A quality assurance (QA) engineer is someone who tests software products at all stages of development.
Before releasing the product to the public, they confirm that it fulfills stringent quality standards.
But how does one go about becoming a QA Engineer?
In this essay, I will discuss the requirements and procedures for becoming a QA engineer.
What does a QA engineer do?
Before the deployment of a product or application, a QA engineer manages the testing and quality management of software.
To find and detect defects and potential issues with new software, they plan and conduct testing at different phases of the development process.
They collaborate closely with the software development team on testing and documentation of the program before releasing it to the public.
The QA engineer must also guarantee that the program meets or exceeds company and regulatory requirements.
In addition to the above, here is what QA Engineers do:
- Create firm quality standards and guidelines for developers.
- Ensure that products meet these requirements.
- Put in place both human and automated test scripts.
- Investigate and identify potential solutions to software faults or problems.
- Follow up on issues to verify that the software development team makes any necessary changes to the product before releasing it to the client.
- Maintain thorough documentation and records for all test cases.
- Ensure that the entire development team adheres to all deadlines and schedules.
- Perform extensive security testing to ensure software and system security.
- Check that the finished items comply with all regulatory standards and market norms.
- Manage the program or application’s release and follow up on subsequent releases and adjustments.
The majority of QA engineers work in technology or finance, such as computer or electronic manufacturing, computer design firms, or software publishers.
How to become a QA engineer
Here are the stages to becoming a QA engineer:
1. Based on the intended field, determine which programming language to specialize in.
It is advised that QA engineers learn to code in an object-oriented language such as Java, C#, or Python.
Choose certain programming languages to learn based on your career goals, such as web development, software development, or embedded systems.
For instance, someone working in web quality assurance would need to know HTML, CSS, and JS.
2. Study coding and software development in college or at a coding boot camp.
A degree in a technical subject, such as computer science, information systems technology, or software engineering, would be an excellent starting point for a position as a QA engineer.
Educational requirements differ per employment, but a coding boot camp for the exact language you wish to study offers an alternative to a typical college degree.
These are highly specialized and fast-paced programs that typically span three to nine months, so if you already know what profession you want, this may be a viable option.
3. Apply for internships or contract jobs.
While you’re still in school, look for internships or contract work.
These positions add weight to your resume, and a temporary contract position can be a good opportunity to get into the profession and start creating a network of colleagues while still finishing your training.
4. Develop and refine technical skills
Because technology is a continually changing profession, it is critical to stay up-to-date on industry trends and breakthroughs.
Continue your professional development and skill development with self-study courses, many of which are available online.
5. Obtain a professional certificate
Professional certification may open up prospects for higher-paying jobs.
The Certified Software Quality Engineer (CSQE) credential from the American Society of Quality (ASQ) is an example of certification for a QA engineer position.
6. Create your technical CV and portfolio as a software engineer.
A technical resume, which is common in disciplines such as information technology, engineering, and computer science, details your technical experience and talents that are relevant to a professional opportunity.
For prospective employers, your portfolio emphasizes your professional efforts and successes, as well as your abilities and expertise.
This is essentially a website where you explain who you are, how to reach you and showcase the greatest examples of tasks you’ve performed.
7. Begin looking for work and prepare for a technical interview.
As you begin your job hunt, keep in mind that a technical interview is a complicated procedure.
Be prepared to exhibit competence in areas relating to your field of specialization in addition to preparing responses to typical interview questions.
QA engineer Qualifications
Organizations will have different requirements depending on the type of product being developed; however, here are some frequent requirements for QA engineers:
- Understanding and applying QA techniques
- Knowledge of testing and test planning using automation tools and scripts
- Capability to generate and execute test cases for software in development to check for flaws and problems.
- Capability to recognize and document any flaws or problems discovered during testing
- Understanding and applying Agile techniques may be required.
- Software development requires QA engineers to be proficient with programming languages.
QA engineers frequently utilize the following programming languages:
- Unix scripting
Skills required for a QA engineer
To be a successful QA engineer, you must have a wide range of skill sets. The following are some of the most crucial abilities to cultivate for this position:
Pay close attention to the details.
Searching for faults and software problems, then repairing them and attempting to recreate them to guarantee they are fixed, necessitates attention to detail and great observational abilities.
Throughout the procedure, meticulous record-keeping is required, which necessitates a high level of attention to detail.
Exceptional communication abilities are required in a variety of situations.
The QA engineer collaborates closely with the software development team to ensure that quality requirements are clear and that projects are completed on time.
They also act as a liaison between the developer team and the project manager, or end client.
Furthermore, the QA engineer must be able to explain technical concepts to non-technical people.
Written communication skills are also important because the QA engineer must be skilled at documentation and record-keeping.
To discover and repair design faults, a QA engineer must be able to employ extensive research skills to obtain information, examine, analyze, and understand the information.
Persistence and follow-through
Patience and perseverance are required because the role entails solving difficulties and finding solutions.
The quality assurance engineer must be solution-focused and persistent.
The QA engineer must adhere to stringent timelines while also ensuring that the entire team involved in the software development project adheres to all deadlines at all stages of the development process.
They will most likely be juggling many tasks and projects at the same time.
Problem-solving and critical thinking abilities
The QA engineer must be able to discover and track bugs and design issues, as well as verify that they are entirely resolved before the product is released.
Advanced analytical and critical thinking abilities are required.
QA Engineer Average Salary
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for a QA Engineer is $83,441.
In the United States, the average additional cash salary for a QA Engineer is in the range of $3,679–$6,867.
Do you need to learn to code to become a QA engineer?
Learning programming fundamentals can assist QA engineers in designing automated test suites to save time on manual testing and provide a deeper knowledge of software developers’ development processes.
Choose one language to learn to grasp the principles of programming.
Is a Computer Science degree required to work as a QA engineer?
Because many organizations still prefer a degree, having a Computer Science degree can help you locate your first quality assurance position.
That can be a viable alternative if you have the time and money to pursue it.
Other choices include attending a boot camp or teaching yourself using internet tools.
Please read through this helpful resource before considering a boot camp.
Is it possible to work as a QA engineer without a degree?
By enrolling in a coding boot camp, you can become a QA engineer without a degree.
It’s important to know that many organizations may require at least an associate degree, such as an Associate of Applied Science in Quality Technology.
QA Engineers protect software quality by ensuring that the apps we use are defect-free and fulfill the appropriate requirements.
Their duties include test planning, execution, fault reporting, and much more.
Analytical skills, programming expertise, attention to detail, and excellent communication are required for QA Engineers to flourish in this field.
Shift-left testing, test automation, AI integration, and collaboration with DevOps teams are all exciting potentials for the future of QA engineering.
QA Engineers, in my opinion, are the unsung heroes of software development, and their position is critical in providing high-quality software to end users.
As the software business evolves, QA Engineers will play an important part in molding its future.