Just like any other manufacturing or production process, where the final product needs to be tested for quality and performance, software products also undergo a rigorous process of quality assurance or testing. Personnel who test software prior to release for production are known as software quality assurance specialists or QA engineers or testing engineers. This article provides instructions on how to become a software quality assurance (QA) specialist.
QA&testing are the final stages in any product lifecycle prior to mass production. As such, it is the software QA specialist’s job to…
- Run the software program or product through rigorous testing in a variety of standard and non-standard scenarios;
- Identify and document errors or glitches and send back the software for correction by the design team;
- Stay updated on the latest testing and QA protocols, procedures and products;
- Re-test software as it comes back from the design/production team after identified problems are resolved, until the testing is a 100% success;
- Approve release of software for production or installation.
Qualifications & skills
Most QA specialists begin their career as software engineers handling design and programming, before moving into QA testing and release. A bachelor’s degree in software, hardware or related subjects is definitely required for entry-level QA testing positions.
Others can move laterally into QA, having worked in other departments or related fields. Technical and other skills required to become a software QA specialist include:
- Some knowledge of programming languages such as C, C++, Java, etc;
- Familiarity with common testing platforms such as SQL, WinRunner, etc;
- Non-technical abilities should include attention to detail, lateral thinking, communication and people management, creative problem-solving etc.
For more information on a career as a software quality assurance specialist, look for the following publications in any online or real-time bookstore:
- The Handbook of Software Quality Assurance by Gordon Schulmeyer & James McManus;
- Fundamental Concepts for the Software Quality Engineer, edited by Taz Daughtrey
Follow the instructions provided above to get started as a software QA specialist.