The role of QA manager

One minute of Amazon’s downtime will cost its owners at least $66,000. The larger the project, the higher the cost of errors that cause incorrect resource operation. While no one is immune from force majeure, it is still cheaper to prevent a problem than to deal with consequences. In the IT-development field, greatest «law officers» are QA-specialists. What is the role of QA in the project team and what career can build the quality control specialist in IT?

The role of QA in the project team

Whether you need to develop a web project or to create a native application, you can not do without the quality control expert. The main responsibility of a QA-manager is the IT product testing at all stages of its development, up to the technical documentation check.

Technical documentation check

Before starting the Project, technical requirements are checked for the logic compliance — at this stage, the QA works in cooperation with the Project Manager. The technical task heck is a very important point which helps to calculate the resources for development correctly.

Functional testing

At this stage, QA specialist tests the product for its efficiency: if the forms can be submitted, does the function of purchasing is true, do the geolocation and the integration with services work, etc. Bugs that were found at this stage are critical to fixing, as errors in the business logic lead to the real money loss. For example, in the online store the Basket must work, and for the Uber-like app — it is obligatory that GPS navigation activates. Here, the quality control specialist works closely with backend developers.

Usability testing

A user-friendly interface is a powerful tool for user loyalty increasing. On this stage QA actually goes through the way of the user — checks the usability of the product, form’s validation (are there enough characters to enter the name, does the email filling control set, etc.). A QA’s partner at this stage is a front-end developer, sometimes even a designer.

The correct product’s display and the system endurance

For web-projects, testing the image display correctness occurs in all stipulated browsers on all devices — from PC to smartphone (in case of adaptive layout). When testing mobile applications, QA checks whether the project matches different screen sizes and platform versions, also he tests the rational memory use. For example, in different versions of iOS platform application may behave differently. Also, at this stage, load testing is run — checking on how an app behaves if the smartphone is running many other processes. At this stage, the QA manager collaborates with developers.

What are the qualities of a good QA engineer?

In daily operation, the quality control specialist collaborates with professionals from different departments and tests the product literally from all sides. This does not mean that a good QA needs to know all about IT-development, but still, navigate in the different areas of development will not be superfluous. But what qualities and knowledge are very important for a person working on the manual testing manager's position?

  • Critical thinking — the ability to impugn every detail, as there is no place for indulgence in terms of quality;
  • Thoroughness, diligence, meticulousness — check even himself, with the understanding when to stop, of course;
  • The ability to quickly switch between tasks;
  • The ability to grasp a task, break it into tests;
  • The ability to correctly prioritize defects found;
  • Understanding of validation rules;
  • The ability to test the functional part — understanding of how the function should work and also where it can fail.

When working with large projects the QA specialist needs to be able to create test cases and conduct regression — testing fixes for previously discovered bugs.

Why it is interesting to be a QA manager

Our QA team lead, Misha, compares his work with a fascinating adventure: «You explore new products, find out what will soon appear on the market before others. We very rarely have similar projects, so each new project will require immersion in the new business logic, get acquainted with new technical solutions. The most interesting — you help the project grow, and when you already got hooked on, the creative part comes — you invent new ways of testing. A big step forward for a quality control specialist is to learn how to generate additional product’s value (not just search for bugs but also to offer rational improvements), then you can rightly be called the quality assurance specialist.»

Career opportunities

QA has quite good sellary rates, and some of the broadest opportunities for development, here are just a few ways:

From manual tester to a Project Manager

For to become a PM, it is not enough to know how the project works and what are its management tools. It is important to be able to build your working process and the working process of the whole team, to be able to work with the customer effectively and understand the technical side. The QA sees the whole project from A to Z, understands how the system works from the inside out, knows every bug, so the development to project Manager is a pretty logical way for him.

From manual to automated testing

For this, QA needs to learn the OOP principles, basics of Java and Python, as well as to get a handle on Selenium — a tool for automated testing of web products and applications. Then a prepared by QA specialist program will run all the same test cases instead of human. Naturally, the cost of such specialist on the IT market will be higher.

From Automated testing to Developer

If you understand OOP, you may step it up in the in-depth study of programming language to become a developer. A programmer who worked as a QA/QC and knows where the project may fail will be highly valued on the IT market.

From QA manager to the QA Team Lead

This development will suit those who love their profession. First, you learn, gain experience, create your own work, and finally, your level allows you to share knowledge and give advice. QA Team Lead is less directly involved in the testing process, his responsibilities expand greatly — he/she works with a team, motivates and trains Junior specialists, participates in processes optimization and alignment together with a PM. Also, QA Team Lead together with the HR specialist conducts interviews and selects new quality control specialists to his/her team.

And that’s not all. QA specialist can grow into a business analyst, or, as our Misha, to become a mentor and teach future specialists all the nuances of his profession.

Our company specialises in complex solutions development for medium and large businesses. We use TDD — test driven development in our work, so our QA team checks product’s quality at every stage. Would like to order an MVP for your startup, native iOS or Android app or a web service? Contact us on info@stfalcon.com to share your ideas!

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