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Imagine you're building a house. You've got the design plans all set, the materials ready to go, and the workers eager to start.
But wait, before you can start building, you need someone to inspect the foundation, the walls, and the roof to ensure everything is up to code and won't collapse. That's where a Quality Assurance (QA) tester comes in for software development.
They're like the house inspector, but for software, responsible for making sure the final product is top-notch and meets all the necessary standards.
Without them, you risk releasing a faulty software product that can damage your reputation and lose customers.
So, how do you find the right person for the job? In this article, we'll explore the essential qualities to look for in a QA tester and why having them on your team is crucial for the success of your software development project.
Get ready to build a solid foundation for your software project with the help of a top-notch QA tester!
Who Is A QA Tester?
A QA tester, also known as a quality assurance tester, is a professional responsible for testing software products to ensure that they meet the required quality standards before their release to the market.
A QA tester is a vital member of a software development team, as they help to identify and report defects in the software product, ensuring that it is fully functional, efficient, and user-friendly.
The role of a QA tester requires a high level of attention to detail, analytical skills, and a thorough understanding of the software development life cycle.
In House Vs Outsourced - Pros/Cons
Sure, here is a table outlining the pros and cons of in-house QA testing versus outsourced QA testing:
In-house QA Testing
Outsourced QA Testing
- Familiarity with company processes and culture
- Cost savings due to lower labor and infrastructure costs
- Immediate availability for communication and collaboration
- Access to a larger pool of experienced testers with diverse skill sets
- Easier to establish clear lines of responsibility
- Flexibility to ramp up or down resources based on project needs
- Ability to focus exclusively on company projects
- Expertise in industry-standard testing methodologies and best practices
- Higher labor and infrastructure costs
- Communication and collaboration may be more difficult with remote teams
- Limited access to a diverse pool of testers with varied skills
- Potential for slower turnaround times due to time zone differences
- Potential for lower quality testing due to limited resources
- Potential for lack of familiarity with company processes and culture
- Difficulty in scaling up or down resources based on projects
- Potential for higher costs due to the need for specialized skill sets
Choosing between in-house and outsourced QA testing is a critical decision that can impact the success of your business.
There are benefits and drawbacks to each option, and what works for one company may not be the best fit for another.
What Are The Key Responsibilities Of A QA Tester?
The key responsibilities of a QA tester are as follows -
- Test Planning: The QA tester needs to understand the requirements, design test cases, and create a test plan to ensure that the application meets the desired specifications.
- Test Execution: Once the test plan is ready, the QA tester executes it by running test cases and identifying defects, errors, or bugs.
- Bug Reporting: If the QA tester finds any defects, errors, or bugs, they need to report them to the development team with accurate information, including steps to reproduce the error, screenshots, and system logs.
- Test Documentation: The QA tester needs to create test reports, which include detailed documentation of the test cases and their outcomes, including any defects or issues found during the testing process.
- Continuous Improvement: The QA tester needs to continuously improve the testing process by identifying areas for improvement, suggesting new testing methodologies or tools, and staying up-to-date with industry best practices.
- Test Automation: The QA tester needs to automate repetitive test cases to save time and increase the accuracy of the testing process.
Criterias To Judge A QA Tester Before Hiring
When looking to hire a QA tester, you want to make sure they have the skills and expertise to excel in their role. This means considering a few key factors!
1. Technical knowledge
The QA tester should have a strong technical background and be knowledgeable in software development processes, programming languages, and test automation frameworks. For example, a QA tester who is proficient in Selenium, a popular test automation tool, would be valuable in testing web applications.
2. Testing methodologies
QA testers should have experience with various testing methodologies such as manual testing, regression testing, performance testing, and usability testing. An example of a testing methodology is exploratory testing, which involves simultaneously designing and executing tests to discover and report defects.
3. Attention to detail
The QA tester should be detail-oriented and have a keen eye for detecting software defects, such as missing functionality or inconsistencies in user interfaces.
4. Industry knowledge
The QA tester should have industry-specific knowledge relevant to the software being developed. For example, if the software is for the healthcare industry, the tester should understand the regulations and compliance requirements for medical software.
5. Test automation experience
The QA tester should have experience in writing test automation scripts and using automation tools like Jenkins, JMeter, or TestComplete.
6. Problem-solving skills
QA testers should be able to analyze problems, find root causes, and develop solutions to fix the defects. An example of a problem-solving skill is the ability to use debugging tools to identify and resolve issues.
Expected Deliverables and Timelines From A QA Tester
The expected deliverables and timelines can vary depending on the project's specific requirements. But fear not, we've got you covered with some general expectations of what you can expect from a skilled QA tester.
- Test plan: A QA tester should create a detailed test plan that outlines the test scenarios, test cases, and expected outcomes. The timeline for creating a test plan can vary depending on the complexity of the project, but it typically takes a few days to a week.
