When it comes to creating software for the client’s business or for internal company use, software development companies follow some specific processes that come under the software development lifecycle (SDLC) and quality assurance is one of the most important factors in this process. Making the software go through proper quality standards offers customer satisfaction. For this, the engineer needs a wide range of skills and technical expertise as the QA testers will have to collaborate with the software developers to create high-quality products. This is why software testing services providers prefer to hire individuals that have excellent quality assurance skills and experience in testing.
To know more about it and see what skills QA experts require to be hired by top software development companies and to offer projects with industry standards and requirements. Let’s go through this blog.
2. Emerging Quality Assurance Skills for Tester
Some of the major quality assurance skills that every tester must focus on –
2.1 Ability to Understand, Interpret, and Communicate with Data
Nowadays, there are many different technologies that influence quality assurance and all of them have one thing in common which is data. It is so because without data there is nothing to check or protect over the internet. For instance, Blockchain, a large and decentralized technology is a ledge of data, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning technologies gather and interpret the data, IoT collects real-time data throughout product manufacturing processes, and more. Basically, data is everywhere and quality assurance is highly influenced by it.
Basically, when it comes to quality assurance, though data and statistics play an important role. Incorporating one or all modern technologies into the firm’s quality assurance processes can increase the amount of data collected in the production and transportation process.
Therefore, the quality assurance professionals who demonstrate an ability to understand and interpret the data have an advantage over the other. Those testers who are capable of taking data, handling it, and using it to communicate with non-data-focused individuals are highly in demand, so every quality assurance professional must have this data collection, management, and communication skills.
2.2 Increased Project Management Skills
While implementing the quality assurance processes and protocols at the early stage of the project, the most important skills required are project management skills. The reason behind it is that project management impacts QA when a company makes major changes to its working processes, such as incorporating complex and modern technologies. Basically, implementing any of the technologies can impact the work that is done by the quality assurance teams. Therefore, incorporating technologies into the supply chain will require a proper understanding of both the project management and QA process using modern technologies.
Seeing this, it is essential that every tester or quality assurance manager takes out time to build up the skills that are required for project management using the latest techniques. For this, the tester might have to either take a certification course or simply work more on the projects.
2.3 Domain Expertise
Quality assurance focuses on offering a highly secured platform to the end-users. Quality assurance professionals need to have a proper understanding of the technical processes of the company they are working for. So that they can help the firm determine whether their products are up to satisfactory standards or not. If there is any issue with the product, the quality assurance process will pinpoint where the issue is.
For this, even modern technologies like RFID trackers and IoT sensors are used to automate the quality assurance process. This can eventually help in increasing the job security of quality assurance experts by developing specific industry expertise.
Basically, any professionals playing quality assurance roles must have a proper understanding of each and every step of the supply chain/manufacturing process, they must proactively resolve problems, quality assurance team members must be able to identify weaknesses, and more. This means that the quality assurance team must be able to offer their expertise in a particular domain that the organization has its system in and should be able to offer the best services. The testers must be able to offer strategic insights about the product and discuss it with the manufacturing sector of the organization to deliver the product as per the requirements.
2.4 Time Management
For any QA tester, organizational and planning skills go hand in hand. The testers must be able to meet realistic deadlines consistently. Their priority should be planning the project and managing it perfectly. For this, they must have proper skills that enable them in keeping the project at the top priority and if any bug comes up, the team can work together to resolve it. For all these things, being organized is the most important skill for the testing team.
2.5 Technical Skills
Being a quality assurance engineer, having technical skills is a must. For this, the tester must thoroughly understand the software that they are working on, the programming languages used while creating that software, tools & techniques used for the software development, and more. Having a proper understanding of all these things can give the testing team members a proper idea of the software and then they can work on the software. Besides this, some of the top technical skills that every quality assurance engineer must have are –
- Knowledge of various software application types such as Windows-based apps, Web Services, Mobile Apps, and more.
- Ability to code automated tests by the use of one or more automation tools like Katalone, UFT/QTP, Microsoft Coded UI, Cucumber, Ruby, Watir, Selenium, and more.
- Capability to work with various QA/Testing technologies and tools like SOAP UI, Azure DevOps or TFS, JIRA, HP ALM, and more.
