The field of Quality Assurance (QA) is luring people to join the ranks of QA engineers and reach new heights in polishing up software products. Oftentimes, testing and QA are used interchangeably, and while testing does indeed constitute a significant part of quality assurance, it also involves the review of software requirements, the generation of documentation, and performing risk analysis. All in all, the career path requires a lot of studying and the enhancement of basic skills. But does coding have something to do with this? Before we explore the answer, let’s find out who a typical QA engineer is and the tasks they perform.
What Is a QA Engineer?
In a nutshell, with time, testers have undergone a certain upgrade and extended their expertise to now be called QA engineers. Both manual and automated QA engineers ensure the code is as free from bugs as possible at every step of Software Developement Life Cycle (SDLC). At the same time, they make sure that a program meets every business requirement of a client and that the end user’s flawless interaction with an app is not disturbed by glitches.
What Are the Core Duties of a QA Engineer?
In order to reach those goals above, the routine of a QA expert involves performing the following tasks:
- learning the requirements for software;
- conducting risk analysis to prioritize tests;
- test cases’ design and execution;
- close collaboration with the development team and project managers;
- tests maintenance and their adjustment to updates;
- test result analysis and checking compliance with software requirements.
What Skills Make a Good QA Engineer?
The precise skills and expertise required vary according to the specific pathway you choose within the extensive QA field. But take a look at the set of skills vital to every person who’s planning to perform software quality assurance in any form.
A great deal of success in software development lies in the effective interaction among all the IT departments, which is especially crucial for QA. They need to be constantly engaged with other team members, either in written or oral form, and precisely communicate to them the faults they detected in the code and how urgent it is to improve them. It’s also important to adjust your communication style and language when reporting bugs to a developer, a project manager, or a business owner. What’s more, QAs should know how to convey the message to one another and, of course, attentively listen to allocate tasks and roles within the team.
Attention to Details
One of the 7 principles of quality assurance proclaims that it’s impossible to guarantee 100% perfect software as a witty bug might always sneak somewhere around. It means that a tester must eliminate as many flaws as they possibly can to approach the maximum level of perfection. This, in turn, can only be done with great attention to details and meticulousness to catch even the smallest inconsistency with the quality standards and immediately report it.
Time Management and Discipline
The routine of a QA specialist consists of a lot of different tasks performed simultaneously. Some of them are extremely monotonous, some require the highest level of urgency, and some can be postponed. To deal with all of them, you need to understand how to allocate time in the most effective way, knowing your mental capacity and technical expertise. With the growing trend of remote work, a QA expert should definitely know how to optimize their time and stay productive.
Knowing SDLC Models
There are a number of cultures and frameworks a software development team might use based on the results they want to achieve and their timeframes: Agile, DevOps, Waterfall, Lean, etc. Not only do they differ in the overall project requirements, but the quality assurance activities are introduced at different steps. In order to flow smoothly into the process, a tester should be well aware of them.
Strive for Knowledge
The world of tech is evolving non-stop, hence the need to expand your expertise. Perpetually learning innovative tools to take QA to a new level is a must for a tester who wants to deliver bug-free products to clients for years to come.
A tester should not only keep track of emerging technologies to readily employ them whenever they’re needed but also accommodate the existing testing strategy on the go. Every software demands different testing methods, and clinging to only one approach is a certain cul-de-sac.
How Important Are Coding Skills for a QA Tester?
Some of the popular programming languages for a tester are Java, C#, and Python, but whether they’re needed or not depends on your role within a team. Generally, the skill is not required from a manual QA engineer, while those involved in automated testing were previously demanded to be proficient in coding. Knowing programming can also streamline communication between the QA and development teams. But today, even automation QA engineers don’t need to learn a programming language, as there are many tools to leverage and interact solely with their interface and not the code of the app under evaluation.
What Is No-Code Test Automation About?
No-code, or codeless automation, is, in effect, the new technology that allows people with zero coding skills to test software. If you’re wondering how it’s possible to test code without using code, here’s the answer: coding does happen, but in the background without confusing the tool’s user with unintelligible syntax. Let’s take DogQ as an example: it’s an AI-based tool that allows for no-code test automation of a web app through manipulation of the elements of a simple interface. It works as easily as this:
- Choose the pre-built test steps to run or create your own.
- Integrate DogQ with DevOps and collaboration tools.
- Schedule test cases and set the number of steps to run.
- Wait for the tests to be executed automatically by the tool.
- Receive clear reports about the detected bugs and review them.
All of the steps can be taken by both project managers and QA engineers with equal efficiency, and this is the biggest advantage of no-code tools.
How to Start the Career as a No-Code QA Specialist?
In case you need to perform QA activities but can’t invest your time and energy in learning a programming language or simply don’t feel the need for it, your best solution is a codeless automation tool. Make sure it doesn’t have a steep learning curve and is easy to use. Some of them go together with documentation, video guides, and an online community of QA enthusiasts ready to help if you’re struggling to use them.
For example, DogQ developed clear documentation to help a beginner start test automation right away, and once you feel ready to create your own customized test scenarios, feel free to do it right inside the tool. Beyond that, a friendly support team is always eager to assist you throughout the no-code testing journey, which, by the way, you embark on right now with a 14-day free trial period.