QA stands for ‘Quality Assurance’. And just like its name suggests, a QA engineer is responsible for maintaining the highest form of quality of a product. They are an integral part of the product quality team.
Quality Assurance engineers are more prominent in the IT industry. In fact, World Quality Report says that 25% of the fund of the production budget goes to quality assurance.
Because of the increasing demand for QA engineers, it is one of the most promising career choices. But what does the path of a QA engineer look like? In this article, we will have a detailed overview of the responsibilities of a QA engineer and a guideline for beginners to become the best QA engineer.
What Being a QA Engineer Means
Let’s understand with an example- A company is about to introduce new software in the market. The buyers will use the software for months or preferably years. The user of the software cares whether the software is running perfectly or not. This is where your role as a QA engineer comes into play. Your job is to make sure that the software runs perfectly i.e. is the software has no bugs.
After the initial development of the software, it still stays at a very basic level. The software may crash or face other problems. You will overlook the whole process to fix that. Your team will identify what the problems are, make a detailed plan to solve those, and finally carry out the process.
Responsibility of a QA Engineer
A QA engineer is directly related to the technical aspects of the software. Their functions cover a very wide area of the software development role. Such as:
- They oversee the whole process i.e. from the start of an idea to the completion of the software.
- A QA engineer is also called a QA specialist. They deal with the product from the customer’s POV.
- They run vulnerability tests of the software and code automated tests.
- They also oversee debugging, main database usage and backup, detect potential security breaches.
- Predict customer feedback.
In short, the QA engineer ensures that the product is released in the best possible version.
Who Hire QA Engineers?
The increment of the number of software has created the urgent requirement of QA engineers in industries. The IT industry is the most noteworthy in this case. A competitive market allows customers to have adequate options. And this is exactly why modern companies are very serious about maintaining optimum user experience.
IT companies, both local and global, are always interested in hiring the best QA engineers. They are also hired in FinTech, IT, Data Analysis, Hardware companies.
Some of the examples would be:
- Oracle Corporations
- Fidelity Investments
- Microsoft, etc.
Because of the growth of the IT sector, almost all the countries require QA engineers in their local companies.
What Employers Look for in a QA Engineer
Before you choose your career in this industry, it is important you know what employers look for in a QA engineer. So let’s take a look at what the basic requirements are:
- Skilled in Windows, LINUX, and WINUX operating systems.
- Skilled in Automation Testing Life Cycle (ATLC).
- Experience with programming languages such as Java, Python, Ruby, HTML5, CSS, C+, and C++.
- Determining quality guidelines to decide on the ideal quality standard of the company.
- Conduct routine security and debugging tests.`1`
- Experience with black and white testing.
- Skilled in Docker, Jenkins, and Terraform.
- Adept in SQL or Oracle for database management
- Skilled in API integration and automated testing tools like Jmeter, Jest, etc.
- Designing and Implementing frameworks for GUI and non-GUI interfaces.
These are the general technical skills that employers expect from a QA engineer. Of course, the requirements vary according to posts.
How to Become a QA Engineer
Formal educational certificates i.e. Bachelors in Science or other equivalents definitely helps. However, going through QA engineer training and courses will also give some technical skill sets.
Let’s take a look at the ideal way you can become a QA engineer.
Step-1: Acquire Some Technical Skills.
The fundamental requirement of being a QA engineer is to deal with technical issues. By taking QA training course in New York City you can be skilled technically. This requires you to have speciality in some specific fields. Let’s see what those might be:
- Programming Language: The language you’ll learn depends on the field you want to work in. For example, QA engineer-related jobs require you to know Java, C+, whereas web-based jobs expect you to know HTML, CSS, and JS.
- Agile Methodology: Software development and its management has come a long way. Its latest version is found in agile methodology. It is a form of process that helps you get continuous development through software testing. There are some concepts that you should have an idea of: Kanban, Scrum, Retrospective, and Daily Stand Up.
- Manual Testing Concepts: As a QA tester engineer, you must routinely carry out tests to ensure that the software is bug-free. To do this, you must have a basic concept of testing. This includes testing lifecycle, types of testing, defect cycle, and testing software.
