Did you know that in 2022, quality assurance (QA) ranked among the top 50 best jobs in America according to Glassdoor? When you consider the role’s earning potential, job satisfaction ratings, and potential growth, it is not surprising.
- Earning potential. According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), software quality assurance specialists earned an average salary of $98,220 as of May 2021.
- Potential growth. BLS also projects plenty of opportunities for this role. The demand for quality assurance testers is slated to grow 21 percent by 2030. Approximately 162,900 new jobs are available each year for software developers, QA analysts, and testers.
- Job satisfaction. The QA engineering or tester role in the US earned a cumulative job satisfaction rating of 4.6 out of 5 on the job site Glassdoor.
If you’re looking to break into tech, QA should be on your radar for career paths. To learn more about this role, read on as we explore the field of quality assurance and how you can make your way into the field in as little as three months.
What Is Quality Assurance (QA) in Software Testing?
It’s easy to understand what quality assurance is. Hint: it’s in the name. Quality assurance, or QA, refers to the process in software development that ensures a company’s products meet the standards, requirements, and expectations of internal stakeholders and customers.
It involves systematic efforts designed to improve the efficiency of the entire software development process and prevent critical errors. Because of this, QA affects all phases of product development, from planning to product release.
Those responsible for implementing QA practices are called QA specialists, which encompass QA automation specialists and QA testers.
QA Tester vs. QA Automation Specialist: What’s the Difference?
QA testers (or engineers) and QA automation specialists are two sides of the same coin. While both are in the business of assuring the quality of a product, they have different scopes and responsibilities.
Understanding the Role of a QA Tester
A QA tester ensures that issues are checked and resolved before a product or software is released to the public. They oversee the product from design to delivery to launch, working with software developers and architects to ensure that products meet product standards and are released error-free.
Manual testing falls under this area of QA. Typical responsibilities include manual testing in a new product’s pre- and post-release stages. Tests are executed manually to discover bugs and issues in software.
Understanding the Role of a QA Automation Specialist
Meanwhile, QA automation specialists typically come into the project towards the end of the product development process. They look for bugs and inspect whether the product is compliant with documentation. A manual QA tester or QA analyst may also be required to document any errors they find during testing.
As the title implies, this role involves manual and automated testing. Automated testing involves a certain amount of coding. This type of software testing uses scripted sequences executed by testing tools.
There is also an SDET or a Software Development Engineer in Test. This role is a combination of a developer and a QA specialist. They are more involved in the product compared to QA testers. They participate in product development, write application code, and know how to build test automation tools.
It’s important to note that no role is more important than the other. QA testers and automation specialists perform complementary functions necessary for product quality management. Both positions are essential in a product development team.
Read on to see if you have the skills necessary to become a QA specialist and how you can gain them.
The role of a quality assurance (QA) tester often ranks as one of the happiest jobs in the world. If you’re looking for a job that can give you the utmost satisfaction, TEST PRO can help you start your career in QA.
Top Six Skills You’ll Need to Become an Excellent QA Specialist
To know more about the critical skills needed for a QA career, we sat down with Marina Skyubit, an instructor and course architect at the QA bootcamp TEST PRO. Skyubit has also worked in QA for seven years and is currently the Lead QA for Disney Streaming, giving her great insights into what it takes to become a successful QA specialist.
According to Skyubit, the three soft skills that one needs to succeed in QA are the following:
- Communication Skills. Because QA specialists work with others on a team, effective communication skills are necessary. An essential aspect of this role is communicating about errors or issues in the product they are working on and ensuring their audience can understand their message.
- Critical Thinking Skills. An excellent QA specialist must know how to think critically about what they’re doing instead of simply following a process. They must understand how to explore and investigate issues, evaluate unnecessary procedures, and implement best practices.
- Attention to Detail. Because QA specialists are responsible for finding errors and issues, they must pay close attention to small details to correctly identify problems and report issues.
In terms of technical skills, the following are the most important:
- Basic computer knowledge. While coding is not required, those who want to work in QA must be comfortable working with computers. If you want to move from manual to automated QA later in your career, you will need some coding skills.
- Testing tools and techniques. A QA specialist must be familiar with testing tools and techniques. Some examples are bug-tracking tools, automation tools, and test documentation.
Skyubit shared that learners can gain all of these skills at TEST PRO and, after completing their course, possess the skills to work in the field of QA.
How to Become a QA Specialist
So, you want to become a QA specialist?
Take a look at TEST PRO, a bootcamp that equips its students with the tools they need to enter and succeed in the field of QA. TEST PRO offers the following courses:
- QA Engineer. This course puts your foot in the door for a career in QA and prepares you to become a QA manual tester in nine weeks.
- SDET. This program is for those with previous experience in manual testing who want to shift to an SDET engineering role.
Sofya Salina works as a Manual Quality Assurance Tester. Her journey began with TEST PRO two years ago in a bid to expand her technical skill set. “I saw an Instagram post about some popular courses for immigrants. Even though I was already employed as a Quality Analyst, I was interested in enrolling in their free class,” Salina shared.
After she finished her TEST PRO course, Salina didn’t avail of the job support TEST PRO offered because she was already employed. In the spring of 2022, she quit her job and contracted TEST PRO to ask if they could help her find a new job. “After waiting almost two years, I was pleasantly surprised that I could enroll in a course at no cost,” Salina said.
She reviewed the course and set up mentoring sessions with a TEST PRO mentor. A month after sending out her first resume, she landed a new job.
“After a month of working at my new job, I was surprised that TEST PRO provided me with even more hard-skill knowledge that I’m using. TEST PRO teaches you how to test on different platforms, how to test effectively, and use testing plans with different tools,” said Salina.
With TEST PRO’s help, Salina upskilled, found a new job, and is now a successful QA Tester.
Make Your Way to One of the Best Jobs Today
TEST PRO offers comprehensive courses for those looking to work in the lucrative field of QA. Whether you have previous experience in QA or you are starting from zero, TEST PRO can provide you with a path toward one of the best jobs today.
If you want to start your career in QA in as little as three months, apply to TEST PRO today.
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