Quality has been an important factor in organizational performance from the time of the industrial revolution. Contiguous to this statement, we have a rational reason to believe that the situation was the same even before the beginning of the industrial revolution. And these days, Quality has been such an integral segment of the business, that, a separate division is established to ensure the consistency of products and services. And this division is known as the Quality Management Division.
Quality Management is quite a study in itself. It comprises four main components, namely: Quality Planning, Quality Control, Quality Assurance, and Quality Improvement.
In this article, we'll be looking into Quality Assurance, conveniently abbreviated as QA and we'll be focusing mostly on the Quality Assurance personnel. We'll be taking a look at what they do? What are the roles of QA Engineers? Ideal career path to becoming a QA Engineer, the tools used by the personnel these occupations, and the scope of QA career in Nepal.
Table of content:
- QA Introduction
- The roles of QA Engineer
- Why choose QA Career?
- QA Engineer Career path
- The future of QA Engineers
- Tools used by QA Engineers
- The scope of QA Career in Nepal
Quality Assurance Engineer is someone who uses a standard metric system or a set of methodologies and processes to measures and ensures the consistency and quality of the final product. This involves detecting the defects and flaws and conducting a thorough check of whether the end product is functional according to the specification.
To guarantee the success of the test, the product is tested to last under repeated use, be able to handle the stressful condition, and made sure they are usable within the limit.
Knowledge of QA is useful in every aspect of product development including the manufacturing as well as IT and Software development field. These roles are given many names such as many roles, all to ensure quality and reputation
The Roles of a Quality Assurance Engineer
Quality Control and Quality Assurance, though used interchangeably, are different in what they represent. Quality Control involves verifying defective products and Quality Assurance makes sure the end product is ideal to the finest margin. The difference is small nonetheless, both are concerned with improving the quality of the product. And in this article, we'll be using them as the same entity.
We also need to understand, Software testers are not QA engineers. Software testers only test the application between various stages of the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC) while QA engineers oversee the entire project.
QA Engineers can take various forms depending on the organization's requirements. You need to make sure that you are comfortable with the tools that a particular organization is using. Here is the most common responsibility of the QA Engineer.
Document the test and automation process
The tests process QA engineer propose and implement should be correctly documented. This is imperative so that the entire team involved in the project is notified with the tools used and the appropriate manual is provided.
Use the automation frameworks
Different frameworks such as the white box testing, black-box testing, and regression testing, agile testing, etc are used to automate and standardize the project.
Clarify requirements and specification
Quality Assurance Engineers list out the requirements of the project and the specification to reach. They consult with the client to gather this information and plan and divide tasks among the team members.
People coordination, communication
Managing people and providing them a guideline to follow maintains consistency across the entire project. For this to make possible, a QA is responsible for coordinating team members and communicate the objective and the standards of the project.
Plan and control test process
QA Engineers also need to plan the process of the test they are implementing and take measures to control to ensure these tests are implemented in a defined manner. Planning in the early stages of the development process can save from possible catastrophes and give the team a deadline or a course of timeline they can follow and keep themselves on track. This, in turn, makes the project, driven and goal-oriented.
Continuous improvement of test
The tests need to be improved as the project's requirements change as well as when a new technology emerges. To be prepared for these kinds of events, QA engineers should focus on decoupling and making their test processes module based.
Set Quality Metrics
A metric to gauge the quality of a standard needs to be established. This is helpful for the human resources working in the project to test by themselves whether they are performing above the par.
Employ Full Set of Testing
Testing methodologies such as Function Testing, Security Testing, Stress / Load / Performance Testing, are important roles of QA Engineer. Therefore a course in QA eng is a must. These course will teach you about black box testing, compare actual and expected results.
Tools selection and daily status report
As a QA engineer, you have to prepare a daily status report of the project. It also involves choosing various tools required for the specific project. Selecting proper tools is very imperative to improve the efficiency of the team.
Why Choose this Career?
There are few but compelling reasons to pursue a career in Quality Assurance. One of them is, this job is suited for people who are detail-oriented, social and analytical.
A quality assurance engineer has to ensure the consumer's experience is smooth on the platform and they don't have to deal with bugs in the production application. Also, the developers can focus on coding while following the given standard and be sure that everyone on the project is using the same practice. This reduces the stress of the developers and other members involved in the project.
As a QA Engineer, you'll have to learn the latest trends and learn new tools for automation and testing to keep up with the bleeding edge today's innovation and technology. This keeps the job very fresh and as you gain experience in the field, you can deliver quality products. Which, in the end, the hard work and appropriate conduct of experienced Quality Assurance Engineers make sure the investment of the client is worthwhile.
Ideal Career path
Getting started in the QA career path means dealing with the vision and the standards of an organization. Sometimes this will involve researching the rules and regulations and proper security measures to take. The end objective of your work as a quality assurance engineer is to produce a bug-free performant application on time.
For a Software development QA career, you require a Bachelor's degree in IT-related field. This is mandatory in many of the organizations. Mainly because theoretical knowledge is required for efficient project completion. Besides, previous work experience in product management is also helpful.
