What is a QA Tester, what are its missions?
In the world of software, video game, platform, site or other products and services, the QA tester, for Quality Assurance, has the role of testing all the features of the tool and monitoring iterations/modifications.
It must therefore identify bugs and all problems and anomalies that occur during normal use, in order to repair them before the software comes out. For this:
- It studies all the features by testing them one by one and multiplying the possibilities. In this way, it puts itself in the place of all users, as if it were trying to find a code among a multitude of combinations.
- It reports each of the problems so that engineers can find solutions.
- It also has an advisory role for the improvement of the product before it is released on the market.
- Then, it must perform tests again to validate the changes.
- It may also have to determine the schedule of changes based on his tests.
In a way, the QA tester makes the link between the user – whose behaviors it must understand and reproduce – and the developers.
Who are the main interlocutors of the QA Tester?
The QA tester works within the development team. It is required to collaborate continuously with QA engineers, web developers or software developers / Software engineers, and is accountable to his manager who may be the QA Manager, a Lead developer, the CTO, the IOC, or in some cases a Technical Project Manager.
In a startup, as in a large agency, the QA tester is one of the essential functions for the proper development of IT products.
In small structures or start-up companies, the role of tester is sometimes assumed by the developer(s).
What skills and qualities are required to be a QA Tester?
The main quality of an QA tester is its rigor in the face of the abundance of possibilities required by its tests and the reports it must transmit to the design teams.
It must also have a minimum of technical skills in software development to be able to detect all anomalies. Both a concentrated solitary worker and staffing by qa, it must constantly move from one to the other.
Depending on the companies, products and missions entrusted to him, the QA Tester may have more or less technical skills: from the “simple” manual test to automated tests, there are sometimes great differences in technical knowledge and tools to be mastered.
The QA tester must in any case have creative skills and develop a fine analysis of user behavior to best imitate them in his tests. This therefore requires both a technical and psychological approach.
What studies or training to become a QA Tester?
Becoming an QA tester requires a minimum of computer training such as:
- BTS in computer science
- Professional license in computer systems and software
- Master 2 computer professional
- Engineering School in Computer Programming
The QA tester also has every interest in training regularly and obtaining CFTL/ISTQB certifications.
Contrary to what one might think, especially for QA video game testers, the profiles sought are very specific. Because it is not only a question of testing the tool, but of knowing all its technical characteristics.
What are the professional developments and career prospects of a QA Tester?
The job of QA tester can lead to a “functional” / managerial career as:
- Project manager
- Test Lead
- Head of an QA team
- Head of Testing and Validation
And in more technical positions that generally require greater IT expertise:
- QA Engineer
- Test and Validation Engineer
- From Manual Tester to mastery of Automated Tests
- QA Technical Manager
- Testing Expert
- Technical Director
What are the main sectors of activity and employers of a QA Tester?
An QA tester evolves within:
- Video game publishers.
- Software publishers.
- Telephone operators.
- Of Web Agencies.
- ESN/SSII agencies
Other companies offer functional testing services.
Note that it is a little more rarely integrated directly into a large group because large companies often outsource this function. But the coming years should see more and more employee QA testers from large companies who are (finally) investing in digital technology.
What is the salary of a QA Tester?
A junior profile can expect $21K per year and up to $38K per year for the most experienced, knowing that a QA tester never remains so for very long. it will necessarily evolve into technical and/or managerial functions throughout his experience.
As with all other positions in the IT field, many factors will justify a higher or lower salary: location, type of company, sector of activity, skills required, etc.
What are the other titles of the QA Tester position?
As the title of the position is relatively recent, there are many names that designate an QA tester, depending on the places where it works, sectors of activity and business habits:
- Software tester
- Video game tester
- Computer tester
- Quality tester
- Bug hunter
- Manual tester