Quality-assurance

Who are Quality Assurance Engineers and Why You Need Them for Your Project

Code that’s initially flawless is almost as real as unicorns. Even NASA has malfunctions. Neglecting Quality Assurance (QA) can result in serious challenges. Below, you’ll find out who is in charge of the quality of your software product and why QA is essential on IT projects.

Table of Contents

  1. Who are QA Engineers?
  2. Benefits of QA Services
  3. When QA is 100% Required
  4. QA Engineer’s Skills & Competencies
  5. Summing Up

Who are QA Engineers?

Quality Assurance Engineer is a specialist responsible for identifying, avoiding, and fixing bugs before the product is released, and before is a keyword here.

A QA engineer evaluates software from the customer's perspective, understands the product’s features, develops a test strategy, plans test cases, and picks which tools to use for testing. A QA specialist needs to make sure that everything in software works correctly and the final product meets both customers’ expectations and modern standards in software development. QA engineers don't write code - that's the developers’ responsibility. However, their technical background allows them to read the code and understand how it works.

Not only the final product but every step of development should be trouble-free thanks to quality assurance. A new piece of software should not be written unless the existing ones are tested. Otherwise, a QA engineer might have an additional load of work, and identifying where the bug is might become even more problematic.

Benefits of QA Services

What makes a user delete an app? That’s the experience that is rather annoying than pleasant when flaws surpass the good things about it. Why is it happening and how can developers not see what’s wrong with their brainchild?

Of course, they can, but a fresh eye won’t hurt. In sports games, there are judges watching the game and detecting violations of its rules. Players and spectators all know the rules too, and still, we have judges. QA engineers are somewhat judges on the programming field.

There are a few ways how you can benefit from Quality Assurance on the project. Below, learn what to expect from QA.

QA Protects Your Brand

A while ago, software testing didn’t play such a significant role in the product’s success in the market. You could hope that a fixed version released quickly after launch would solve the problems. Today, in case of a bugged release, users immediately turn to social media and review sites to lambast you. The new reality is that the more testing you can do, the more chances there are to find every bug. What it means is that you protect your brand by finding bugs before an end-user does.

Professional QA Drives Better Results

Today’s applications are complex to test. The complexity of Quality Assurance is at its peak when you add things like responsive UI, cross-browser testing, multiple operating systems, and user customization. In effect, modern applications are exponentially harder to test than their predecessors. In other words, you need effective automated testing.

Ensures User Loyalty

Making mistakes doesn’t make a bad programmer - most occur due to the human factor. Developers get tired and distracted by the end of the working day like everyone else does. Their code is still good, but not devoid of bugs. Still, even small bugs that haven’t been fixed may be crucial for some users, and the question of quality becomes the question of loyalty of users. So why risk it?

A QA specialist needs to look at the software functionality from the user’s perspective. The code can be technically correct but devoid of logic. For example, if during registration a user enters a non-unique password and gets a notification ‘[username] is already using this password’, it violates their security.

QA Improves The Product

Testing is much more than finding bugs in your product. For instance, a well-designed test plan checks every user journey through the application. If you manipulate everything well, you can see how your backend performs and view a detailed comparison of your current build with previous ones.

Testing Brings Profit

Thorough testing is key to keeping your users happy, and that, in turn, will drive revenues. Stable, well-tested, and bug-free software will generate more profit than poorly-tested one. Not only that, but it will also reduce the load on customer service, especially when you are scaling your business.

QA is Time & Cost Saving

Programmers focus on developing and implementing functionality. Most commonly, what’s paid for is programmers’ working hours. That means it’s more cost-efficient for you as a customer if a programmer writes more code rather than inspects each line for mistakes. The more time it takes the developer to fix the code, the more expensive the project will become for you. It’s cheaper to fix an issue while the trail is still hot rather than wait until it ruins your product, so a specialist focused exclusively on software testing is the best option.

When QA is 100% Required

It’s always up to you whether you go for QA services or not. However, there are cases when they are absolutely necessary - otherwise, it’s very risky to launch.

Financial Operations

Operations involving payments need to be tested extremely closely. What if a paid operation runs with no write-off or money is charged twice? You either lose profit or make users furious. Everything that concerns money - eCommerce platforms, online banking systems, FinTech apps - needs double-checking. Our QA engineers assure smooth and bug-free write-off procedures. The same goes with accounting: when the system involves large amounts of data, it should be handled very attentively.

Key Module

A key module is an instrument in a software product that most people use. It’s chat in Telegram, video player on YouTube, and catalog on eBay. Product is useless if it can’t perform its core functionality, something people came for. Nothing overpasses the attentive eye of a QA engineer, however, what they check first is always the main module: either chat, map, admin panel, video player, etc.

Complex & Highly Loaded Systems

When the product is ready and about to launch, the ultimate thing to test is whether it’s able of handling a high load, especially if your solution is designed for a large business. Software’s inability to be delivered to multiple users at a time can be crucial in regions with a poorer internet connection. QA engineers evaluate app performance on all devices with different connection quality.

Not only must the code be clean - it has to operate the way you expect it to. The software which code is correct but lacking optimization won’t be a success. Optimization problems will cause issues with the loading speed, and software will constantly pull timeouts. Timely detection of such inevident issues can prevent a massive user churn.

QA Engineer’s Skills & Competencies

Software testing is a practice area that requires the application of certain skills.

A QA specialist knows the phases of software development and how to apply this knowledge. For example, they can replicate critical and complex bugs, meaning that QA engineers understand how defects occur, under what circumstances, and which steps need to be taken to find them. When you go for QA testing with Anadea, you get highly qualified engineers with a technical university degree.

When it comes to the personality of a QA engineer, mind that their job requires a scrupulous approach, thoroughness, and attention to minor detail. Software testing is not the kind of job that fits everyone, it’s somewhat dull and monotonous. You’ll hardly be able to evaluate such traits of a worker as assiduity and meticulousness just from talking to them, so pay attention to more evident and objective aspects, such as their education and experience on relevant projects.

What else you can evaluate is a QA engineer’s communication skills. A great QA specialist not only detects bugs but also reports them to developers and you, the customer. Reports are concise and clear, the QA engineer communicates diplomatically and blames nobody for mistakes. In the end, it’s their direct responsibility to eliminate those.

Summing Up

The words ‘Quality Assurance’ are more meaningful than it seems: by hiring QA engineers, you assure not only the quality of your product, but also users’ satisfaction, loyalty, and positive experience. Instead of bug reports from users, smoothly running software will receive the best feedback from them.

Amazon, Twitter, Warner Bros, Airbnb, Fitbit, Sony PlayStation, GoPro - all have a QA department. These companies want to minimize the chance of a refund and they understand that the better quality the product is, the lower the risk of financial failure. That's why they hire the experts in minimizing such a risk, and so should you.