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Recruitment | 10 Min Read

Here’s All That You Need to Know Before Hiring a Quality Assurance Engineer

Introduction

‘To err is human’ is a common phrase among those who believe making mistakes is natural. However, it can have severe implications in the tech world. There may be a high cost of an error if the product or service has the slightest of mistakes. And these aren’t your regular problems associated with discrepancy and inconsistency. The implication in the real world is a consequential impact on the end-user experience.- In April 2015, the Bloomberg terminal in London crashed due to a software glitch that affected more than 300,000 traders in financial markets. It forced the government to postpone a 3 billion pound debt sale. In a more relatable context, Starbucks was forced to close about 60 percent of its stores in the U.S and Canada due to software failure in its POS system. At one point, stores served free coffee as they were unable to process the transaction. Indeed, such are the vulnerabilities that pose significant challenges. This is why multiple rigorous frameworks and tools are available today to assure a product is error-free and adheres to the prerequisites of standard quality before, during and after its release. In a competitive market, we understand the value of quality and customer satisfaction and how every company wants to ensure they are well-informed about them. But how does one go about them?

Software Testing and the Role of a QA Analyst

When software is created, it is expected to be seamless and agile in design, distribution, and delivery. However, a rigorous environment for Quality Assurance or Software Testing is created to identify problems in a system, product, or application throughout a program’s lifecycle to build-in quality. By creating various test artifacts, quality assurance analysts or software testers develop test cases for distinct test scenarios to verify whether the software features are working as intended. This critical process helps assure, verify, and validate an error-free software. 

Along with fixing problems, software assurance testing establishes quality standards and implements the checks and balances needed to ensure the developed product meets the stated standards. There are about 150 testing procedures that keep growing and evolving periodically. 

An entire army comprising developers, operators, and testers, in a shared and responsible atmosphere, prioritize testing to ensure delivering a supreme quality end-product. 

What Is the Role of a Quality Assurance Analyst?

A quality software assurance analyst in the software testing world is responsible for identifying whether the software is functional, reliable and meets the end user’s expectations. With certain established practices and principles, hiring a quality assurance analyst will ensure that the entire software development lifecycle, right from the requirement, management, design, coding, testing, and release to the customer, is as per the predetermined quality guidelines. 

The profile of a quality assurance analyst is replete with innovation and experience, from continually improving the software products and applications to breaking them several times only to debug. 

They are most commonly found working alongside the development team and a business analyst to validate test cases based on software requirements. After all, it is their approval that lets the software get shipped across the globe.

How to Hire the Best QA Analyst

Whether you are planning to hire a fresher, QA analyst, or a QA tester, it is important to understand whether the concerned person is effective in strengthening your company or team. The hired professional should bring some value rather than filling up a vacancy. 

Hence, begin your search by answering a simple question- do you know what you are Looking for? Apprising yourself with the company’s hiring needs, and your candidate’s persona brings clarity to your recruitment process. Having detailed information will have long-term benefits for organizations in multiple ways. Be very specific to eliminate those who aren’t good fits. A filtered search is critical to a good hiring process.  

To begin with, below is a brief overview of quality assurance testing and what is trending in the segment, to help you stay informed.

What Are the Different Types of Software Testing?

Software Testing can be categorized into two broad types:

Manual Testing:

As the term denotes, manual testing is significantly labor-intensive and is used for short life cycle products. A QA Analyst executes the test cases and generates reports by analyzing the software’s erroneous behavior and functionality. It doesn’t make use of any automation tools. This makes the task a time-consuming and regressive affair. Although manual testing performs well in certain areas compared to machines, it is losing interest amongst testers who perceive it to be expensive, less reliable, and prone to errors.

Automation Testing:

The new buzz word in the testing landscape for testing at scale within a record-breaking turnaround time is automation testing. Using frameworks and tools to execute test cases, analysts optimize the testing process with higher accuracy, thereby delivering high performance and eliminating testing fatigue.

Depending on your software, multiple types of test cases can be automated. But, here is a list of the most crucial types vital for your business in 2020:

 

Automation Tools Relevant in 2020

To ensure the overall performance of the software in terms of functionality, load-bearing capacity, UX & UI, cross-platform compatibility, and much more, it is imperative to integrate ideal testing tools that effectively address each problem area. Only the right solution will optimize coverage, speed, and costs. Every year, choosing the right automation tool becomes a significant challenge with the introduction of a bouquet of new test automation frameworks, test runners, libraries, and whatnot. Don’t fret. Here’s our top-pick for 2020:

1. Selenium is a powerful household testing suite that comes with four different testing tools for web applications. With the utmost flexibility and end-to-end testing support, analysts can create robust test scripts that post the redesigning of Selenium IDE can support continuous Integration and Codeless Automation.

  • To use Selenium effectively, users have to possess advanced programming skills and need to spend considerable time to build necessary automation frameworks and libraries. 
  • 1135 companies like Apple, Trivago, Accenture reportedly use Selenium as an essential tool in their tech stack.

 

2. Ranorex is an all-in-one testing tool best used for mobile, desktop, and web application testing under multiple environments, devices, and applications.

