Six traits of a great QA engineer
By Cameron Vogler
Take away quality assurance (QA) testing, and what would your software development outputs look like? Not too pretty, I would bet.
QA is your best option for finding/fixing issues before they impact your bottom line, brand reputation or development capabilities. To keep problems from slipping into production, you need the best possible QA engineers.
But what makes a great QA engineer? What qualities do they possess that elevate them above the masses?
We’ve compiled six traits of a great QA engineer.
- Ask, “What if…” to better understand the product or the requirements.
- Questions bad practices. Wondering what will happen if you do different things is how you find defects and identify requirements.
- Obsessed with checking work, recreating defects to verify them and testing everything that needs to be tested.
- Not bound to test to the “letter of the law,” but testing the spirit of the requirement beyond what’s written.
- Tests to break to find flaws so they don’t make it farther into development.
- Cares about quality. Doesn’t just want things to work, wants them to work well.
- Great communicator. Clear and concise when reporting on issues.
- Able to judge audience (developers, project managers, product owners, etc.) and adjust communication as needed.
- Cognizant that QA testing is a team game and the ultimate success is team success.
- Can negotiate and make a strong, informed case for why a requirement should be a certain way or why something really is a defect.
- Doesn’t play the blame game and understands that everyone makes mistakes. If not, they wouldn’t have a job!
- Nonconventional thinking helps test the usability of an application and hammer out all use cases.
- Thinks on their feet to create solutions if Plan B or C doesn’t work.
- Improves process by finding better ways to do things.
- Can get into the mindset and understand how developers, product owners and users view the product.
- Sees/pinpoints where the issue happened, often without help from the log.
- Knows what’s important and what’s not. Sometimes you need to decide what you are going to test next based on priority or business need.
- Understands how software development works outside of just their QA role.
- Great at finding glitches/bugs/defects.
- Can read and write code to fully understand developers work and make changes as needed.
- Writes and runs automated tests.
– Cameron Vogler: Catalyte developer and member of the QA COE.