How to Learn Quality Assurance Engineering
The software industry has come a long way from mainframes and programming languages like COBOL to today’s modern digital achievements. Developers now often also work as quality testers, since code must be written correctly in order for a program to work. To become a quality assurance engineer, you must be creative and thorough, utilizing a range of skills to make sure products are up to speed.
As a quality assurance engineer, you must find unique ways to make a product work. With many companies trying to preserve their legacy as successful tech innovators, quality assurance engineering will always be relevant.
What Is Quality Assurance Engineering?
Quality assurance (QA) is the process that a business puts in place to ensure that a product is up to customers’ standards. It is a way of organizing all aspects of production and operations to ensure the quality of products and services.
A QA engineer must examine every aspect of the production process, starting from the design and development stage.
The tasks of a QA engineer include developing procedures for internal feedback and carefully monitoring projects to uphold quality standards.
Quality Assurance Engineer Skills
A QA engineer must have great managerial skills. They need to be skilled at verbal and written communication in order to convey messages across all levels of an organization.
Skills in data collection, analysis, and management are also very important in QA engineering. Apart from these, a QA engineer should also be excellent at teamwork and working with clients.
Thorough Understanding of Concepts
A QA engineer must have a background in a variety of technology, as they may have to monitor projects in different fields. As a QA engineer, you should be well-versed in several programming languages.
An understanding of the data management language SQL and of relational databases is necessary. A QA engineer will need to search databases to mine test data or to validate the results of a test.
Knowledge of Tools
In some organizations, knowledge of automation and CI/CD (continuous integration and continuous delivery) are essential. In this case, the QA engineer will need to know how to use software such as QTP, Selenium, and Jenkins.
What Is a Quality Assurance Engineer?
Depending on the industry, quality assurance job responsibilities can differ greatly. But the main task of checking if a product meets requirements in quality, authenticity, and efficiency is the same.
QA engineers implement policies and procedures to ensure standards, and take the initiative to plan, monitor, and inspect materials. These professionals are also charged with compiling data regarding product quality.
Lastly, QA engineers must also investigate any product complaints raised by customers or clients, and document the outcome.
Duties of a Quality Assurance Engineer
A QA engineer tests features of products that they are working on and advocate for quality improvements. Some basic responsibilities of a QA engineer are listed below.
- Document control. Reviewing, formatting, and updating documents, as well as archiving them is a key role of a QA engineer.
- Audits and inspection. The engineer must organize in-house audits and inspections, system audits, and take corrective and preventive actions.
- Conducting OOS. An OOS is an Out-of-Specification test. It is used to test code and informs the QA engineer of any results that are not of the desired quality.
- Change management. QA engineers have to review change proposals to increase funding. Then, they must authorize and implement the necessary changes.
Quality Assurance Engineer Job Opportunities
QA is all about finding issues with a product before it gets to the customer. The intensity of a QA job will vary depending on what type of software you are working on. For example, companies that make life-saving software are very serious about locating and eradicating bugs.
Almost every IT company has testers, and the opportunities for skilled testers are increasing as competition between companies heats up.
Although many start-ups and small-scale companies also need QA engineers, the ground-breaking work in this field is done at bigger companies. Some of the top companies that hire QA engineers include Google, Uber, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook.
Quality Assurance Engineer Salary
Many private and government organizations recruit professionals for quality assurance roles. The position comes with attractive packages and plenty of room for career growth.
The salary for QA professionals in the US varies based on the industry. According to Payscale.com, the average annual salary for a QA engineer is $70,300.
This is a great field if you’re looking for a job with upward mobility.
Learning Quality Assurance Engineering
To work in quality assurance, you must have a bachelor’s degree. Along with a bachelor’s degree, getting certifications in Six Sigma or as a Quality Improvement Associate can be beneficial. Once you have the right education, you can get positions such as QA automation engineer or software QA engineer.
Apart from experience in testing, quality, auditing, and inspection, a QA engineer should have basic computer skills in Microsoft Databases and Microsoft Office.
How Long Does It Take to Learn Quality Assurance Engineering?
Learning QA engineering depends on the person. Although the degree takes four years to complete, mastering the concepts may take longer. To supplement your college education, you might want to study online courses or get a certificate.
How to Become a Quality Assurance Engineer: Step-by-Step
Cramming to learn codes and wearing yourself out will be in vain if you don’t plan properly. Follow the steps below to make sure you are ready for a career as a QA engineer.
- Choose a program. To become a QA Engineer, a bachelor’s degree is a must. Find a university that is offering courses that match your interests, and get enrolled before the seats fill up.
- Practice your skills. Before moving on to the next step, you will need to practice using an array of QA and testing tools.
- Get certified. Certifications in auditing, testing, and quality will help you stand out from other applicants when you apply for jobs.
- Read books. To get more insight into current trends and advancements, you should explore books and other resources on QA engineering.
- Gain experience. Work experience in software development and software quality assurance are prerequisites at many companies that hire QA engineers.
Quality Assurance Engineering Certifications
Certifications not only look good on your resume, but also help you better understand quality assurance concepts. To help you out, we have compiled some of the best QA certifications below.
- Prerequisites: Bachelor’s degree, 2 years of experience
- Fee: $350
This professional certification covers quality control and quality assurance. The course provides you with a PDF file of the Software Testing Body of Knowledge (STBOK) to help you prepare for the exam.
Being recognized as a member of this professional group is sure to help advance your career.
- Prerequisites: CSTE Certification
- Fee: $350
This is an advanced certification that covers quality control and assurance. This certification will sharpen your skills and increase your value in the workplace. The course can be taken by project managers and senior managers and directors as well as quality and testing professionals.
- Prerequisites: Bachelor’s degree
- Fee: $100
This foundational-level certificate will demonstrate your understanding of quality testing principles and practices. Once registered, you will be provided with the STBOK for CAST to read as you get ready for the exam.
Online Quality Assurance Engineering Resources
Reading guides and exploring online resources are good ways to enhance your knowledge of QA engineering. Let’s check out a few of the best websites that will help answer any questions you may have about QA engineering.
- QA.Com. This website contains training courses that cover all the basics of QA engineering.
- Software Testing. This book provides a decent introduction to the field of software testing. Topics covered include the basics of the software development process, responsibilities of a tester, and the different kinds of testing. It includes illustrations and examples to ensure that the reader understands these concepts.
Should You Learn Quality Assurance Engineering?
You should learn QA engineering because the field is constantly growing. Many types of companies hire quality assurance engineers to test their products, with a large number of these roles available in tech. QA engineers are crucial, as their work corresponds to customers’ experiences and affects the company’s image.
Achieving success as a QA engineer is a long process that involves a lot of experience and practice. However, it’s worth it if you are looking for a stable career.