  • With a moderate learning curve, minimal programming expertise, and easy-to-use powerful features, Ranorex helps reach test automation goals faster while enabling timely reports.  
  • 954 companies like Adidas, Canon, IBM, Dell deploy this comprehensive solution for its built-in methodology and quality of support that allows the creation of web tests using script-free or code-based Ranorex tools.

 

3. Katalon Studio is an award-winning automated testing software built to provide a flexible and continuous testing solution during any testing maturity. Its feature-rich set includes test automation of API/Web services, Web, and mobile applications that support scalable projects.

  • Katalon is extremely easy to set up and use. Hence even with minimal programming skills and no specialized coding knowledge, testers can create viable solutions. 
  • 55,000+ small, medium and large companies are using Katalon across multiple projects and more.

 

4. Test complete is an automated UI functional testing tool for desktop, mobile, and web applications. Its robust capabilities help maximize test coverage that ensures high-quality, battle-tested software.

  • Irrespective of the level of technical or non-technical skills, the user-friendly useability of this tool provides a continuous testing framework with a faster delivery process. 
  • Leading companies like JP Morgan, CISCO, Intuit, McAfee have been leveraging this intelligent tool to scale their projects.

 

5. Kualitee is a dynamic cloud-based all-in-one software testing tool with an interactive and user-friendly dashboard that meets all the testing needs. It helps in creating custom test scenarios, test cases, that can be used for various projects.

  • Many businesses, including the Emirates, Cox Enterprises and T-Mobile, use Kualitee for their daily testing activities.

 

Front-End Testing Tools

There are many useful front-end testing tools available in the market; If you seek clarity on the software’s performance and scope. A software tester can improve the quality of the front-end with much ease, with a detailed understanding of business requirements and hands-on expertise on the tools. Limeroad and Karma are the most preferred tools to test the overall functionality and usability of the software’s front-end.

  • If you’re looking to test the cross-browser scalability and compatibility of your software’s front-end – the popular Lambda Test can be performed
  • If you’re aiming to test your visuals and CSS- Needle is an ideal testing tool 
  • Depending on your choice and business needs, you can choose from a multitude of JavaScript unit testing frameworks give below to eliminate any errors. 

 

Back-End Testing Tools

With multiple databases and their ranges, concepts, and application user interface at stake, back-end testing is vital to remove any kind of threat that hampers the programming’s seamless functioning. Sensitive problems like data corruption, data loss, and privacy complications are other reasons for ensuring a thorough back-end testing of software.

  • Three standard tools used in back-end testing activities include- Data Factory, Data Generator, and Turbo Data. They ensure a comprehensive solution at the beginning of the development process itself.
  • The syntax of even the most top-notch programming languages needs to be easy to implement to let the developer concentrate his productivity on development rather than debugging. But to makes things efficient, there are a few testing frameworks that can be adapted to ensure smooth functioning of the language:

There is an extensive range of testing processes at your disposal that test different aspects. However, they can’t be applied with a trial and error method; the tester must know the objectives of the process to refer to the right tool. It helps in finding quick results with enhanced performance.

Career Path for a QA Analyst

The career of any aspiring software tester in a typical company begins by accumulating some practical knowledge and fortifying their testing concepts. Since there is no strict timeline for growth, one has to be extremely proficient in their role. Post which promotion to a more sophisticated level is at play. This includes a shift from monitoring and reporting deviations to solving the root cause of problems while visualizing quality. Here the tester is significantly involved in the quality assurance service. During your learning phase, one tends to discover their areas of interest. You also explore the various possibilities ahead, along with a quick view of the synergy that exists. After spending measurable time eliminating testing bottlenecks, and improving delivery pipelines, you generally foresee these viable options- 

  • Continue up the corporate ladder and become an expert 
  • Move into a more specialized zone with expertise 
  • Acquire new skills concerning test and tools 
  • Explore your potential in the freelance/consultant world

Contrary to popular belief, the sky’s the limit for a QA analyst. With time and patience, every tester can chalk out a unique journey as per their liking. There has to be a driven mindset and commitment towards work to ensure the next step in the right direction. Additionally, learning is a never-ending process that comes handy, along with excellent skills, to give you an edge over others. Hence, you should be dedicated to upping your ante for the future. You need to think long term to remain relevant to the world.

Challenges in Hiring a Software Assurance Analyst

Understandably, quality is integral for every company. For this reason, recruiters across the globe scout for a dedicated and focussed quality assurance tester who’s strong in both programming and testing. Now, while an interview gets you acquainted with the attributes of the person, you don’t get a preview of their skill set. 

As many of our recruiters have a minimal technical background or lack of assessments that help conduct holistic tests to identify the candidates’ proficiency in their work, hiring the right person becomes a challenge.

How Mercer | Mettl Helps Hire the Best

The biggest filter in your recruitment process is a hands-on programming assessment test. 

Hence, Mercer | Mettl’s automated online quality assurance analyst assessment tests simplify your technical hiring process. A QA assessment test identifies potential candidates, evaluates them on various skill sets and provides a comprehensive summary of their knowledge. It is in tandem with the company’s vision of what a quality assurance analyst must do regularly. 

