Software Quality Assurance Engineers (SQAEs) are the unsung heroes, but the world is now recognizing their value. QAs are more than problem solvers and are, in fact, sentinels serving sensitive sectors, majorly healthcare, paramedics, and the transport industry.
In the ever-rising software industry, QA testers sit squarely in the center of all the action.
If you are an aspiring tester, you can follow several career paths that lead to various business areas. That would be great if you have already decided which path to follow, which skills to master, and which projects to embark on to become a successful tester.
Pill of motivation: Any successful tester today was once a rookie nerd (like you?). They just loved to learn and grow!
Read on to know what stages you may need to conquer as a newbie tester to become a pro in your field:
Career path of a QA analyst
In reality, there is no one-size-fits-all career path for a QA analyst. They continue to evolve with time learning new practices, asking meticulous questions, and building themselves as better professionals every day.
In the infographic below, you can see the outline of possible career pathways in software testing from junior to the most senior level:
What skills do you need to become a superstar QA analyst?
According to Jerry Weinberg, a famous testing expert: “If you are not learning something new each day, you are not testing.” This statement is especially relevant to the rapidly advancing technologies like Agile, Automation, DevOps, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, and Big Data, Internet of Things that demand more aptitude and capacity on part of testers.
Thus, learning new techniques and increasing technical prowess is an inevitable requirement to stay upbeat in the IT sector. It is almost impossible to survive in the highly saturated market without staying competitive and relevant with the latest technologies.
So, let’s dig in and find out the best skills you need to hone to become a star QA analyst:
Technical skills you need to hone
Learning manual testing is a foundational step for any tester. However, multidimensional testing for app performance, user experience, responsiveness, browser compatibility, database, and integrations require a more robust approach.
- Agile testing: Agile has become the cornerstone of modern software development. The iterative development model expects you to stay abreast with the requirements of the team and customers. As an agile QA analyst, you work continuously with your fellow teammates in a cross-functional environment. Agile assures end-to-end testing which helps you save your time and effort by day end, eventually, allowing you to perform well and deliver a good quality product. You cannot learn agile by reading a book. Work with an agile team for a year and you’ll get it.
- Test automation: If you are a futuristic tester, stay well-versed with test automation to understand business logic better and to deliver continuous releases more efficiently.
- Bug tracking and QA testing software: Managing and tracking bugs can be a tedious task if not done systematically. Hence, a QA analyst boasting a wide understanding of QA Testing Software and Tools, such as Kualitee, can better lock, report, prioritize, and debug defects.
- Test planning and documentation: A tester should have a knack to carefully understand product requirements and devise an appropriate test plan. This detail-oriented approach will help you keep track of requirements, test cycles, and possible variations. A well-organized test plan does not help testers but the entire software development team in allocating the right QA testing software and resources for the project.
- Know how to break a code! A good QA analyst knows how to give their best at testing, while also cracking the code if needed. If you know how to code, you can get inside app codes and find hidden vulnerabilities to reduce the overall bug rate.
Non-technical skills for career growth on steroids
Thanks to digital transformation, the need to upgrade your technical skills is likely to never end. But mastering non-technical skills is equally necessary to fly far and high in your QA career professionally and personally.
Curious to know more about soft skills? We already sensed your inquisitive mind, so you must read on to find out:
- Think logically: First things first, if you are a tester you may require a critical mindset in phases when you are decision making, improvising, setting goals, brainstorming test strategies, selecting QA testing tools, fixing a bug, reporting, and replicating issues. Logical thinking is directly connected to the successful completion of software projects. Just remember, in testing, you think intelligent or you go home!
- Manage your time: A good tester’s task prioritization is always on the mark because of efficient time management skills. To manage your time wisely, curate a to-do list on a QA Testing Software, set achievable targets, and follow them throughout the software development cycle (SDLC).
- Be ready to help: A successful QA tester always looks forward to making things easier for their fellow team members. For example, showing care to reproduce and debug as many defects as possible to lighten developers’ burden from doing excessive code reviewing.
After all, if you do not make things easier for your team how can you expect the same for yourself?
- Negative, but positively: Presenting negativity in a positive manner is super witty and is a much-needed skill for good communication. A sensible QA analyst does not complain or go harsh on their team, instead, they pitch in ideas and provide constructive feedback. Staying passive is how you can win even on a hectic day!
- Believe your intuition: “Tester’s Block Syndrome” happens when you cannot decide if it’s a bug or an undocumented feature. This confusion leads to an unreported issue in the fear of getting abashed.
It is about trusting your guts over fear. The worst likelihood is developers accusing you of bug misconfiguration. But of course, that is still better than leaving the anonymous bug to get caught by your users.
If you have come this far reading the blog, we are sure that you are that inquisitive tester the future needs!