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QA: is it really as easy as it seems?

December 03, 2020
7 min to read
QA: is it really as easy as it seems?

Welcome our QA Team Lead - Olga Mitievska!
She has over 4 years of experience in QA and today she will answer a few questions about her job.

What is QA, and what is the difference between QA Manual and QA Automation?

Quality assurance is a set of planned and systematic activities designed to provide confidence that quality requirements will be met. Thus, a QA engineer is the one who checks and identifies inconsistencies between the requirements for the system and the system itself.

Difference between QA Manual and QA Automation

Both specialists are responsible for the quality of the product, while QA Manual is responsible for finding errors in the product manually, and QA Automation makes this manual activity automated.

Most frequently, manual application testing is a laborious and time-consuming process. Without being combined with automated testing, this type of check can only be used on small, short-term projects.

Manual testing is a direct interaction between the QA engineer and the application. In this process, you can get feedback about the product, which is impossible if you use automated testing.

In addition, the tester will be able to make his own feedback and recommendations for improving the software, and testing will be the evidence from comparing the expected and actual results.

Is QA really the easiest way in IT?

Even at the start of a QA career, you need basic knowledge and understanding of what testing is, what it is needed for, etc. In the course of training and work, the tester develops various technical skills. A novice tester cannot do without logical and variable thinking, curiosity, criticality, and attention to detail.

What knowledge is needed to become a successful QA Engineer?

  • Understanding of testing types;
  • Knowledge about bug tracker;
  • Possession of test design techniques and understanding which technique to use for each task;
  • Basic understanding of the iOS and Android guidelines;
  • Experience in at least one of the OS;
  • Understanding of the principles of client-server interaction;
  • Ability to work with IDE (Xcode/Android Studio);
  • Knowledge how to deal with Postman;
  • Distinguishing of cross-platform applications from native ones;
  • HTTP;
  • API.

In addition, QA Automation should know:

  • Test frameworks;
  • Drivers and add-ons for test automation;
  • Results reporting systems Autotest;
  • Version control systems;
  • Continuous Integration Systems (CI/CD).

It will be a huge plus if you:

  • Know how to organize load testing using Apache jMeter;
  • Are skillful in conducting security testing for mobile or web applications.

What does a tester's working day look like? What role does the team interaction play in the development process?

Tasks and processes can be in a different sequence. It all depends on the project, the customer's desires, and methodology, but my working day often goes in a following way:

  • Analysis of tasks and their prioritization;
  • Selection of a task to work on;
  • Acquaintance with the documentation: if there are any questions here, the QA should clarify the requirements from the developers/BA/PM;
  • Description of test cases: it usually constitutes a part of testing;
  • Deliberate work on cases: it includes reporting test results, bug reporting, and closing the task.
  • Participating in the meetings with the team.

The tester interacts with all team members who can influence the fate of the product being developed. These can be Project Manager, Product Owner, Business Analyst, Front-End Developer, Back-End Developer, Markup Developer, or Designer.

Are programming languages ​​needed in QA?

This is always a huge benefit if QA knows a programming language, which at least improves the understanding of software development processes. Also, this knowledge would be helpful to realize what human mistakes can be made, expand the horizons of testing, and speed up the routine testing process.

What are the prospects for the QA direction, and can you move from QA to another area?

In addition to vertical growth in positions from Trainee QA Manual to Tech Lead/QA Lead/Senior Automation, there is horizontal development and deepening in the General/Lead QA Engineer/Security QA Engineer directions.

Furthermore, a tester can change his specialty to Business Analyst, Business Intelligence, Front-End Developer, Back-End Developer, Markup Developer, Project Manager, Product Owner, or other desired options.