March 29, 2021 Read 5 Min

What Quality Assurance Really Is: QA Software Engineers Answer

What is Quality Assurance, and what goes into it? We explore it all with Snappymob’s very own bug catchers.

Quality Assurance Software Engineer surrounded by piles of analytic reports and paperwork holding a pencil and using a magnifying glass to inspect checklist
What is QA, and what goes into it? We explore it all with Snappymob’s very own bug catchers.

“You just check if stuff are working right?”

Technically yes, but there’s a lot more to it. Quality assurance engineering is among the professions that seem easy to the outsider who isn’t familiar with the bulk of it. The term itself isn’t new to the majority, but the job scope in its entirety is, without a doubt, hazy to most.

What does quality assurance entail in software engineering? We talked to our QA team about what they do.

Q: How would you describe your job to someone who doesn’t know what a QA software engineer is?

We “break” things, and that means we test our products or systems to their limit to ensure that what we put out is good enough to be delivered to the end user. Another way QA engineers can be described: “bug catchers” who test systems and find bugs. It’s our job to identify bugs as well as verify if those bugs are truly gone after developers do the fixing. — Haikal

QA in software engineering is the process of finding defects or bugs in a software application. Systems are tested by providing input, verifying the output, and comparing actual results. — Alif

I would describe it as reflecting a good system or application by ensuring it works as planned, without hassle or blockers. Being a QA engineer is to be meticulous and focus on breaking the system (though it can be tedious at times). We are the gatekeepers between developers and stakeholders who assure quality is delivered and expectations are met. — Adib

A QA engineer is someone who makes sure the user is satisfied and will want to use a particular system or app again. In other words, a QA team is responsible for whether a product retains or lacks quality. Every developed system has its flaws. It is our job to identify them and bring them up to the team so the system can be improved. — Azuren

Q: What do you find enjoyable about quality assurance?

That my contribution to the successful release of a product can make a user happy when they use it. — Alif

I enjoy finding bugs or defects to ensure a system works perfectly. Unfortunately, not many know the importance of quality assurance in terms of software. After a house has been built, it’s a no-brainer that the structure must go through thorough inspection and quality assurance before the house key is handed over to a client. The same goes with software. — Adib

Being a QA software engineer is so much more than just testing. One thing that I love the most about it is that a lot of communication and discussion go down between us and developers, designers, project managers and even clients. As a QA engineer, you’ll be one of the first to lay your hands on the coolest apps before others do. The most important thing, of course, is still the technology itself. To be involved in cool apps and technologies that you’d never seen, and be a part of the development team, how cool is that? — Haikal

My first job interview was for a Software Engineer role, but I was put into the QA team on my first day. Shortly after, I grew to feel like it is the job for me. I enjoy making sure we deliver top quality products to our clients, rather than developing the products themselves. To be able to catch bugs before our customers find them is an exciting challenge. — Azuren

Q: What are the key skills a QA team must be equipped with?

Aside from having sharp ‘hawk’ eyes that are able to see through a system, a QA engineer needs to be a team player with every pillar of a team including designers, system analysts, developers and programmers. You cannot work alone. Getting the work done requires support and help from every part of the team. The ability to practice systematic and structured documentation is crucial too, because QA teams have to deal with plenty of documentation, especially if big systems or legacy systems are involved. — Adib

Being able to think outside the box and communicate well are the top 2 most important skills that I’d say a QA team needs. We need to be able to put away everything we know about a system and explore and think as an end user. Unexpected behaviors can be detected early if we’re able to see a product through the eyes of different users when testing. 

Communication skills help a lot in interacting well with team members, especially developers. That’s because when we tell them “Hey, it’s a bug, and I can reproduce it many times”, we also have to justify why the bug is identified as such, and why we need to fix it before we can proceed. QA works closely with all members of a team because we’re heavily involved in the whole process, from requirements gathering to product delivery. — Azuren

Problem solving skills. They enable you to find solutions when you struggle with standard requirements. It’s the combination of creativity, logic and critical thinking that comes to the rescue when you’re faced with a complex problem. — Alif

Good communication skills are definitely needed to notify relevant teams on the bugs we find during testing, so that they can find solutions immediately, before the app needs to be delivered to the end users. Being familiar with various bug tracking tools like Jira and rapidly growing areas of technology like API testing, E2E testing and automation testing is important as well.  — Haikal

Q: What’s a day in the life like as a QA engineer?

Uplifting the quality of a product, exploring all scenarios where the product should work as expected, and making sure it doesn’t fall short of end-users’ expectations. — Alif

Test system > find bugs > file/report bugs > developer fixes bugs > QA team verifies if the bug has been fixed. If you didn’t “catch a single bug” throughout the day, you might feel bad about yourself. — Haikal

Reading and understanding requirement specifications given by clients for all of our designers’ mockup screen designs, performing smoke testing and regression testing based on Test Plans created to ensure systems don’t easily break, issuing bug tickets on Jira and keeping the development team updated, and finally producing Test Reports to analyze patterns in quality. — Adib 

I start by making sure the current requirements are up to date, before proceeding to verify all bug tickets from the last day they were fixed. Test cases should be ready before we execute testing. Compared to other tasks, testing the latest builds takes the most time because we need to make sure different platforms and environments are covered. My favourite part though, is reproducing bugs when developers tell me “It works on my device”. (I’m kidding, love you guys!) — Azuren

Q: What’s it like to be a QA engineer at Snappymob?

Our team ensures the systems delivered are tested and verified through a thorough testing process. — Adib

We ensure that delivered projects are exceptional from start to finish: design, backend and frontend. — Azuren

The whole team works together to make quality possible. We all support one another and exchange creative feedback to turn ideas into reality. — Alif

If you’re a person who likes to learn, Snappymob is the place for you. — Haikal

Experience Quality with Snappymob

If you’re picky with quality, you’ll get along with us.

Snappymob is a team of experienced individuals in web and app development. Learn about our services here, check out our work, or drop us a message on your next big idea!