Career Development

What Does a QA Engineer Do?

Find out what a QA engineer does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a QA engineer.

Quality assurance (QA) engineers are responsible for ensuring that the products and services produced by their companies meet a certain standard of quality. They commonly work with other engineers, designers, and technicians to identify problems, create solutions, and test new designs or features before they’re released to the public.

Quality assurance engineers may also be tasked with auditing existing systems to ensure that they’re working properly. This can include reviewing documentation, conducting interviews, and performing tests on equipment or software.

QA Engineer Job Duties

A QA engineer typically has a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Communicating with management regarding progress on projects or issues that may require their attention
  • Developing automated testing tools for standard operating procedures to ensure that they are followed consistently over time
  • Working with programmers to develop new software features and fixing bugs in existing programs
  • Evaluating the effectiveness of existing quality assurance programs and recommending changes where necessary
  • Identifying and documenting problems with products or processes in order to recommend solutions for improvement
  • Conducting manual testing of new products or product updates to ensure that they meet all design specifications
  • Reviewing code written by programmers to ensure that it is written correctly and meets standards for quality, such as code readability and efficiency
  • Creating test plans, test cases, scripts, or other procedures to automate manual testing activities or to provide a foundation for automated testing
  • Analyzing data collected during testing, identifying patterns, and recommending changes to improve the product

QA Engineer Salary & Outlook

The salary of a QA engineer can vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the size and industry of the company. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $86,500 ($41.59/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $163,000 ($78.37/hour)

The employment of quality assurance engineers is expected to grow faster than average over the next decade.

Demand for quality assurance engineers will stem from the need to ensure that products and services are safe, reliable, and efficient. Quality assurance engineers will be needed to ensure that new products and processes meet quality standards.

QA Engineer Job Requirements

A quality assurance engineer typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Employers typically require a bachelor’s degree in computer science, information technology, software engineering or a related field. Some employers may hire candidates with a related master’s degree, such as a Master of Business Administration (MBA).

Training & Experience: Most QA engineers will receive on-the-job training when they start a new position. This training will familiarize the QA engineer with the company’s specific procedures and standards. It will also help the QA engineer learn the software and computer systems they will need to use on a daily basis.

Certifications & Licenses: Professional certifications allow you to prove your skills and qualifications to current and potential employers. AQA engineers can earn certifications to gain more theoretical knowledge of their responsibilities, test their skills and further advance their career.

QA Engineer Skills

QA engineers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Communication: Communication is the ability to convey information to others in a clear and understandable way. As a QA engineer, you may be required to communicate with clients, other engineers and other professionals. Effective communication can help you to convey your ideas and suggestions, answer questions and resolve issues.

Critical thinking: Critical thinking is the ability to analyze a situation and make a decision based on the information you have. As a QA engineer, critical thinking is an important skill to have when testing software. For example, if a program crashes during a test, a QA engineer with critical thinking skills can determine if the program is safe to use and if it’s a software issue or a user error.

Problem-solving: Problem-solving skills allow you to identify issues, develop solutions and implement them. As a QA engineer, you may be responsible for finding bugs in software and developing solutions to fix them. This requires you to be able to identify the problem, create a solution and test it to ensure it works.

Attention to detail: Attention to detail is the ability to notice small changes and variations in data, processes or procedures. As a QA engineer, attention to detail is an important skill to have when reviewing test results, evaluating software and ensuring that a product meets quality standards.

Project management: Project management skills allow you to oversee the various aspects of a project, including planning, scheduling and budgeting. As a QA engineer, you may be responsible for managing a project from start to finish. This can include creating a project plan, assigning tasks to team members and monitoring the project’s progress.

QA Engineer Work Environment

QA engineers work in a variety of environments, including office settings, manufacturing plants, and warehouses. They may work in teams or individually, depending on the size of the company and the scope of the project. QA engineers typically work regular business hours, but they may be required to work overtime to meet deadlines or to solve problems that arise during production. QA engineers may also travel to different locations to conduct audits or to provide training on quality assurance procedures.

