Traditionally, the role of a QA engineer is to test a product, but the duties may vary depending on the organization’s size, structure, and needs. When you map the needs of your organization, you will find a long list of technical skills that are expected from a candidate.
To understand which of these skills are important and need to be emphasized in the assessment process, let us first understand what are the roles and functions of a QA engineer.
QA engineers are popularly called testers because they form test strategies, make test plans by understanding requirements and specifications, and implement and validate them.
Software testers are the reason why we get bug-free apps and software in the market today, as they create and execute several test scenarios for the software to pass. The bugs thus found are eradicated.
Software testers have a wide range of job titles, some of them are:
- Test analyst or QA analyst
- Software test engineer
- Test architect
- Test automation engineer
- Software development engineer in test
- Test manager
- QA team coordinator
To recruit QA engineers who fit your organization perfectly, you need to define a QA skill set, based on which you can formulate software testing online tests. Recruitment strategy focused on QA engineer skills should not just focus on tech skills but on soft skills as well, making it comprehensive.
While tech skills are reflected through assessment scores, soft skills are assessed based on how the candidate handles a particular situation during the assessment.
The assessment for QA engineer, therefore, needs to include a few questions to test soft skills such as EQ, problem-solving skills, decision-making skills, creativity, etc.
The QA Engineer Skills Can be Divided into Two Broad Categories:
- Product knowledge: Knowledge of the product is the most important aspect. Software testers are the people who are responsible to ensure that their end-users have a smooth user experience and meet their expectations.
If a QA engineer knows how the product is designed and what parameters are used, they would know how to test the product. Although they can analyze design only upon the completion of the black-box test plan, knowing the design can influence the testing strategy and refine the test plan. Even if they are well versed with manual testing, a QA engineer needs to learn automation and should have knowledge of scripting.
- Software development knowledge: This is required to code automated tests, and if the candidate knows how to code, they would know what can cause threats to the code and what to test.
- Database and SQL: The data that software has in the background is stored in databases like MySQL or Oracle, which needs to be accessed in situations where the data needs to be validated. The candidate should know the SQL series to check the data.
- Linux commands: Knowledge of Linux commands is required as most of the applications like databases and web-services use Linux machines.
- Test management and defect tracking: a QA engineer needs to know how to use test management tools and defect tracking tools like Jira or QC. Also, knowledge of performance testing tools can be an added advantage.
- Creativity: Performing regular tests will never help in detecting the hidden bugs. Hence, QA engineers need to do more than the obvious and use some creative methods to detect these bugs. But, along with creativity, they also should have a passion to do this challenging job accurately or it could get exhausting.
- Time-management: Testers are often found running out of time in doing the most urgent projects and tend to miss out on other important things like building test scenarios or updating regression tests. Staying organized and planning your work can save a lot of time and help you smoothly conduct critical jobs.
- Communication skills: Good listening skills are important to gain insights into what a developer is thinking while making a code. This will help in getting deep knowledge of the product. Also, interpersonal skills are required, as a QA engineers always work in teams. They also need to communicate delicate issues with the developers; for example, when they detect a bug it needs to be communicated exactly. Traditionally, people create a database to track the work, which is not a suitable method of communication for every team. What you can do alternatively is discuss with the team of developers, and maintain open communication to effectively detect and remove the bugs.
How Can imocha Help You Assess a QA Engineer Effectively?
imocha has a wide range of tests to assess a QA engineer's skills based on their level of expertise. imocha has a wide range of library to accurately assess QA engineer skill. These online skills assessments are further bifurcated on the level of expertise: for beginners, QA beginner test can be used, while for the experts, QA advanced test is available. Moreover, the QA aptitude test and QA online tests (automation) are specifically designed to tests automation skills.