It is really easy to learn the testing tool.

It is really easy to identify defects and then critically go through an application
and it is really easy to say that I don’t have much of a development background – so let’s make it Quality Assurance. But we should realize that SQA is a role which will always be regarded as the “Critic” – and with critical approach comes resistance.

The reason we look for prior software experience + testing experience before hiring is due the fact that the tester will be responding directly with the development, implementation and customer support team. (Because this is where the inputs comes in). Therefore a good QA Engineer must be:

* Consistent
* An excellent communicator
* aware of the arguments that could follow in result of their findings.
* aware of how to describe and present an issue with proper evidence.
* aware of reporting their activities within team and also to management.
* know the definition of ownership and can prove this on each assignment.
* sincere to their team and supportive to the peers and teams.

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Now How to get a good QA Engineer?
(Getting an apple from the barrel is different in getting one from the tree)

Usually in our universities Students are required to submit their projects at the end of each year + semester interval and most of these are somehow development projects (Correct me if I am wrong here)

Now the concern is that the Universities are not focused on producing SQA professionals. SQA is actually taught as a subject and methodology. It is not trained in practical manners. That is why for fresh graduates who shows interest in SQA, tends to deliver very basic of experience or no experience.

What to do? –

At the university level the students must produce SQA resultants and processes within their normal project activities and deliverables.

They should work in different roles (if in groups), provide product status reports of defects and changes, bug tracking reports, Unit test sheets and test case documents.

(If we could make this a mandatory activity we shall have SQA professionals in our hands at the final year) – I hope this works out.

Further on speaking to professionals;

“Crashing the application” and “Critical Approach” are Juicy and yummy aspects of QA activities, and to be true most of the young talent just want to get their guns off at the first instance, adding to my argument there is a dialogue in Animated Feature “Ratatouille” (2007) which goes like this:

“In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so. But there are times when a critic truly risks something, and that is in the discovery and defense of the new. The world is often unkind to new talent, new creations, the new needs friends.”
In a nut shell, a good QA engineer must be a good “Critic” but with a realization of “Positive” energy and of the fact that there is a whole team waits for his/her findings, resolutions which will get them in achieving the set objectives.

 

Arslan Ali is a Software Testing and Training professional; he serves his passion at OuttaBox (www.outtabox.co) as a Training Consultant for various software testing workshops, and also works as a Senior Consultant Information Solutions at Sidat Hyder Morshed Associates – a renowned software solution provided in Pakistan.

Arslan has been around ICT industry past 15 years and have diverse experience in Software Development, Quality Assurance and Business Process implementation.

You can reach him out on twitter @arslan0644.

 

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