QA Engineer Trends

Here are three trends influencing how QA engineers work. QA engineers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Need for More Technical Talent

The need for more technical talent is a trend that is being felt across all industries, as businesses are increasingly relying on technology to run their operations. This has led to an increased demand for QA engineers who have the skills and experience necessary to test and verify the functionality of software products.

As businesses look for ways to improve their efficiency and reduce costs, they will turn to QA engineers to help them ensure that their products are working properly. In order to be successful in this field, QA engineers will need to be well-versed in both software testing and development.

More Focus on Agile Methodologies

Agile methodologies are becoming increasingly popular in the business world as companies strive to become more nimble and responsive to changes in the market. This shift is leading to an increased focus on agile methodologies within QA teams, as they are seen as key to success in this new environment.

QA engineers who are able to adapt to agile methodologies will be in high demand, as they will be able to quickly identify and address issues before they become too big to handle. They will also be able to work more closely with other members of the team, such as product managers and developers, in order to create a more cohesive and efficient workflow.

Greater Attention to Security

As businesses become more reliant on technology, the need for security becomes increasingly important. This is especially true for companies that deal with sensitive data, such as banks and healthcare providers.

QA engineers can play a critical role in ensuring that the products they are working on are secure. By testing for vulnerabilities and finding ways to prevent them from happening, QA engineers can help to protect the data of millions of people around the world.

How to Become a QA Engineer

A career as a QA engineer can be both rewarding and lucrative. It’s important to start off on the right foot, so make sure you have the necessary skills and experience before applying for jobs.

One of the best ways to get started is by volunteering your time to help test new products or services. This will give you valuable experience in the field and allow you to network with other professionals. You should also take advantage of online courses and training programs that can help you develop your skills.

Related: How to Write a QA Engineer Resume

Advancement Prospects

QA engineers typically start out in entry-level positions and work their way up the ladder as they gain experience. With time and experience, they may advance to senior positions such as QA manager or director. In some cases, they may also move into other related fields such as software development or project management.

QA Engineer Job Description Example

At [CompanyX], we are looking for a QA Engineer to join our team. As a QA Engineer, you will be responsible for developing and executing test plans to ensure the quality of our products. You will also be responsible for writing and maintaining test automation scripts. In addition, you will be responsible for working with the development team to triage and fix defects. The ideal candidate will have experience with both manual and automated testing. He or she will also have experience with both white box and black box testing. Finally, the ideal candidate will be able to work independently and be able to take ownership of his or her projects.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Understand testing requirements, design test plans and cases, and execute manual and automated tests
  • Analyze test results, report defects, and work with developers to resolve issues
  • Assist in the development and maintenance of internal tools and processes
  • Participate in code reviews and walkthroughs to ensure quality standards are met
  • Understand the product roadmap and help prioritize testing efforts
  • Help improve the overall quality of the products we release
  • Work closely with other teams such as Customer Support, Sales, and Marketing to ensure customer satisfaction
  • Maintain up-to-date knowledge of industry trends and new testing technologies
  • Train and mentor less experienced team members
  • Handle multiple projects simultaneously and adjust on-the-fly as priorities change
  • Be proactive in identifying areas for improvement and making recommendations
  • Take ownership of assigned tasks and see them through to completion

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in computer science, engineering, or related field
  • 3+ years experience in software quality assurance
  • Working knowledge of test management tools, such as Jira, Quality Center, or TestRail
  • Experience with both manual and automated testing methods
  • Ability to create detailed, comprehensive, and well-structured test plans and test cases
  • Solid understanding of the software development process and agile methodology
  • Excellent communication, problem-solving, and analytical skills

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Experience with performance and load testing tools, such as JMeter or LoadRunner
  • Experience with mobile testing tools and devices
  • Knowledge of SQL and database concepts
  • Scripting experience with languages such as Perl, Python, or Ruby

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