Things to look for in a good QA testing engineer

Interview process

Companies should not take Quality assurance (QA) testing for granted.

It is a testing procedure throughout a project’s development lifecycle, that makes sure all the processes are smooth along the way and there are no surprises at the end.

It is recommended to have this form of testing from the outset of a project’s development, and for companies who do not have QA processes in place, they should look into QA outsourcing.

There are various companies that specialize in this form of testing process and outsource their services for smaller development houses or startups. In-house teams are often too busy with software workloads to even think about testing procedures while development is underway. They just want a final product out of the door.

Companies that work across the industry with different developers know how to move things forward and analyze code in an unbiased matter. They also know how to differentiate software that succeeds vs. software that turns out to be underwhelming through experience. A fresh set of eyes on the can always help testing procedures and move development forward.

Sometimes, however, it is worth to have some in-house QA testers in place. They are useful for the long term and also, once a project is complete, they can assist in product update procedures and other tasks in-between projects and development cycles. They make sure projects follow their schedule and the team does not fall too far behind what is expected of them.

Whether you hire remote teams or are looking for QA testers to hire in-house, here are some tips on what to look for when hiring QA testing engineers:

Having Good Communication Skills

Having good communication skills is a paramount skill for QA testing engineers. Not all developers or software engineers have this ability and that is why not all developers can make a good QA tester. Being able to both listen and effectively communicate ideas is an important task for QA testers.

QA testers were once a separate silo without much collaboration with other departments. Today, they are constantly working along with developers, programmers, creatives and the C-suite.

Communication with developers and executives takes different approaches. One abides by code and the other by what the market and shareholders want. It often takes patience and the ability to explain things to people with a wide range of understanding of development procedures or in what direction the project should head to be successful in QA testing.

Being A Team Player

This really is a follow-up to having good communication skills. When hiring a QA testing engineer, make sure he or she can work across teams or discuss different aspects of development with the teams in-place on a project.

The ability to effectively communicate with different developers to get a point across on what aspects of the code needs revision is an important skill for QA testers. They need to understand that through debugging and other testing procedures, flaws will be found and the whole project may need to go in a new direction.

Sometimes a developer or even an entire team may have a good idea and a QA tester should be able to listen to this idea and make sure it follows the testing procedures in place. The QA tester may also realize a project is making shortcuts and has to effectively explain the need for testing to occur before rushing things too much and eliminating such shortcuts during development. Nobody wants to see a software breaking bug appear after a product launch that was not found during development.

Experience Working Working with Software Development Teams

Do not underestimate the experience of working with other developers in creating software. Some software developers may have a lot of experience working with various programming languages or have a great resume in terms of their knowledge. However, unless they´ve worked on a team or across different teams specialized in different tasks, they may not understand things like crunch time, collaboration, different ideas for how the project is to move forward.

There are many developers who simply code on their own with little outside input who rarely interact with other colleagues. They may become great developers overall and are good at fixing individual issues, but would not make great QA testers. This is Because QA testers have to work across teams and look at where the software is going as a whole not just certain aspects of development or individual tasks assigned to them.

Experience is important for any engineering position within a company’s department. However, when it comes to QA testers, this experience should be wide-encompassing. The tester should be experienced with different aspects of QA testing from regression tests to threshold tests, sanity tests and general debugging.

He or she should also be familiar with both automating tests of the main flow and full test cycles for in-depth ways to find software defects. Experience and familiarity with different development languages and frameworks are also important, particularly ones the software is being coded with.

Having Flexibility

Projects come and go. They also change constantly as development heads in a new direction, and code may be almost unrecognizable by the time the project is completed to what it was at the onset. This is why QA testers should be flexible.

They should be able to roll with the punches, as the saying goes, or not be afraid to speak up and recommend a project change directions in mid-development if it is a good thing for it in the long run. This also means the QA tester should be a quick learner and not be afraid to try new tools or approaches for testing tasks.

Thinking Outside the Box

A good QA testing engineer has to be able to think outside the box. This means they should look at projects, not just a company’s viewpoint, but that of the customer as well. They need to be able to objectively judge things like the user interface (UI) as well as the overall user experience (UX) from not just an entirely practical point of view, but from one where customers want to keep coming back to the software.

Creativity is a large aspect of this. Not all developers are creative. To be creative means thinking outside the box and finding new solutions to challenges, whether in the code or the way development is progressing as a whole.

Taking into account things from a customer’s perspective like the software’s accessibility, compatibility across devices, hardware requirements are part of this task, the QA tester should also be able to look at rival products or see what else is out there in the industry and compare what works and what doesn’t from a customer’s perspective.

Conclusion

The way QA testers can make a difference in a project’s overall success is that they make sure bugs are being ironed out throughout development, and the project doesn’t launch as a buggy mess and force the team to scramble with a quick update. They make sure the hardware system requirements are not too high to alienate the core users.

By making sure you work with QA outsourcing companies or have a team of engineers for this task in-house, you are being proactive in your development lifecycle. If you have good ideas for products or services and an effective development team in place to make sure your vision is fulfilled, do not negate QA testing procedures. They will make sure the ride is smooth along the way and your software turns out as expected or as your vision for it was from the outset.

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