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Career Path: How to Become a QA Manual Test Engineer

Are you passionate about working in front of a computer? Are you a great problem solver? These are the questions to ask yourself when considering a career as a QA Manual Test Engineer or Quality Assurance Engineer. If you answered yes to both, or even one, you might have a long and lucrative working life ahead of you. Quality Assurance Engineers are in high demand across a wide range of industries in our technology drive day and age. There are millions of software products out there that require testing and quality assurance before being released to the public.

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Career Path: How to Become a QA Manual Test Engineer

Are you passionate about working in front of a computer? Are you a great problem solver? These are the questions to ask yourself when considering a career as a QA Manual Test Engineer or Quality Assurance Engineer. If you answered yes to both, or even one, you might have a long and lucrative working life ahead of you. Quality Assurance Engineers are in high demand across a wide range of industries in our technology drive day and age. There are millions of software products out there that require testing and quality assurance before being released to the public.

Getting Started

If you are considering a career as a QA engineer, then you must be a coder. If you have not reached a level of proficiency with your coding skills yet, your first step would be to hone your skills. Once you have mastered a few of the main coding languages, such as Java and the C programming languages, it becomes a lot easier to pick up others. Since QA engineers work in a wide variety of industries, your second step might then be to reflect on your interests in order to get a better idea of what industry you might like to work in.

Before becoming a QA engineer, you must first do your time as a junior QA manual test engineer. This role is more focused on software testing than it is on quality assurance. Your responsibilities mainly include executing tests and reporting bugs. A junior QA manual test engineer usually has under two years of experience. After gaining a few more years of experience, a junior QA manual test engineer begins to understand more about the software, how it is constructed and where it fails. They develop greater communication skills and are ready to be involved in quality assurance activities. Quality assurance considers the customer experience along with the technical aspects of a program.

Educational Requirements

QA Engineers are often required to have a Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science, though degrees in Software Engineering are not uncommon. Computer science programs are considered more advantageous because they offer a large variety of courses. You can go from learning the pillars of coding to the specifics of a career as a QA manual test engineer or QA engineer. Courses include programming basics, software architecture and quality assurance.

Along with relevant courses, a bachelor’s degree program gives students the opportunity to complete internships. Internships allow those wishing to become QA engineers to develop their skills and gain valuable work experience in their specific field. They also provide great opportunities for networking with potential employers and other professionals.

Personal Qualities

Along with the proper education and skills, a candidate for a position as a QA manual test engineer or QA engineer must have the appropriate qualities to succeed at their job. It is important to assess yourself before building your career to make sure you are the right kind of person for the job. A QA engineer is:

  • Problem Solving. A QA Engineer must be able to find any bugs in a software before the users do and fix them.
  • Analytical. Quality assurance includes customer service and a QA engineer must be able to analyze and deliver customer and computing needs.
  • Detail Oriented. QA engineers must stay focused, keep detailed records and make sure that all components of a software are in working order.
  • Communicative. QA engineers are the middlemen between customers and developers and must be able to communicate with both effectively.
  • Creative. It is crucial to be able to think outside the box in order to come up with solutions to coding issues that won’t jeopardize the overall purpose of a program.

Working as a QA Engineer

A QA Engineer oversees the entire development process of a software, from testing for bugs to ensuring that the product is successful on the market. They are involved in software design, writing and reviewing code, software testing and customer service. A good QA engineer will often break the process up into manageable parts and maintain control through effective goal setting. A QA engineer will be held responsible if a product does not meet company and government guidelines or its scheduled date for release into the customer market. They usually work in an office for 40 hours a week but can be required to work overtime in order to meet their deadlines and attend group meetings As QA Engineers spend a lot of time sitting and staring at a screen, some companies have fitness and recreation centers to encourage time away from the computer. This assists with health issues, boosts morale and increases overall efficiency.

Advance Your Career: How to Become a Senior QA Engineer

A senior QA engineer maintains all of the responsibilities of a junior QA engineer or QA manual test engineer but has more confidence in their abilities and requires much less assistance with their responsibilities. They are more in charge of oversight and get their hands a little less dirty. The distinction between a senior and junior position varies across different working environments but is determined largely by how many years they have been working in their field. Junior QA engineers or QA manual test engineers typically have less than 2 years of experience and graduate to the status of midlevel after 3 years. Senior status is typically achieved after 5-7 years.

Senior Responsibilities

Senior QA engineers have years of experience and practiced skill behind them. They are responsible for mentoring those of junior status and are excellent troubleshooters. They are expected to be able to quickly determine what the appropriate steps are for solving any number of problems due to having likely encountered them before. Their methods are usually very well documented and tested. They work with development and project management teams to strategize software testing, address user requirements and may even begin taking on team lead responsibilities.

