The introduction of new technologies has brought the latest updates in software design, development, testing, and delivery in recent years.
QA engineers can be crucial to any software development team, and every QA engineer must possess skills to perform effectively.
A key factor within the Agile methodology is testing, which ensures that the products are of the highest quality and satisfy the end-users. Software delivery pipelines and ecosystems have been built by companies to achieve this. However, despite all efforts, QA teams still need help with bottlenecks and bugs.
This article will cover five technical and non-technical QA skills you should develop to improve your quality assurance job performance and be more effective in your role as a tester/QA engineer.
Non-technical Skills Every QA Engineer Needs
Testers are responsible for finding bugs in software and then reporting them to the developers. But apart from that, the tester should also have some non-technical skills. Below are some of the essential skills:
Analytical Skills are a major part of the QA process. These skills include logical reasoning, problem-solving, and root-cause analysis. The analysis also helps testers determine which parts of an application to test based on their risk level.
Analytical skill levels vary by individual. A good software tester should possess strong analytical skills to create tests for a complex software system. Analytical skills will assist in building test cases that will give an understanding of the software system. So improving your analytical skills is essential.
Time management is a non-technical skill that every QA requires. It helps you to plan, prioritize, and be more efficient in your work day. A good way to manage time is by creating a list of tasks you need to complete each day and then breaking them down into smaller tasks with estimated times attached.
It will help you plan your day efficiently to save time on things that can be done tomorrow or delegated to somebody else.
When you’re a QA engineer, you’ll need to be able to convey your thoughts about the software in writing, orally, or with a whiteboard. The best testers are also good communicators because they can explain what they find and how it should be fixed without being too technical or vague. A good QA engineer should also be able to articulate their understanding of what’s happening when some bugs or problems cause a product to underperform.
Prioritization is a non-technical skill, but it is an important one. A QA specialist’s job is to make sure that the most important issues are fixed first. Thus, time management and focus are critical to achieving success.
Being able to prioritize tasks and projects is essential when you work with a fast-paced team where slacking is not tolerated.
Because of the overlap of computer science with mathematics and science, some might think the subject can be challenging without creativity or imagination. To turn a merely average application into a popular one, you need to think outside the box and introduce new ideas.
While one can probably get a job in this field with no creativity, it will be challenging to progress or be seen as an innovator.
Technical Skills Every QA Engineer Needs
To get a more clear idea of what these might look like, let’s look at five technical skills every QA engineer needs to have in their repertoire.
Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC)
If testers are willing to learn software development life cycle management skills, they can understand the development tasks of applications and plan the testing process accordingly with the SDLC structure.
The SDLC cycle will also help testers anticipate complexities in the application, which will help them take the appropriate measures earlier.
Basic knowledge of Database/ SQL
Backend data for software systems is stored in various databases, such as Oracle, MySQL, etc. There will be situations when you need to validate this data. So, you need to know how to use simple/complex SQL queries.
Knowledge of Any Defect Tracking Tool
Managing defects properly and tracking them systematically are crucial elements of software testing. A defect tracking system is required as everyone on the team must be aware of the issue, including managers, developers, and testers. QC, Bugzilla, and Jira are examples of the tools used to track defects.
Basic Knowledge of Linux Commands
Knowing a few basic Linux commands will make your life easier and allow you to understand the commands’ output when using other tools easily. Most software applications, such as Web-Services, Databases, and Application Servers, are hosted on Linux machines. As a result, testers need to be acquainted with Linux commands.
The Ability to Use Automation Tools
This is a skill that many people need to consider when looking at the qualifications for a QA engineer. The ability to use automation tools is essential to a tester’s job. It allows them to test more efficiently and work on more projects simultaneously.
It also provides them with additional skills, such as computer programming, which can lead to other opportunities in their field of expertise.
If we are talking about automation tools, why not deploy TestGrid? It’s a free automation testing tool. TestGrid is an automation tool that helps you create automated tests. These tests can automate the testing process and save time for other tasks.
With TestGrid, you can easily create functional and system test cases in various formats. In addition to creating functional tests, it will help you find bugs more quickly and get them fixed before they cause any harm.