- Ability to make test plans, understand SQL Scripts, and write SQL to work with different types of databases.
- Create procedures and safety standards to determine product quality.
- Find out bugs in the software, drive innovation, and streamline the software development testing process.
- Quality assurance engineers must have experience with Agile development processes and Web-based testing applications.
- The testers must be able to identify, isolate, and track issues or bugs with the help of either manual testing or automated testing.
- They must be able to research and analyze the features of the products they are testing.
- The quality assurance team must review the User Interface of the software for functionality and consistency.
- They must come up with new research tools, testing processes, and technologies to work with.
- Having a solid understanding of QA app testing environments and software development life cycles is a must for any tester.
2.6 Analytical Skills
Having strong analytical skills is one of the most essential things for QA engineers. They must be able to analyze each and every functionality of the system or product they are working for. The testers must identify any potential weaknesses that might affect the quality of the product and eventually impact the user’s response to it. The QA engineer should also have the capability to spot the product’s strengths so that they can guide the software development team accordingly.
2.7 Bring the Required Education
As seen before, any software QA engineer requires technical knowledge. This means that the engineer must have a designated QA technical background which can be education and some work experience. For being a qualified QA engineer, one needs to have some kind of basic education and knowledge about the technologies, tools, and techniques used in testing the software. Freshers don’t have to maintain the highest quality standards while testing any software but for experienced QA personnel, following proper rules and quality management is a must.
While the testers are checking the product and its quality, they must evaluate the user experience by keeping themselves in the users’ shoes. They must be able to analyze what a user must require, how they would respond to any particular feature, and what type of issues might affect the quality of the product and its user experience. For this, the tester needs to have empathy for the consumer and they must be able to fully test the product and its usability by being empathetic.
Quality assurance engineers must have a problem-solving attitude and the right skills to keep that attitude intact while testing any software solution. This helps the tester to find solutions for all the issues and bugs the software is having and enables it to reach the required quality standards. And for this, QA engineers need to have a skill set that is a combination of creativity, critical thinking, and logic.
2.10 Ability to Manage Multiple Priorities
There are many software development companies that are operating with more automation and fewer people. And this is why the QA team members must be able to balance all the tasks and manage them effectively.
3. How to Improve Your Quality Assurance Skills
3.1 Stay Focused
Ensure that your mind is focused on your work, and you are more likely to satisfy the required quality standards.
3.2 Schedule Time for Checks
Sometimes you neglect proper tests and checks if you have limited time. Make sure to perform effective checks and software tests even if you have restricted deadlines.
3.3 Time Management
Make sure to manage your time to adequately complete all your tasks to the desired quality standard, then confirm they yield with specifications. It also lessens your stress and allows you to focus on completing your duties with a clear head without affecting the work quality.
3.4 Knowledge of Quality Standards
Another important skill to have is knowing quality standards for quality assurance. Employees must work within the standards set by their company to meet quality expectations.
3.5 Attention to Every Detail
Ensure that you’re not missing out on any detail and complete all your tasks to achieve the business’ specifications. Getting every minor detail can stop major problems from occurring and prevents tasks from needing to be redone to meet requirements later.
3.6 Domain Expertise
Experts working in QA need at least a basic understanding of the technical processes of their business as it helps them to determine whether a product is up to the standard or not. If you know the fundamentals of the domain, you can easily demonstrate the value you offer to the organization, but in the strategic insights that you bring to the discussion.
4. Responsibilities of Quality Assurance Professionals
The responsibilities of QA professionals are mentioned below:
- Make sure to check the software quality through regular testing and auditing
- Implementing, drafting, and interpreting QA standards and procedures for the organization
- Creating training processes for each individual who interacts with the product
- Assessing existing and new regulations to check the QA protocols fulfill requirements
- Ensuring risk management and ongoing compliance across the organization
- Identifying areas along with the supply chain that can be addressed to enhance the quality of the product and provide more safety
As seen in this blog, having the right set of skills as a quality assurance engineer can be a foundation for building a strong team of testers in any software development company. The right skills enable the quality assurance department of any company to create robust quality control processes. It also helps in improving the organization’s work for quality management and resolving customer complaints.