Getting There

Promotion from a junior to a senior QA engineer requires a great deal of commitment and hard work. Most QA engineers have spent five or more years honing their skills and demonstrating their worth. You must have a lot of experience to pull from and a demonstrated ability to lead in order to become a senior QA engineer. If you keep learning, growing, taking initiative and stay up to date with the latest developments in your field, you are sure to get there eventually.

QA Engineer Job Description

We’ve done the research for you. After evaluating numerous job descriptions, we’ve written our own representative job description for a mid-level QA engineer with between 2 and 5 years of relevant experience

If you are looking for a company with which to grow your already demonstrated skills as a QA engineer than look no further. We are currently accepting applications for a QA engineer who is able to develop and execute manual and automated testing to ensure product quality. You will be responsible for designing and implementing tests, debugging and identifying corrective actions. The ideal candidate will have a keen eye for detail, excellent communication skills, and ability to think outside of the box. Ultimately, you will monitor all stages of development, resolve issues and ensure quality standards are met.

What We Need Your Help With

  • Review technical design documents and deliver meaningful feedback in a timely manner
  • Create a detailed, comprehensive and well-structured test plans
  • Coordinate tests before products are released to our clients in order to ensure software runs smoothly and meets their needs
  • Identify and document any bugs
  • Perform adequate testing when bugs are resolved
  • Develop and apply testing processes for new and existing products
  • Liaise with developer and project management teams to ensure all requirements are met
  • Identify the causes of faulty software and train users on your solutions
  • Stay up-to-date with new testing tools and strategies

We Look For

  • 4+ years Bachelor in Computer Science or Software Engineering
  • 3+ years experience in software development
  • 3+ years of experience in software quality assurance
  • Strong knowledge of QA tools and processes
  • Demonstrated ability to write clear and concise test plans
  • Skilled in effective troubleshooting
  • Strong critical thinking and analytical skills
  • Ability to handle and prioritize multiple tasks at once

QA Engineer Career Path: Where to Go from Here

After graduating to the position of a senior QA engineer, the next step would be to choose between a management stream or a technical stream. Test leaders or test managers usually have ten or more years of experience and are in charge of organizing the workload and assigning teams to specific tasks. The size of the teams they are responsible for depends on the amount of experience they have. This role requires even more communication, leadership and organization skills. Technical testers are required to be experts on the technical side of things. They automate all tests and deal with all technical aspects of performance and security. They must have an extensive knowledge of operating systems, databases, servers etc.

If the goal, however, is to branch away from QA, then a common path is for QA engineers to become developers. Developers deal mainly with programming and are often in close contact with QA engineers so they can easily learn from each other. QA engineers also have a lot of contact with project managers and might choose this field to branch off into. Project managers are passionate about communication and take responsibility for decisions made and all managerial tasks. Another route could be becoming a business analyst. They are considered to be the middlemen between customers and the IT team. This position requires excellent analytical skills.

C++

C++ is an object-oriented language derived from C, and invented by Bjarne Stroustrup, while working at AT&T's Bell Labs. It is widely used for systems-level programming, and building applications on Windows and various Unix operating systems (Lin...

Java is a statically-typed, cross-platform language. It is concurrent, class-based, and object-oriented. It has minimal implementation dependencies and compiled Java code can run on all platforms that support Java without the need for recompilat...

C

C is a widely used low-level, static-typed, compiled computer language known for its efficiency. Developed in the late sixties, C has become one of the most widely used languages of all time. It provides direct access to memory and due to its de...

Python is an object-oriented programming language notable for its clarity, power and flexibility. Python is an interpreted language, meaning that an interpreter reads and runs the code directly, rather than compiling down into static lower level c...

Swift is a programming language created by Apple Inc. for macOS, iOS, watchOS and tvOS development. It is meant to work well with the large body of existing Objective-C (ObjC) code written for Apple products. Some of the core concepts it supports...

Android is an open source mobile operating system created by Google. Globally, it is the most popular operating system, followed by Apple's iOS. Applications for Android are typically developed in Java, though Kotlin may also be used. Limited supp...

SQL

Structured Query Language (SQL) is a highly popular domain specific language (DSL) used to communicate with relational database management systems (RDBMS). SQL is a standard that is based on the "relational model", defined by professor E.F. Codd,...

PHP

PHP is a widely-used open-source scripting language that has seen wide use in web application development. PHP code must be processed by an interpreter like the Zend Engine. With a strong open-source community and large adoption world-wide, PHP ...

.NET is a framework created by Microsoft that consists of common language runtime and its own class library. Its key benefits are managing code at execution in the form of memory management, thread management and remoting. It also has added safet...

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