How To Become a QA Engineer

QA stands for ‘Quality Assurance’. And just like its name suggests, a QA engineer is responsible for maintaining the highest form of quality of a product. They are an integral part of the product quality team.

Quality Assurance engineers are more prominent in the IT industry. In fact, World Quality Report says that 25% of the fund of the production budget goes to quality assurance.

Because of the increasing demand for QA engineers, it is one of the most promising career choices. But what does the path of a QA engineer look like? In this article, we will have a detailed overview of the responsibilities of a QA engineer and a guideline for beginners to become the best QA engineer.

How to become a QA engineer
  1. Choose which programming language to specialize in based on the desired field. …
  2. Learn coding and software development through college or a coding bootcamp. …
  3. Apply for internships or contractual positions. …
  4. 4 – Develop and refine technical skills. …
  5. Get a professional certification.

How to become a QA Engineer? | The Ultimate QA Bootcamp

What does a QA engineer do?

QA engineers are also called software QA engineers or QA specialists, but each of these job titles essentially performs the same role. The QA engineer oversees the entire process of software product development. They predict user behavior and write test cases for the software to confirm the application works correctly and meets standards. They also serve as the liaison between managers or application customers and the programmers on the software development team.

QA engineers perform a broad variety of tasks on a weekly or even daily basis. Some examples of the duties performed by a QA engineer are the following:

Most QA engineers work in the technology or finance industries, such as computer or electronic manufacturing, computer design companies or software publishers.

What is a QA engineer?

A QA engineer oversees the testing and quality management of software prior to the release of the product or application. To find and identify bugs and possible problems with new software, they plan and perform testing at different stages of the development process. They work closely with the software development team with testing and documentation of the application to confirm it is working properly before releasing it to the public. The QA engineer must also ensure the software meets or exceeds both company and regulatory standards.

How to become a QA engineer

Here are the steps you can take to become a QA engineer:

1. Choose which programming language to specialize in based on the desired field

For QA engineer positions its recommended to learn how to code in an object-oriented language such as Java, C#, or Python. Select specific programming languages to learn depending upon the field you want to enter such as web development, software development or embedded systems. For example, a web QA engineer would need to know HTML, CSS and JS.

2. Learn coding and software development through college or a coding bootcamp

A degree in a technical field such as computer science, information systems technology or software engineering would be a good foundation for a QA engineer position.

Educational requirements vary by employer but an alternative to a traditional college degree is to attend a coding bootcamp for the specific language you want to learn. These are highly specialized and face-paced programs, usually lasting three to nine months, so if you already know the job you want this may be a desirable career path.

3. Apply for internships or contractual positions

Seek internship opportunities or contract positions while youre still in school. These roles add impact to your resume, and a temporary contract position can be a way to enter the workforce and begin building a network of colleagues while still completing your training.

4 – Develop and refine technical skills

Technology is a rapidly changing field so it is important to remain current with trends and advancements within the industry. Continue to develop your skills and professional development with self-study courses, many of which are available online.

5. Get a professional certification

Attaining professional certification may allow for opportunities for higher-paying jobs. An example of certification for a QA engineer position would be the Certified Software Quality Engineer (CSQE) designation through the American Society of Quality (ASQ).

6 Create your technical resume and software developer portfolio

A technical resume, used in fields such as information technology, engineering and computer science lists your technical experience and skills relevant to a job position.

Your portfolio showcases your professional projects and accomplishments and highlights your abilities and experience for prospective employers. This is basically a website where you detail who you are, how to contact you and features the best samples of projects youve completed.

7. Start your job search and prepare for a technical interview

As you begin your job search it is important to remember that a technical interview is a complex process. In addition to preparing responses to standard interview questions, be ready to demonstrate expertise in areas related to your field of specialization.

Qualifications for becoming a QA engineer

Organizations will have specific qualifications depending upon the type of product being created, but here are some common qualifications for QA engineers:

QA engineers must be familiar with programming languages used to create software. Some of the most common programming languages used by QA engineers are:

Skills required for a QA engineer

There is a broad range of skill sets necessary in order to become a successful QA engineer. Some of the most important skills to develop for this position are:

Attention to detail

Searching for bugs and software problems and following through the entire process of correcting them, then trying to re-create them to ensure they are fixed requires attention to detail and excellent observational skills. Meticulous record-keeping is necessary throughout the process and this also requires a very detail-oriented level of attention.

Communication skills

Exceptional communication skills are necessary in different aspects. The QA engineer works closely with the software development team to make sure quality expectations are clear and ensure the team completes projects on deadline. They also serve as an intermediary between the developer team and project manager or end client. Additionally, the QA engineer will need to possess the ability to explain technical concepts to non-technical people.

Written communication skills are key as well because the QA engineer needs to have excellent documentation and record-keeping skills.

Research skills

In order to investigate and correct design flaws, a QA engineer will need to be able to use advanced research skills to gather information and review, analyze and interpret the information.

Follow-through and perseverance

Patience and perseverance are necessary since the role revolves around finding and fixing problems and creating solutions. The QA engineer must be solution-focused and persistent.

Time management

The QA engineer has to comply with strict deadlines and they also have to ensure that the entire team involved in the software development project meets all the deadlines as well, in all phases of the development process. They will likely be juggling multiple tasks and projects simultaneously.

Critical thinking and problem-solving skills

The QA engineer must be able to identify and track bugs and design problems and ensure they are completely resolved before the release of the product. This requires advanced analytical and critical thinking skills.

FAQ

What does it take to become QA engineer?

Many QA engineers also opt for a bachelor’s degree, which usually takes four years. A bachelor’s degree will help you get an entry-level position in QA engineering. You can also get a Master’s Degree in Computer Science to get a senior position, which can take you an extra two or three years.

Is QA engineer easy?

Software assurance QA testing is easy to learn and not code intensive. You will have to learn some coding, but not to the same extent as a software or web developer. Software QA test training typically takes six to ten weeks, whereas web development training takes anywhere from 12-26 weeks.

How do I get QA engineer experience?

QA Engineer Skills
  1. A bachelor’s or associate’s degree is required.
  2. Working knowledge of software quality assurance approaches, tools, and processes.
  3. SQL and scripting skills are required.
  4. Work experience in application development and quality assurance is preferred.
  5. Understanding of multiple Quality assurance tools.

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