Tech Hiring Guide: Quality Assurance Engineer

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Quality Assurance Engineer

QualityAssuranceEngineerQA engineers are almost always on the software-building side of the organization, and are responsible for making sure that software meets the quality bar.  Their responsibilities include testing software by using it (like you do when you visit a website and click around), and writing programs to automate various tasks or tests for the system.

Some of these roles may require very little coding or scripting knowledge, and others may require a lot – it really depends on the organization and software they are testing.  Regardless, strong attention to detail is important.  Many QA engineers are responsible for coming up with test plans and test cases (imagine a big list of everything you would need to test to make sure something worked), as well as executing these plans.

People in this role should know how to break things, and be rigorous and thorough. This role tends to involve a lot of communication with engineers, designs, and product people to verify functionality, so they should also be a good team player with strong written and verbal skills.

Questions for Quality Assurance Engineers:

  • Q: What is your process for creating a test plan?
    A: A good candidate will offer a thoughtful process.   Then follow up by asking about the components of a good test plan.  Feature definition and individual test cases are typical, but some test plans can include variants for operating systems, different browsers, and even different data examples.
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  • Q: What is an example of a great bug you have found?
    A: Dive into their example.  Was the bug on the test plan?  What made it great?  Was it fixed in a timely manner?  Ask lots of details about it and why they considered it an achievement.
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  • Q: What is regression testing?
    A: When bugs are fixed in software, the changes can have unintended consequences, including new bugs.  Regression testing is making sure that new issues haven’t arisen from a change that was made.  To follow up, ask for an example of a regression they have seen and the conditions under which they found it.

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