As the final gatekeeper before a product goes live, QA (quality assurance) testers are critical to ensuring the product meets quality and performance standards – and is free of bugs and glitches.

Organisations need to know a product is solid before releasing it to the public. Without that, they could be in for a world of complications and call-backs. QA testers, also known as QA analysts, step in to make sure software is functional, reliable, user-friendly and bug-free.

Their role goes much deeper than analysing the surface of the product. Yes – they test a program to make sure the interface and functionality is all up to scratch. However, they also inspect thousands of lines of code to check for errors.

When a single bug can cost a company millions of dollars, it pays to be diligent with quality assurance before shipping.

Software testers do not make software; they only make them better.

– ANONYMOUS

The key responsibilities of a QA tester

  • Craft test plans to analyse performance, reliability, functionality and stability of a product.
  • Spot and fix bugs or errors.
  • Ensure the product is compatible with other systems and the target market.
  • Standardise processes to minimise the risk of errors.
  • Document test results and relay them to the development team.
  • Perform manual and automatic tests that cover every scenario a product might undergo.

Essential skills, knowledge & experience

  • Critical thinking
  • Communication skills
  • The ability to quickly adapt to new tools and technologies
  • Collaborative skills
  • Experience in agile frameworks
  • Up-to-date knowledge of programming languages
  • An understanding of software tools and methodologies
  • Experience with test automation tools

Setting the standards consumers expect

Whatever type of system you create, a crash during user interaction is never a good look. Nowadays, most consumers won’t give a product a second chance if something goes wrong. A QA tester has the skills to spot the mistakes that software developers miss, to avoid disasters in terms of both finances and reputation.

From gaming to social media and business process management platforms, quality is everything in making sure the competition doesn’t get an easy head start.