To start as a newbie in the field, Internship is an excellent option. An internship as a QA Analyst or Inspector is a proper channel to get started in the QA field.
Some concentrated fields required you to have at least a Masters's or even Ph.D. in the related field. Though these roles are very niche. Nonetheless, you should know that there are options to become an expert in this field too.
The knowledge of product development from start to completion of the project is vital. The attention to detail, keen observation and capability to identify the possible causes of future wastage and losses is a huge plus in this field.
QA Analyst / Inspector - This is the most prevalent role in the QA sector. As an analyst, you will be studying a range of consumer, technological and environmental behavior. You will need to engage with the data and the various inspection tasks which may or might not require your direct involvement.
Product manager - Management is a key part of the QA career. Appropriately allocating and employing the resources will make or break the result. Product managers need to identify and fulfill the needs of the team. This can involve everything from motivating, supporting, coordinating and guiding each and everyone on the team. All these things teach you to become an excellent judge of the team motivation and dynamics which eventually prepare you for the QA engineer position.
DevOps - DevOps is an interesting career because you are in charge of channeling the whole project and bringing them in a cohesive manner for the entire team to work simultaneously without any worry. This career is for those who are into the code management rather than coding themselves. Or in other words, Automation. And because QA engineers have to work in these fields, they can acquire management skills and easily change careers.
Customer Experience - If you've been working in the customer experience department, then you can speak from the customer perspective. This skill brings an essential value as you become capable to apply as a QA engineer.
The Future of QA Career
There is no doubt about the future of QA career because we are experiencing the impact of Technology in Nepal. This means Nepali consumers are experiencing the services of the globalized organizations which are very high in quality and standards.
Qualified QA Engineers are very hard to find because this career requires one to have a social as well as coding skill, which is very uncommon in the tech world. So, this is a very peculiar state for the QA engineers because they have to be able to stand in the shoes of both the developers and customers. Finding this balance is the ultimatum of successful QA Engineers. Nonetheless, if you are an excellent coder with few years of experience or have previous management skills, you should definitely opt for this career.
To maintain and compete with the global standards, medium and large organizations are investing heavily on the user experience and quality of software products. This is a direct indication ensuring us the fact that the demand for Quality Assurance Engineers will be demand in the upcoming future.
Popular Tools used by QA Personnel
As a QA Engineer, you should be capable of using various automation and testing tools. There are various tools targeted toward specific fields. These tools automate various quality control tasks.
This is an open-source tool used extensively for web application testing and automation. It helps the tester to write tests using several programming languages such as Java, Python, PHP, Groovy, Pearl, C#, and Ruby. Selenium is comprised of different software's which caters to different need of the project. It provides features such as record and playback without the need to learn Selenium itself.
QTP (now known as HPE Unified Functional Testing)
This is a very popular tool used to test processes and operates with objects to control the test applications. It has features such as Error handling, creating arguments for objects, different checkpoints, and derive data-driven tables for the testers and QA Engineers. QTP also provides automated documentation and is usable by both technical and non-technical individuals.
Jenkins is a CI(Continuous Integration) tool used for observing changes in the codebase. It helps with detecting the errors in the build process and notifies if any fails are detected.
Github / Git
Git is a version control system used widely to record changes between the versions of the projects. This is a very useful tool for the developers as well as project managers and QA engineers as they can approve or disapprove of the improvements from the developers.
These are a few of the widely used tools by the QA personnel. Other tools such as Ranorex, Sahi, Postman, New Relic, etc are also used.
Scope in Nepal
The career in QA engineers is slowly and consistently gaining popularity in the Nepali market, this is mainly because of the rise of consumers consuming technology-related products and the reach of the Internet. The investment of foreign bodies like Alibaba in the eCommerce sectors has changed the fundamental of business in the Nepali market. We've seen huge expenditure on online shopping and because the new generation is constantly surfing the internet, this has become a large platform to reach the consumers. Because of these activities, it has amassed a wonderful opportunity and we can say there are huge potential and vast scope of QA career in Nepal.
We have to look into the current status of the QA and QC career in Nepal. Because of the limited resources and the lack of proper technological resources, there will be hurdles. Especially in medium and small enterprises. This is a challenge for the young QA engineers as they are pushed beyond their knowledge and should come with creative solutions to deal with the condition of the technology in Nepal.
If you are on the journey to embark on your career in the QA field. Let us help you. We have a QA (Quality Assurance) and QC (Quality Control) course designed to prepare interested candidates like you to become a qualified QA personnel and get a job as a junior-level QA Analyst or Instructor. The course covers all the product development lifecycle methodologies and concepts. You will learn about the software testing, types of tests, techniques & tools used, fundamentals of verification and validations, and learn to use testing tools such as Selenium and QTP. In the end, we wrap up the course with a mini project of cases, their execution, automation, and various projects on Selenium and QTP.
learn more about similarites & difference between Quality Assurance(QA) , Quality Control(QC) and Software Testing.