Let’s be honest, Quality Assurance (QA) is not the most glamorous of careers. QA is the type of field that does not get a lot of attention until something is broken. QA Engineers know they are doing their jobs well – and can quietly raise a fist of success – when releases are quiet. There is great benefit to utilizing a QA team, but what exactly makes a good QA Engineer? What are good qualities to look for in a professional working in Quality Assurance? Let’s take a look.
It makes sense that if someone is testing an application then they should have some understanding of development workflows, frameworks, and methodologies. Most QA professionals have some kind of background in development. If a project has any kind of test automation then the need for development experience becomes even more important. The more experience QA has in development, the better they are at creating powerful automation infrastructures that are scalable, easily-maintained, and approachable for other teams.
Knows The Team
This experience also aids in communication efforts between QA, Product, and Development when bugs pop up in an application. A QA team is usually strategically placed in the middle of the product and dev teams. There is a lot of cross-communication and interaction between team members so being willing to reach out outside of the QA team is important. Everyone has their own communication and work styles, so it’s incredibly helpful if testers know how to work with those styles – making communication efforts easier.
Every team can benefit from readily sharing knowledge. This is just as applicable for QA professionals. Because of the amount of time testers spend with a product and its features, testers provide a unique perspective. This is especially true if testers also interact with clients. They can share insights on a feature if it doesn’t seem intuitive as they are testing. They can also share their expertise for any existing automation. With this, receiving knowledge is just as important as sharing. A good tester should be able to take advice from other team members (and other teams) and apply what they can to their own projects.
Improvement Over Perfection
Good QA teams know the value of efficiency. There is always room for improvement and testers should be able to pick areas that need improvement in their projects and implement solutions – even if incremental. Focusing on perfection can limit the work your team accomplishes and create bottlenecks for a release process. QA Engineers should be able to steadily improve areas that are weak and less than efficient while still able to meet timelines for current work. This can be beneficial for both manual testing and automation projects.
Priorities constantly change so testers should be flexible in handling that. The QA team works with a lot of different environments, development stages, and types of testing. On any given day, testers can switch back and forth between multiple priorities. The trick is managing time well and supporting development and business teams with what they need.
These qualities could apply to most careers, but they are just as important for Quality Assurance. Certifications and more formal types of education are great, but there are other factors worth considering when building an excellent QA team. Ultimately, the best engineer for any team should be a fit for a company’s culture and areas of expertise.
What are some qualities you’ve found in great QA Engineers? Let us know!