For those who don’t know me, I’m Jacqueline, Quality Assurance Engineer at Infraspeak.
I want to share some of the twists and turns of my 12-year professional career, including how I landed in Tests and Quality most recently.
Essential things you need to know about me:
- I’m very curious and detail-oriented
- I’ve always viewed work as a great game, challenges are fun and always surmountable through effort
- I thrive in collaborative environments that value attention as a trait (this one is key!)
Defining Quality Assurance
(This text is based on my experiences, nothing here is written in stone)
With introductions made, we need to start by explaining the real role of QA in a team.
As the name suggests, “Quality Assurance” aims to guarantee the quality of delivery; test and validate requirements; double-check if everything is in agreement and maintain constant communication with the Product team to ensure alignment with customers’ needs.
Myth #1: QA just tests tickets and sends them forward — BUSTED!
QA facilitates inter-departmental communication
One of the most crucial roles of QA is to clear backlogs and straighten up communication blockages between Development, Product and Customer care.
This leads us to the second myth which needs busting: QA and Developers are enemies! This simply isn’t true. It’s my job to understand the work developers do as well as I can. This enables me to ensure it fits in with the roadmaps of neighbouring departments.
QA processes can (and should) be applied at all stages of development, e.g., when a QA suggests scenarios for its developers’ unit tests and shares input on the product, or when reviewing code, this practice is called shift-left testing and it has been proven to help a lot in reducing bugs found in the latter stages of testing (such as UI, acceptance, alpha, etc) because it ensures good code coverage in the initial phase.
Another terrifying myth that causes problems for those looking for modern IT posts but have difficulty with programming: QA professionals don’t need to be able to program or code.
This simple flow shows why this isn’t the case:
- You work within a software development cycle
- Software is made of tcharam… code
- Leading companies base their work on CI/CD, a DevOps culture grounded on Automation
- Automation = time optimisation and process standardisation through code, which leads to increased code coverage, encourages and brings developers closer to a testing culture, which guarantees what? The quality! 💃
Obviously, you don’t need to be an expert, but having a working knowledge of development phases is essential for QA professionals to add maximum value.
Beginners in the discipline need to understand this, as it’s so, SO important they don’t fall for the trap of thinking that QA Testing is simply fixing basic bugs!
My Top Tips for Entering Quality Assurance:
- Know and understand yourself, seriously. Understand where you like to work within the Quality process. What motivates you? What gives you purpose? This is only possible when you have an idea of what each position does. QA covers a wide range of specialities (Frontend, Backend, Performance etc) — spend time working out your interests.
- Learn English, because most of the documentation for project management tools, frameworks, and languages are in English. It’s also a great way to improve your chances of getting a job for a major company!
Finally, do you remember that at the beginning of this article I highlighted the importance of ‘attention’?
Here’s why: I have ADHD meaning when I started working on Tests, I made every mistake imaginable. Studying was disjointed and I couldn’t shake off the lie that you “didn’t need to master technical skills”.
When I joined Infraspeak, I was able to recognise these key facts about how I work. I learned how to coordinate my brain better and how to work more effectively. This allowed me to take advantage of scattered, lost information in my brain and connect it all to the realities of everyday work. Thanks to quick and constant feedback, I could develop these skills without fear of making errors and could cast these damaging myths aside! Thank you so much to everyone for supporting me with this.
It’s cool to see how I’ve developed here in just one year. I hope this article can demystify some aspects of our profession and that these tips are valuable.
Check this roadmap to better understand which QA path best suits you.