What does a QA engineer at Metal Toad do?
Working in HR, it is possible to do recruitment, retention, or both activities. While recruiting, it is my duty to understand what is necessary for a candidate to accomplish in a position in order to select the best ones. It is also necessary to understand what the candidate’s needs and goals are to find out if the position we are offering will be good for them.
When it comes to retention, we do a similar task figuring out what the employee needs: is this position still suitable for them? Do they feel safe communicating what is and isn’t ok for them at work anymore? Are they satisfied working here? And the list of questions goes on.
What I realized soon was that I had a lot of limitations in understanding what some tech careers were about, and reading about it wasn’t doing much in terms of making this any easier. How could I do a good recruiter and retention job if I don’t get what my colleagues are doing?
Talking with my director, we decided to do a series of interviews with my peers, where I got the opportunity to ask them about their jobs. I used the “Explain x to me as if I was a 10-year-old” technique of asking questions and got really good answers.
Today, I am sharing what I learned from my interview with our Quality Assurance Engineer, Fernanda Cupini. She rocked that meeting by being perfectly didactic.
Ingrid: Fernanda, could you please explain to me, as if I was a 10-year-old, what does a QA engineer at Metal Toad do?”
Fernanda: The main focus of QA is to deliver to the customer something he asked for and that we meet all the requirements. It is to ensure that what was ordered is delivered and if it is delivered with good quality (without bugs, for example). There is a check for topics such as functionality and usability. There are also non-functional requirements such as performance or protecting critical and sensible data.
An example of what we must ensure about functionality is to verify if the product is functioning: does it deliver what it was asked for? On usability: how useful is the product? Sometimes the product works, but it could be better to use it: this one button is working, but it is hard to see it on the screen. There is an agreement with the customer for all this, also concerning accessibility.
There are two types of tests: automated and manual tests. Manually, we basically act as a user. Logging on to the system, trying all the buttons, clicking on it, etc. On the other hand, automated tests are made with a programming language that runs a script simulating a user. It does the requirements for the tests, and if it gets the expected result, it means it passed the test.
I left our meeting very happy and enlightened. If you excuse me for the bad joke, Fernanda did a great job that day by assuring that I could deliver my work with better quality. Thank you, Fernanda!
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