- Operating Systems: The softwares you’ll create may need to operate in multiple operating systems. So you should have a comprehensive idea of various operating systems. These include Microsoft Windows, Linux, Winux, Android, and IOS.
- Database Language: You may have to maintain databases as a QA engineer. So knowing languages like Oracle, SQL, and MYSQL is a must.
Step-2: Learn Coding or Software Development by Pursuing a Bachelors’ Degree or Specific QA Training Courses near you.
The easiest way to be a QA engineer is to do an undergraduate in Computer science, software engineering, or other equivalent subjects.
Most organizations expect an undergraduate for credibility. However, there are many exceptions to this. Some may just want you to know a particular language. In that case, you can simply learn a language through coding Bootcamp or by enrolling in QA engineer courses in New York.
Step-3: Build a Convincing Portfolio.
Having a portfolio works as samples to showcase to your clients. It will not only help you land contractual jobs as a QA engineer but also get full-day jobs in reputable IT companies. Building a portfolio is also directly related to having an impressive resume. It will give you good bargaining leverage that you can capitalize on to ask for a higher salary or payment.
Step-4: Create a Good Resume and Prepare for an Interview.
The employers allow you to sit for an interview by judging your resume. So it is mandatory that your resume becomes comprehensive.
Next is preparing for an interview. Many people fail in this stage because of their inexperience with dealing with interviews. So you should specially prepare for the interview. Revise the technical and theoretical knowledge you have. And don’t forget to highlight your work experiences and expertise in both resume and interview. Make sure you are giving them a reason to choose you!
Step-5: Complete Internships or Apply for Contractual Positions.
Internships are a good place to start if you are a beginner. You will not only hone your already learned technical skills but also come across new ones. It will be a learning process while earning a few bucks.
Contractual positions are also an alternative to full-day jobs. Here you will sign up for a company for a specific time period and work on a particular project. This will also help you build a portfolio.
Step-6: Apply for Jobs
Now that all the other processes are done, it’s time for you to apply for entry-level QA engineer & tester jobs. Finding a job can look tedious at first. But building a good resume and having an impressive portfolio will help you land one very easily.
This is also the time you should think about the industry you see yourself in.
Step-7: Keep Honing the Skills
Don’t grow complacent after getting into a new job. Focus on getting better and learning new QA engineering skills. This will help you to leave your current job for better opportunities in the future. You may also work on big projects that have a huge impact on the IT industry.
Skills you Need to Have as a QA Engineer
Having a formal education and certificate is not enough to succeed in the formal world. Let’s take a look at the essential skills you should harbor.
Strong Analytical Skills
This is the primary yet most important skill of a QA engineer. You have to be proactive in your observation and thinking. Most of the job is to find out mistakes or probable difficulties where others cannot. This is why you should actively work on being more objective in your judgments.
You must also have the ability to imagine circumstances from the perspective of the users.
Since most of the work is problem-solving, you may find yourself in new situations in your job. This requires adaptability from your side. You must quickly make decisions to solve immediate difficulties. Having an open mind and a careful approach to mistakes will allow you to excel in your work.
Much of your job is to coordinate between the software development team and the clients. You also work as a liaison in this case. And this is exactly why it’s imperative you know how to communicate well and get your point across.
While many of the IT jobs require you to work alone, QA engineer is on the opposite side of the spectrum in this case. The work of a QA engineer inherently requires him or her to work in a team. You will run routine tests, solve major problems which require a team. This is exactly why you must learn to function as a team. Even though you may be an exceptionally talented QA engineer, not being able to work as a team will not take you very far in this profession.
A QA engineer must maintain strong deadlines. He or she will also have to work under strict time constraints. Being lazy in this job will surely make you fall behind in the race. In fact, you may have to constantly multitask in this profession.
The job of a QA engineer is exciting and challenging. The increasing demand for QA engineers makes this profession very prospective. However, one must be dedicated to going forward in this competitive industry. By taking a QA training course in New York one can improve his/her skills. Following this guide will help you get your dream job.