Behind successful IT products, the hands and minds of developers are always highlighted as the backbone and lifeblood of a software project. However, QA Engineer helps to correct the errors and improve products to bring to users, always being a silent contribution.
First of all, we need to know QA stands for:
QA (abbreviation of Quality Assurance) is the person responsible for ensuring product quality through putting forth workflows with related parties.
In general, QA Engineer plays a role in ensuring quality of product. The QA process helps to ensure that the processes built to produce the products need to correct and do not create defect-free products and comply with all requirements given in advance.
QA is a proactive process and started in the beginning of project to catch the requirements or not required, the expectations of the products. Thence, building a plan to reach these requirements and expectations.
Some companies use QA instead of QC (Quality Control) so many people confuse QA with QC. Therefore, a number of roles appear in the labor market such as PQA (Process Quality Assurance) and SQA (Software Quality Assurance).
Type of QA Tester
In particular, SQA acts as an official QC, undertaking the testing of developing products. And PQA is the one responsible for making workflows before starting a project.
In many small and medium companies, they do not specify a clear PQA position. QC Manager/Leader will be in charge of making workflows between related parties. Once that process is approved by management, it will be maintained and applied to the project.
This is a very important position for teams making products. Therefore, ordinarily, only large outsourcing companies such as KMS, Harvey Nash, and FPT Software ... have just recruited PQA positions and only 2 -3 people for all teams making products. The rest, most software companies often recruit SQA (often called QC).
Relationship between QA and QC: QC process receives input from QA process, QA receives feedback from QC and performs validating operational process.
For instance, if the project team found an error during the execution of the project, they would fix the bug (QC) and send feedback on the QA team. QA Team will have to find out the cause of the error and QA Engineer will come up with a solution to correct / prevent errors for not happening this error in the future. When this process is updated, QC Team will follow this new process.
Thus, QA and QC are two completely different processes, with reciprocal relations, QA input as QC, and QC input as QA.
QA Engineer Career
The main tasks of QA Engineer are:
Proposing and developing a product development process in accordance with the specific requirements of each project. These processes can be developed based on V-model or Angile (mostly Scrum or Lean Development). Or through the application of existing management processes such as ISO or CMMI.
Provide documents, forms and instructions to ensure the quality of products for all parts of the product development team.
Check and audit the process’ implementation of the parts in the team making product whether to correct the proposed QA process or not.
Remind the product development team to comply the proposed workflow.
Adjust, change the process to suit each product, which the teams is implementing.
QA Engineer Skills and Improvement
Essential skills for QA Engineer:
Deeply understand the architecture system of software because QA's work is wider than QC.
Organizational ability, logical and systematic thinking.
Analysis skills, good in working based on data.
Extensive knowledge about the software’s areas, which teams are implementing.
Communication skills within the team and other teams. Purpose: exploit information about products, projects and apply it to build process systems.
Understand the CMMI, ISO certificates in the software to build standard processes for teams.
Resources that are useful for learning QA Engineer (PQA):
CMMI Wikipedia: source of information about CMMI certification needed for PQA.
Wibas: detailed instructions about the work of PQA and some references.
CMMI Consultant Blog: full information about CMMI certificate and PQA work.
Timerville Timerville: a very detailed article about 7 steps to do PQA work.
Quality Assurance and Measurement: Detailed instructions on the steps to perform PQA and documents.
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