Who are QA engineers and how they help to save money

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Software defects can take $1 trillion of a world’s economy per year. The role of quality assurance is to save this money for business.

We talked to Taras, a chief quality officer at LinkUp Studio, with 6+ years of experience, to find out what QA actually is about, how it works and which stereotypes engineers have to deal with.

Who is a QA engineer?

QA engineers are professionals who focus on improving software development processes and preventing defects.

Their job scope embraces a number of duties: analyzing and reviewing documentation, creating their own documentation, making addressability metrics to show the test coverage to the product owner, performing manual and automated testing, designing, developing and maintaining automation scripts (like API and UI), checking the platform to find weaknesses and so on.

Stereotypes about QA

Some people think that everything that quality assurance engineers do is opening websites or applications, clicking different buttons and seeing if they can find some errors. Or, even better, if they happen to work in a game industry, all they do is play games all day long.

But in fact, all they actually do all day long is more likely to be sort of insurance for a business. Looking for bugs is just a tip of an iceberg, which takes only nearly 30 % of their time.

There are a lot of testing levers like, for example, unit, integration, system, and acceptance or types like manual testing, automated testing, sanity testing, smoke testing, penetration, security testing, performance testing — you name it!

Each product should be tested in the right way.

It’s all about saving money and time

It sometimes happens that product owners decide they don’t need a QA engineer, as they can test the product by themselves. After the release. And, of course, they may find defects which can be very expensive to fix.

QA testing is a process that has to start on the requirements stage. If this decision is taken on a production stage, it takes literally a hundred times more.

But it doesn’t mean that a product owner is excluded from the process. They can be added to our Jira, see all processes and communicate with the team which is a very useful practice.

Should they be cheaper than developers?

There’s also a stereotype that QA engineers are supposed to be cheaper than developers. It’s fair enough when we talk about a simple tester who uses a list of checks.

But in general, QA engineering is a complex process that includes writing their own scripts. And their job is not less stressful. Sometimes they need to understand the problem, find a blocker, prioritize bugs and help fixing everything asap.

Good plan is the key

Before starting new projects, QA engineers need to understand the main goal of it, set some test cases and prioritize them. They decide which of these test cases to use for regression testing.

And, in case of missing some important part, they should improve their scripts and add new checks and new scenarios further.

To find more about Taras, his plan and QA engineering, check the new episode of Building Digital Product podcast.