A software development quality assurance engineer has to be well-versed in all aspects of the projects they oversee. But the role calls for much more than a general knowledge of fundamental technical capabilities. A good software QA engineer needs to have strong analytical and problem-solving skills, an understanding of software development and testing processes, excellent communication skills, and an eye for detail. They should be organized, able to work independently, and be able to handle multiple tasks at once. They should also be familiar with automation tools, bug tracking software, and version control systems. Additionally, they should be able to work with stakeholders across the organization to ensure quality assurance standards are met.
What makes a good software QA engineer? What differentiates a QA engineer who’s merely competent from one who exudes excellence?
15 Core Software Development QA Engineer Skills
Every software QA engineer is tasked with understanding their development projects, including each team member’s roles. In addition, every QA engineer needs to be able to handle the following duties:
- Developing test cases
- Creating unique test scripts for each project
- Testing functionality
- Overseeing bug fixes and error testing
- Communicating with the development team and clients
- Reviewing and guiding software design
Beyond job qualifications, a software QA engineer must possess the following strengths to lead their development team in producing the best software for their client.
A software QA engineer can foresee how every step of the software development process serves to exceed the client’s requirements and expectations.
QA is a proactive process to predict challenges and prevent potential obstacles to a product’s success. When errors or problems arise, teams are prepared and able to spot them earlier in the process.
Every software project is unique. A QA engineer needs to adapt to the conditions and accommodations that make for the best final application.
Projects differ based on many factors, like:
- The target end user
- Feature sets
In addition, different industries may have entirely different needs, and the QA engineer has to adjust to each.
Software QA engineers aren’t responsible for hands-on coding, design, or client account management, yet they are deeply involved in each task.
They work alongside every team member—at eye level with their skills and knowledge base. Collaboration requires the nuance to oversee development with authority while reflecting a ground-level understanding of each team member’s role.
Getting the best from every person on the software development team calls for excellent communication skills. The QA engineer needs a contextualized understanding of the inner workings of the entire software development life cycle (SDLC).
Discussing product goals with a client differs from talking with developers about bug fixes. From feature requirements to documenting updates, QA calls for oral and written communication that translates well for every team member.
The QA engineer has a vision for every unique project. Their deep understanding of the client’s needs and feature expectations, and what is required from the development team necessitates strategic thinking and planning throughout the development cycle.
QA engineers need an eye for the finer details. They possess an analytical mind to identify, decipher, and resolve problems. Determining what aspects of development are on target and what needs greater attention is an indispensable trait of what makes a good software QA engineer.
It only takes one line of code to throw a project off course. The QA engineer is often tasked with creating custom scripts that test for bugs. Unique from the qualities of a good software tester, they need to consider those finer details that align with the client’s vision for the final product.
They have to focus on technical and logistical issues while thoroughly documenting bugs and fixes.
A software QA engineer needs more than a general knowledge of the roles of each member of the development team. They understand client relations, project projections, design architecture, and the programming languages used in development.
A QA engineer’s knowledge has to go deep enough to view problems and development stages from each team member’s perspective.
Software development calls for a brutally tight schedule from ideation to deployment. A QA engineer needs a strong sense of the project’s time trajectory at every milestone, remaining prepared for unexpected challenges.
Every software project comes with unique features, client wishes, and end users in mind. The ability to take a team’s core capabilities and shape them to the requirements of every new project is central to a QA engineer’s role.
QA engineers need to be aware of industry standards and expectations. With trends in development languages and methodologies, it’s essential to be mindful of everything from security patches to outdated program versions and likely changes in client expectations when new languages or development applications are popularized in their industry.
Software QA is all about the process, so the QA engineer must have robust systems in place for every part of the development cycle. There’s a protocol for software writing, debugging, and coordinating with the client throughout the job. Strict adherence to protocol is a must for a project to release on schedule, meeting every expectation.
A great leader knows how to maintain high expectations while understanding project challenges from the team’s perspective. A QA engineer inspires adherence and respect by being a collaborative team member.
To persist in resolving the finer details of a software project, a QA engineer has to be driven by an indwelt curiosity and desire to uncover and resolve issues. This natural desire to evaluate and investigate minute details is a fantastic quality for a QA engineer.
Diligently pursuing solutions to difficult bugs and deficiencies in software takes a strong will. A QA engineer has to be determined to prevail, facing one challenge after the next. That continuity of care and persistence in striving for excellence requires focus and patience.
Focused on Long-Term Team Leadership
You can see that it takes numerous qualities to make a good software QA engineer. It can be challenging to find the right person—but we can help.
Excel SoftSources provides you with nearshore solutions for your long-term development goals. If you’re looking for a highly skilled QA engineer to partner with your team, get in touch with us today!