We also provide diverse QA assessment testing tools and test cases like question types, including MCQs, case study simulators, coding simulators, etc. With data-driven evaluation methodology, intuitive user interface and customized reports, hire a quality assurance analyst whether through campus drives or resumes within stipulated timelines.

Ready to Use Pre-Build Tests

The quality and coverage of our technical questions are unmatched as we cover a vast array of roles and skills. A rich repository of 100,000+ Technical Questions for 300+ Skills helps test a coder’s competency at every level comprehensively. You can choose from a set of readily-available standardized tests such as Testing with QTP, Performance Testing with Loadrunner, SAP ABAD Developer Assessment, Security Assessment Testing, to name a few from our vast library of Programming Assessments. With a ready-to-use pre-build test set, instantaneously assessing a coder’s skill helps save precious time.

Customization at Each Level

In case you are looking for something specific, we get our team of experts to build a customized assessment that you can’t find anywhere. These tailor-made pre-hiring assessments are an ideal filtration process to explore candidates’ desired skills set without bias, not only for IQ skills but for coding skills as well. Tailored solutions matching organizational objectives with features and applications are offered at every level to assist you in hiring an ideal software assurance tester.

An Extensive List of Simulators

Mercer | Mettl offers an extensive list of simulators to evaluate a coder’s hands-on experience and the ability for the desired role. They enable hirers to give a real project to a coder from a specific domain of software development. They also evaluate their experience and capability to solve a problem in any desired programming language. These real-world challenges provide a real sense of a candidate’s project building capabilities.

This comprehensive simulator environment is available for 

  • Codelysis: back-end Simulator

Evaluates candidates’ experience and ability to solve a problem in any desired programming language

  • DBLysis: Database Simulator

Evaluates candidates’ capability to write correct and optimized SQL queries

  • FES: front-end Simulator

Evaluates candidates’ capability to implement web designs and solve problems using front-end technologies

  • R: Data Science Simulator

Evaluates candidates’ analytical & statistical acumen for data analytics roles

  • Code Project: back-end+DB Simulator

Evaluates candidates’ capability to develop console-based applications

  • MEAN Simulator

Evaluates candidates’ capability to develop front-end, back-end and database applications using JavaScript.

These simulators are highly-scalable, auto-graded and designed to test students’ and professionals’ coding skills. Our simulators support all popular technologies and enable creating language-agnostic questions. A complete auto-graded evaluation report provides a detailed code journey with a plagiarism detector.

Unique Role-Based Coding Platform

Mercer | Mettl is introducing a first-of-its-kind all-in-one coding assessment platform to assess candidates on project-based, real-world tasks. It would enable catering to an advanced requirement of evaluating candidates in a project-based coding environment. The highly sophisticated and customizable tool with real-time, insightful reports and auto-evaluation of the code provides best-in-class integrated development environments (IDE) and programming tools to evaluate candidates’ proficiency levels. It caters to all major programming roles and supports the most diverse set of technologies. The major roles include:

  • Front-end Development
  • Back-end Development
  • Full Stack Development
  • Data Science
  • DevOps
  • Quality Assurance

The Future of Software Testing

There is a need to focus on what lies ahead rather than what’s happening now. Software testing has become indispensable as one of the key prerequisites for any software product is its user-friendly UX. As our dependence on technology grows, we must ensure a flawless and seamless consumption, backed by no troubleshooting problems and glitches. This would mean businesses would have to invest more effort into taking testing to a much higher pedestal throughout the product’s life cycle. Apart from increasing the automation’s use as a default approach for efficient usability, security, and error-free functionality, they will have to leverage the intelligence of both AI and Machine learning while performing testing. Imagine the quality and quantity of tasks that can be undertaken with negligible labor and supervision. From the kind of test coverage available to forecasting the potential challenges in the software at various stages, the precision of error identification, tracking, and mitigation will be up by a considerable margin. We believe AI and ML will generate an entirely new wave of simplifying complex processes emerging on the horizon. 

But, technology isn’t the only change agent of the future. The development of humongous insightful data is also fuelling the need for a more rigorous testing process. Behavior-driven testing will become a source of valuable insights and give business owners significant hope for scalability. 

Additionally, the expected emergence of IoT and cloud adoption environment will also take priority in refining the testing process to deliver high-quality products.  Simultaneously, testers will be required to be diligently updated on rapidly changing trends. Because if you are not evolving, you aren’t embracing the fluidity of your capabilities or the software. To succeed, you need to augment your expertise, hone your skills, and update your knowledge base continuously.

Originally published July 7 2020, Updated July 8 2020

Shirisha Jain

Written by

Shirisha has been helping countless brands gain traction with her content. Her deep understanding of the education sector and sound knowledge of technical skills have helped her structure the most creative solutions for key stakeholders. Shirisha has also ghosted pieces for several industry honcho’s successfully published both online and offline. When she's not keeping up with the world, you're sure to find her catching up on bollywood stories or gramming for fun.

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