When we read through the job listings for QA and test professionals, we see a long list of technical requirements and desired experience. Soft skills are just as important and a QA engineer may also be judged on them when he walks into the interview, whether the organization is looking for a manual tester or a test automation engineer. The typical items in a job description include a degree and years of relevant professional experience, familiarity with certain databases and environments, testing skills, knowledge of the QA process, and much more. If the list consists of soft skills at all, they usually appear at the end, or as a separate ‘additional skills’ category.
As the world of online businesses grows and creates new challenges for the software testing industry each day, the pressure to deliver products to market and scale their production depends majorly on development and QA teams. In today’s evolving era, businesses understand why quality is important and are looking to get the most value out of their software development that requires teams to keep pace with the current software testing trends including best practices in terms of security and performance. For this, they also need to be equipped with the most popular QA testing tools.
In addition to changes occurring in the software industry, QA analysts face various issues on a daily basis. For QA experts looking to reduce their time to market and also boost their career in 2021 and for the years to come, we have outlined a few important factors below:
Employ Codeless Test Automation
Test automation has proved to deliver advantages in the form of control and transparency with respect to test activities while reducing the test cycle time. But all test automation platforms are not the same and only a minute number of organizations have gained the expected ROI from their automation efforts.
QA can achieve success at test automation by making their platform 100% codeless, which makes it easy to create, build, and maintain automation, involving both technical and non-technical users. In addition, their framework should be able to adapt seamlessly to ongoing change, allowing users to update and reuse automation testing through a single touchpoint. Here, QA is expected to do more with less, while they can remove the burden from their testing teams by implementing codeless test automation.
Establish a Testing Center of Excellence (TCoE)
As organizations embrace digital transformation, QA needs a more formal approach to testing in order to strike the right balance that can focus on software quality. A Testing Center of Excellence (TCoE) can provide a framework to manage all test environments, test data, and test automation frameworks.
Everyone is equally important for quality but someone needs to own it. When a testing and QA team works within a TCoE framework, they can eliminate redundancies, ensure software quality and reduce the risks of failure to the organization. It is a proven approach to reduce IT costs, accelerate innovation, sharpen testing competency and improve overall quality.
So QA experts can implement TCoC to centralize all test automation resources to have a positive impact on the development efforts. For organizations adopting agile, testing can be distributed to various testing projects from a centralized resource. They bring QA testing tools and expertise to the project with testing resources on various projects, which creates a centralized control without affecting their speed and flexibility. Thus, QA can save their team’s time and increase productivity.
As the number of platforms on which an app is available defines the market share, user experience carries more weightage and becomes the driver for rapidly changing requirements, frequent releases and shorter development cycles. In response to this, software testing teams have started reconsidering their priorities while taking a user-focused approach to quality at each stage of the software development life cycle. They also focus on solving and preventing performance issues at the very beginning of the app’s life cycle. As a consequence, performance testing objectives such as speed and stability of application under different circumstances transform into analyzing the system’s performance and realizing where the issue is rooted in the development process. Performance engineering allows QA engineers to build required performance metrics as per the design. It enables teams to move past running checkbox test scripts to study each part of the system.
Effective Reporting and Gauging Team’s Performance
These days, organizations are conscious about time to market, so QA often find themselves barely able to stay on top of the most urgent tasks. And in their efforts to do so, they may also neglect other tasks that still need to be done, such as regression tests, building test scenarios, etc. Staying organized and planning ahead can save time over the course of a given project’s lifecycle. QA teams should have a test management tool that allows effective reporting and does not take up a lot of their time. These reports can also help QA leads to gauge their team member’s performance and steer their testing efforts in the right direction.
Fortunately, the days when QA was considered an option are mostly behind us. With quality becoming a part of every step of the product life cycle, even if you choose an entirely technical track in your career, QA needs soft skills above to become an effective team player and work well within an organization. These skills might be less tangible than a degree yet they are essential for both QA testers and managers. As a hiring manager in QA testing, the above-mentioned skills are critical for a good hire. As a QA testing professional, these skills are often missing in the teams.