up their craft. Quality Assurance Engineers with Ambient Consulting work with amazing IT leaders at Fortune 1000 companies. Are you looking for you next role as a QA Engineer? Check out our career portal for current opportunities or provide your resume so that we our recruiting team is ready for your next project. Are you an IT leader looking for your next QA manager or engineer? Leverage Ambient Consulting and its 20+ years of experience and relationships to build your QA team. Contact us so we can help.

Quality Assurance Engineers with Ambient Consulting work with amazing IT leaders at Fortune 1000 companies.  Are you looking for you next role as a QA Engineer?    Check out our career portal for current opportunities or provide your resume so that we our recruiting team is ready for your next project.

Are you an IT leader looking for your next QA manager or engineer?  Leverage Ambient Consulting and its 20+ years of experience and relationships to build your QA team. Contact us so we can help