THE ROLE OF QA ANALYSTS IN TIMES OF CRISIS
By Melina Nogueira, Technology Director at Arbusta
QA and Software Testing Teams at Arbusta’s Medellín offices (Colombia)
In a time and age where software is ubiquitous as it is everywhere and an essential tool to make interaction with customers, prospects and suppliers viable, it is increasingly important that solutions provide an ideal experience. At the same time, and with the unthinkable irruption of COVID-19 in our lives, the health and socioeconomic situation changed dramatically in a few weeks, representing a major challenge as individuals, organizations and, therefore, as a society. The so-called “Digital Transformation” accelerated unprecedentedly for those who were still hesitating whether or not it was time to transition to cloud services, have geo-distributed teams and 100% digital omnichannel flows.
These change processes simply demanded more from the platform and software generation ecosystem that allows many companies to “continue operating” online, with a special focus on the quality of their digital assets.
Digital banking, order delivery, online insurance, marketplace platforms applications, in-house systems of large companies that allow to keep workflows active in a world in which tech-based functionalities are the only thing that continues to operate.
Now, what does a QA analyst do and what is the role of the expert who works as a QA analyst, also known as a quality control analyst, in a software development company or area? What are the specific tasks under the command of this professional, and why is a QA analyst important and even more in this context? They have precisely the responsibility to prevent software crashes and the resulting bad user experience. They also have to ensure that solutions work properly on all operating systems and key features are never missed. They are therefore a vital link in the development process.
Indeed, the role of a QA analyst is that of a tester and problem solver. They have to test websites, tools or applications in order to detect problems, document any issues and ensure that errors are corrected. In addition, their task includes offering suggestions to make the software work better. This includes both new software and software that needs to be updated.
So the QA analyst not only ensures that the software comes out error-free but also works to achieve a high level of user satisfaction on an ongoing basis on online applications and platforms.
What these professionals do is try to “break the software” as many times as possible and by doing so they prevent errors from reaching the production stage, that is, the end user experience. After correcting issues, they must re-test the solution, trying to find any vulnerabilities. In other words, when identifying an issue, QA analysts will first try to discover the reasons that are causing it. They will be part of the solution, solving the problem as soon as possible. Finally they will make sure that the same problem does not happen again in the future. For such purpose, QA analysts will generate a report describing the new changes and explaining the tests and adjustments made.
A key fact is that only after these experts approve the launch, the program, the site or the application can go live. Never before. In the past testers used to intervene at the end of the development process but under the new practices they must do so throughout the entire life cycle, including requirement management, design, coding, testing and version management. With the adoption of methodologies such as Agile and the advancement of DevOps, software development and release cycles became much shorter. This requires continuous software testing.
Rather than analyzing the product, QA analysts focus on the process. They must create a test plan with the corresponding validation cases, then record incidents or bugs, follow up on them, intervene in the continuous improvement instance and generate reports.
Thus, analysts are not merely testers but must be an instrumental part of software planning and strategy stages. Otherwise, there are greater chances that test cycles will turn out to be longer and cumbersome.
As a result, today’s quality assurance analysts work very closely with developers and also with business analysts in order to validate test cases. They support test planning, design and execution (for both functional testing mobile and automated testing).
Since the role of software quality assurance in organizations has never been more important, QA analysts are one of the most in-demand positions today. In the United States a survey ranked QA analysts as being among the happiest people in the workforce, among other things because of their more than attractive salaries. And it is estimated that between 2015 and 2025 the employment levels foreseen for this position will grow by 15%. The 4.0 economy scene is giving rise to new professions which are destined to play a key role in the years to come. QA analysts are clearly among such professions where digital quality cannot wait in times of pandemic.
Are you interested in talking about how Arbusta’s teams can contribute to the quality assurance of your platform, application or site? Write to us at [email protected] so we can start a conversation.
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