- Test cases: A QA tester should execute test cases based on the test plan and report any defects found during testing. The timeline for executing test cases can vary depending on the number of test cases and the complexity of the project, but it typically takes a few weeks to a few months.
- Bug reports: A QA tester should document any defects found during testing and report them to the development team. The timeline for reporting bugs can vary depending on the severity of the bug, but it should be done as soon as possible to avoid delaying the project.
- Test reports: A QA tester should provide regular test reports that summarize the testing progress, test results, and any issues found during testing. The timeline for creating test reports can vary depending on the frequency of reporting, but it should be done regularly to keep the development team informed about the testing progress.
- Retesting: A QA tester should perform retesting to ensure that the defects found during testing have been fixed and do not recur. The timeline for retesting can vary depending on the number of defects found and their severity, but it typically takes a few days to a week.
Don’t Expect A QA Tester To Do This
Just as knowing what a superhero's powers are is essential, it's equally crucial to understand their limitations.
Similarly, when it comes to QA testers, it's crucial to understand what they are not expected to do. Here are a few things you shouldn't expect from a QA tester.
- Fix the issues they find
The primary job of a QA Tester is to identify and report issues and defects in the software. It is not their job to fix these issues, as this responsibility falls on the development team.
- Ensure 100% bug-free software
While a QA Tester's job is to identify and report issues in the software, it is not possible for them to catch every single bug.
There will always be some bugs that slip through the cracks, and it is not fair to hold the QA Tester responsible for them.
- Provide feedback on non-technical aspects
QA Testers are responsible for evaluating the software's technical aspects, such as functionality, performance, and security.
They are not responsible for providing feedback on non-technical aspects such as design, user experience, or marketing strategies.
Common Pitfalls To Avoid When Hiring A QA Tester
When hiring a QA tester, there are several technical and industry-specific pitfalls to avoid to ensure you find the right candidate for your project.
Here are some examples of pitfalls to watch out for -
- Lack of experience in your industry: If your software project is for a specific industry such as healthcare, finance, or government, you'll want to ensure your QA tester has experience working in that industry. Otherwise, they may not have the necessary knowledge and understanding of industry regulations and compliance requirements.
- Overemphasis on certifications: While certifications such as ISTQB or CSTE can demonstrate a certain level of knowledge and proficiency, they shouldn't be the only factor you consider when hiring a QA tester. Real-world experience, problem-solving abilities, and technical skills are also important.
- Limited testing methodologies: QA testers should have experience with various testing methodologies such as exploratory testing, usability testing, and performance testing. If a tester is only proficient in one type of testing, they may not be suitable for your project's specific needs.
- Inadequate technical skills: It's important to evaluate a QA tester's technical skills and experience in areas such as test automation, programming languages, and software development processes. A tester with inadequate technical skills may struggle to identify and report defects or may not be able to provide value in test automation.
- Resistance to change: As software development processes and testing methodologies continue to evolve, it's important to find a QA tester who is open to learning and adapting to new approaches. A tester who is resistant to change may struggle to keep up with industry trends and may not be able to provide the best testing solutions for your project.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire A QA Tester
The cost of hiring a QA tester can vary depending on factors such as location, experience, and skill level.
In general, an entry-level QA tester can cost around $30,000 to $50,000 per year, while a more experienced QA tester can cost upwards of $80,000 per year or more.
Sample Project Costing
Here is a sample table that shows some common projects that a QA tester may work on and their approximate pricing -
Web Application Testing
QA testers will test web applications to ensure they are functioning correctly and meeting requirements.
$25-$50 per hour
Mobile App Testing
QA testers will test mobile applications on various devices to ensure they are functioning correctly and meeting requirements.
$30-$60 per hour
QA testers may create and execute automated test scripts to speed up testing processes and increase efficiency.
$40-$80 per hour
QA testers will evaluate the user interface of an application and provide feedback on usability, accessibility, and overall user experience.
$30-$60 per hour
QA testers will identify and test potential security vulnerabilities in software applications to ensure they are secure and meet industry standards.
$50-$100 per hour
FAQs To Ask A QA Tester Before Hiring
1. What tools and technologies do you use for testing?
This gives you insight into their level of experience and expertise. QA testers need to be familiar with a range of tools and technologies to ensure they can efficiently and effectively test software products.
2. How do you document your test cases and results?
Asking a potential QA tester about their process for documenting test cases and results is important because it can help you assess their attention to detail, communication skills, and ability to organize information. Clear and concise documentation is crucial for effective communication between the testing team and other stakeholders, such as developers and project managers.
3. Can you give an example of a challenging bug you found and how you resolved it?
Asking a potential QA tester about a challenging bug they found and how they resolved it is important because it can help you assess their problem-solving skills, creativity, and persistence. Software development projects can encounter complex and difficult-to-find bugs that require a thorough understanding of the system, patience, and critical thinking skills to resolve.
4. How do you prioritize and manage your testing tasks?
The answer to this can help you understand their experience with testing management tools, such as Agile methodologies and Test Management Tools.