Top 10 Skills to Look for in a QA Engineer

A One-to-One Relationship

Quality assurance goes hand-in-hand with development itself as one of the most critical processes in the software development lifecycle (SDLC). And not just anyone can be a QA tester. This role requires a wide range of skills and technical know-how. That’s why at BairesDev, we hire only the top 1% of QA engineers, who collaborate with the software developers to build high-quality products.

But aside from experience in and knowledge of testing, what skills do these experts need to have to ensure that your project meets your standards and requirements? Here are 13 of the most important.

Transparency and Communication

Communication

QA engineers are tasked with identifying issues and collaborating with the developers to resolve them. This means they must be able to clearly present and document the problems, explaining them soother team members understand what they need to do to fix them. 

They must also be able to communicate with non-technical professionals, such as the project owner, in order to keep the project moving forward.

Curiosity

This job encompasses far more than just spotting bugs. Testers also assess aspects of the product such as user experience and performance. In order to do so competently, a QA engineer should have the curiosity to delve into a system and evaluate different features of the product. They will also ask questions and clarify requirements, as well as client expectations.

Critical Thinking

QA engineers need to think beyond the obvious to find bugs and detect issues. This requires them to think critically about scenarios and test cases, often experimenting to find the ones that best suit the product at hand. They also need to employ different mindsets to determine how various test cases will play out and how users might respond to different product features.

Discipline

Testing is rigorous and painstaking work. QA professionals need to be able to exercise discipline, working quickly and carefully on their given tasks. Part of being disciplined means being organized and efficient when executing projects, such that everything is done in a streamlined and productive manner.

Accuracy

These professionals have quality in their titles for a reason. Precision is essential for the role. While it’s impossible to completely guarantee the absence of bugs in a product, a QA engineer must be able to thoroughly vet the software to spot as many defects as is humanly possible. Automation can help, but the specialists themselves must produce accurate results.

Flexibility

Testing approaches will change and vary depending on the specific project and product you’re looking to create. QA engineers need to have the flexibility and willingness to try different methods to test software. Even when testers start with one plan, they might need to pivot at a moment’s notice to accommodate new features and plans. Moreover, they need to constantly keep up with changes and new technologies in the field.

Empathy

In order to evaluate the user experience, testers must be able to put themselves in the users’ shoes. They must be able to consider what users will respond to and what might affect the quality of their experience with the software. This requires the tester’s empathy – they must empathize with the needs of the consumer to fully test the product for usability.

Coding

While it’s not essential for a QA tester to be a master engineer — that’s why the developer and tester’s roles are separate — it can be useful to understand the basics of common languages. This will help with many tasks, such as scripting automated tests. It will also allow the QA engineers and software developers to communicate about the product more productively.

Time Management

Software development requires a quick turnaround to increase the product’s time to market. This means every member of the team must work speedily and diligently at the same time. QA testers have a particularly demanding job: they must assess the product thoroughly without holding up the timeline. This requires honed time management skills.

Analytical

Strong analytical skills are absolutely central to the QA engineer’s role. They need to be able to analyze every aspect of a product and system, identifying any potential weaknesses that could impact the overall quality and user’s response to it. The engineer should also be able to spot the product’s strengths, so the development team can capitalize on them.

Bonus Round!

We are not done! Here are three more skills you might want to keep in mind:

  • 1

    Collaboration

    No matter what method you're using, collaboration is an integral facet of the software development process. The QA engineer works closely with every member of the development team to build a product that is functional, high-performing, and user-friendly. These professionals must work alongside one another, listening to the advice and expertise of their teammates. This is especially true if your team follows Agile and DevOps approaches. These methodologies are created around the idea of collaboration — which makes it central to the development cycle.

  • Top 10 Skills to Look for in a QA Engineer 5

    Attention to Detail

    QA engineers must have flawless attention to detail. As we’ve discussed, it’s impossible to guarantee the absence of bugs, but testers need to be able to spot as many as possible. They need the ability to see any minute defect that could derail the entire product and ultimately affect your business.

  • Top 10 Skills to Look for in a QA Engineer 6

    Experience

    QA testers should be well-versed in different testing methodologies and know when to use each one. They should also know when different types of tests are called for, as well as when to automate or perform the tasks manually. This generally requires hands-on experience that comes from practice. While talented newbies might be able to learn quickly, for the most part, seasoned testers are preferred.

At BairesDev, our QA engineers have these skills and more. Working as separate teams alongside one another, the testers and developers build a quality product that will meet and exceed your expectations. Wondering what we can do for you? Contact us today to find out how we can integrate with your own development team or work independently to bring your project to fruition.

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