Main image of article QA Testing Is About Soft Skills, Too

Software engineers and developers who specialize in quality assurance (QA) have always been in demand to some extent, but recent developments in security and other fields have increased the need for those who can really kick the tires (so to speak) on specialized technology. “The sectors experiencing strongest demand are media, retail and financial services,” Neil Owen, director of Robert Half Technology, recently told Dice UK. “These organizations need to ensure their customer facing websites and mobile applications are robust and secure from cyber-attacks.” On the software front, QA testers generally have a strong aptitude for popular programming languages such as C#, .NET, HTML, and JavaScript. They’re multidisciplinary professionals, capable of working within an Agile framework to solve problems as quickly and thoroughly as possible. Depending on their chosen industry, however, they may have to specialize to an incredibly granular degree. Check out the latest QA jobs. Someone interested in e-commerce and financial services, for example, might have to learn how to evaluate new software and apps for fraud and financial security. Those who want to explore potential bugs and vulnerabilities in games will need to have the fortitude to play and evaluate those games over lengthy periods of time. (If you ever wanted to see how hard the workday can get for a QA tester, read this eye-opening piece that IGN published a few years ago on testing games.) In addition, QA testers need to have a good handle on automated testing tools, including their weaknesses. And while you might not think so, viable soft skills are also a must: If you discover a crippling bug or issue, you’re going to need to communicate that finding in a way that’ll get the problem solved without causing too much strife or chaos among the teams working on the software. Or as Owen put it, the most effective QA pros are intuitive and patient, with good communications skills. Helping produce good software demands nothing less.