A QA (Quality Assurance) Engineer, also known as a QA Tester or Software Tester, is a professional responsible for ensuring the quality and reliability of software applications and systems.
In this article, I’m sharing some insights from my personal working experience, something that I believe QAs should incorporate into their toolkit for the job. Some points are certainly valid for other roles, too.
Sooo, let’s dive in!
1 – Don’t be an egomaniac
Did you ever work with someone who has an excessive and often uncontrollable preoccupation with their own importance?
As the title says, don’t be one of those. It’s very hard to work with such people. Egomaniacal behavior is especially deconstructive for a QA Engineer because it hinders collaboration and compromises objectivity.
So leave your ego at home. In case you’re working from home leave it in the fridge. But don’t eat it, you might need it later, maybe, sometimes.
Give constructive feedback and accept feedback from others. Face your destiny that there will always be people who are more experienced in QA than you. Don’t think that you are the smartest person in the world. If you want to be smart, be open to learning from your colleagues.
Nobody’s perfect and neither are you!
2 – Embrace colleagues being better than you
If your company aims to hire a new QA for your team and there is no consensus on which seniority the person should have, insist on someone better than you.
It’s so beneficial to have someone join the team who can truly help you to become better, not just someone who helps a little bit with testing. Someone from whom the rest of the team can learn something new ultimately benefits everyone in the whole development team (as long as you’re not an egomaniac as described in point 1.)
3 – Collaborate with designers
Working from scratch in the early phases of a product is one of my favorite parts. This is the short time frame when working with early designs before the developers have touched anything. In this phase, I work together with the design team. We use wireframes to visualize how the application will function.
Here comes a very important task of the QA Engineer into play: Prediction.
Predicting potential problems in the early stage of a project might be one of the most important QA abilities. It’s about foreseeing potential problems even before any code has been written or implemented.
This can save time, prevent changes afterward, and improve the UX.
4 – Think about UX
I found that sometimes when I test an app every day, going over and over the same flow, I tend to forget how complex the same app can be for a regular user.
Always remember to think about UX and how the regular user, who is probably not a tech guy, can use the application.
Learn a bit more about UX and also make your team aware of it. Here is one of our articles about UX design (in German) that you may want to check out.
5 – Be a team player
Agile product development is not a good place for a lone wolf.
Yes, it’s your job to find bugs. But remember you’re part of a team. Don’t rub that bug under the nose of the developer. Such behavior will easily lead to the perception that you’re difficult to work with.
If you’re working on the same project with other QAs, be polite and talk about tasks and workload with them. Collaborate, split tasks, and work together. Remember, you’re part of a team. At the end of the day, you’re all working on the same product and have the common goal to make it better.
6 – Use AI
Artificial Intelligence like ChatGPT has become enormously popular, and that’s for a reason. Take that advantage and use it for yourself. It can help you to speed up processes or give you new ideas about testing.
By the way, the tips in this article are my own and were not suggested by ChatGPT. But for automating tasks and writing documentation, it’s worth making use of it!
If you’d like to read an AI-generated blog article about AI, check out this one (in German).
7 – The Q stands for “Quality”
The “Quality” in QA is really important. You’re not just a tester. You’re here to make sure that the product you are working on meets the quality standards.
So expand your horizons and contribute to the improvement of the development and testing processes. Don’t stick with tasks. Take a look at the big picture of the product and think about the best experience for the user. You are here for quality, not for ticking boxes off a to-do list.
8 – Learn and share knowledge
Never stop learning something new.
Open the console and dig into HTML to see how things work. Ask about endpoints, ask devs if they are struggling with something, what was the final solution, and how they solved the issue. Be curious about everything.
And don’t forget to share your knowledge with others! Don’t be like Ebenezer Scrooge. Or, for those who haven’t yet read or watched “A Christmas Carol” and don’t know what I mean: Don’t be selfish and stingy.
Believe me, it feels good to help others and to be a colleague that others enjoy working with.
Note that my tips are insights from my personal experience. I hope they inspire you to become better than you were yesterday. If you’re looking for definitions or fundamental instructions, you can easily find them on plenty of other websites or ask ChatGPT.