QA Engineer: Who is Doing What?

September 09 16.50

QA Engineer: Who is Doing What?

QA Engineer Day, which is held on September 9, has passed somehow unnoticed this year in Belarus. As, however, all highly specialized festivals. For most ordinary people, and for some experts, this profession does not exist at all. There is even a rumour that the holiday was introduced by cunning software engineers to create an extraordinary occasion to arrange a party in the workplace. Unfairly, comrades. Let's get deeper into it.

QA Engineer Day as it turns out is celebrated since 1947! A bug (an insect) was found by one of the computerЫ serving experts in the United States that year. The bug was caught in the wires, which caused the whole system to stop working. A corresponding entry in the logbook was made regarding the incident. Since then, all errors are called bugs, and the day of that historical note is the day celebrated by those who find bugs actually. There is still significant difference between software development engineers and QA (quality assurance) specialists. However, it becomes clearer if certain work specifics is described. So it's time to finally put an end to this uncertainty!

QA engineers (software testing specialists) are professionals involved in software testing, whose job is to search for bugs and glitches in the program. Testers as they are often called can test not only the program, but also project documents, software requirements specifications, etc. QA engineers achieve compliance of product logic and integrity in terms of the end user. The main principle of the testing procedures is to bridge the expected and the actual results. QA engineers have their own professional hierarchy. There are manual testers, automation testers, unit testers, QA leaders and QA managers.

  • Manual software testing specialists usually find a lot of bugs, because consider all the surrounding reality from the “nothing works properly” perspective. Most often, they are disrupting systems. They do a mechanical and tedious job.
  • Automation engineers are advanced manual testers with the knowledge of scripting languages. They find less bugs and usually don’t disrupt systems. They understand specifics and command a variety of different tools and platforms.
  • Unit testers are rare exceptions. Most often they work according to the test-driven development (TDD) methodology and care about tests code coverage. They test all of the most incredible situations that an insidious user can think of. Units are found mainly in large companies where quality assurance is one of the most important principles.
  • QA leaders have accumulated enough knowledge and indifference to manage the team of QA engineers. They serve as a buffer between QA engineers and software developers. QA leaders are also involved in writing of thousands of reports, drawing up plans and assigning issues. They are responsible for the final quality of the product, which is responsibility of high level.
  • QA managers are individuals of blue blood. They hire testers, take care of certifications within the company and have the rare gift to resolve situations when even UN or OSCE representatives can’t help.

As you can see, it’s not so complicated as it seems. And what is most remarkable, all these countless people work for the good of us as everyday users. They do their job for PC to operate smoothly, iPhone to launch your favorite game, etc. QA engineers diligently improve our experience, doing the same thing we personally do with our own lives — find errors and fix, trying to align the winding line of life. All of us are QA engineers. So this is a common holiday.

Less bugs to you, gentlemen. Happy Holidays!