What Does a QA Engineer Do Roles and Responsibilities Explained!

What Does a QA Engineer Do? Roles and Responsibilities Explained!

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QA engineers, also known as software testers, hold a crucial role in agile software creation. Their main goal? Ensuring the software released meets top-notch quality standards. This involves knowing various software development methods and testing approaches and excellent communication skills to work smoothly with the entire development team.

But who is a quality assurance engineer, and what does a QA do? Basically, a QA specialist is a pro at refining the software development process by spotting flaws in a product and figuring out how to stop these issues from happening again.

Let’s dig into this role, exploring the wide range of responsibilities quality assurance engineer’s handle.

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What Is QA and What Does a QA Engineer Do?

Software Quality Assurance (QA) is a systematic process ensuring that software meets specified requirements and user expectations. It involves a range of activities focused on preventing errors, identifying defects, and enhancing the overall quality of the software product.

The primary function of QA revolves around quality assurance. A QA engineer dedicates efforts to enhancing software development processes and averting defects during production. Essentially, their role involves ensuring that the software development team follows the correct procedures effectively. The job scope of a QA engineer encompasses various responsibilities, which we’ll delve into in the upcoming sections.

QA Tasks

What do QA engineers do? To better understand it, we’ve outlined below the typical tasks undertaken by QA specialists:

  • Verifying compliance of the product with established requirements
  • Evaluating potential risks
  • Devising strategies to enhance product quality
  • Planning and executing tests
  • Analyzing the outcomes of tests

Within the QA field, there exist several sub-specializations, such as quality control and software testing, among others. Let’s explore the specifics of these QA sub-directions.

Quality control specialists primarily focus on scrutinizing test outcomes and pinpointing errors. Their responsibility lies in identifying and rectifying defects within a product. Essentially, these engineers ensure that developers achieve the desired results.

Another specialized area within QA is software testing. A software tester meticulously examines the final product for errors (known as bugs) and verifies its alignment with specified requirements. Additionally, testers document identified defects and propose solutions for their resolution.

Core QA Roles

We now know what a QA engineer is and what their tasks are, so now let’s move to the main QA roles. QA specialists often undertake diverse roles across various projects. Here are the four primary roles and the QA engineer job descriptions of each:

Test Analyst

This role focuses on examining requirements thoroughly before the testing phase begins. They ensure that the requirements are complete, consistent, and free from ambiguities or contradictions. It involves a meticulous review to catch any potential issues early in the process, preventing problems downstream during testing.

Test Designer

Test Designers are responsible for producing test cases based on the established requirements. They design test scenarios, outline test data, and plan configurations necessary for conducting these tests effectively. Their goal is to create a comprehensive set of tests that cover all facets of the software’s functionality.

Test Executor

Test Executors carry out the planned tests as per the test cases designed by the Test Designer. They execute the tests, accurately record any errors or bugs encountered during the process, and document the steps to reproduce these issues. Their work forms a crucial part of the feedback loop for developers to rectify and enhance the software.

Test Manager

Test Managers oversee the entire testing process. They’re responsible for planning and organizing the testing activities, ensuring that deadlines are met, schedules are followed, and that the tests align with the requirements. Additionally, they assign tasks to team members, manage communication among stakeholders, and ensure that the testing team functions efficiently.

Each role contributes uniquely to the overall QA process, ensuring that software is thoroughly examined, errors are identified and addressed, and the final product meets the specified quality standards.

QA Engineer Responsibilities

What tasks fall under the QA engineer’s responsibilities? Here are the detailed QA responsibilities of a software QA engineer:

  • Collaborate with customers or business analysts to clarify requirements
  • Strategize and plan the testing process, creating test cases (scripts)
  • Execute functional tests to ensure product functionality
  • Identify and document problematic areas within a tracking system
  • Coordinate with developers to resolve identified issues
  • Monitor error resolution and re-test fixed defects
  • Evaluate and optimize testing procedures for efficiency
  • Analyze team workflows to enhance processes
  • Maintain thorough test documentation for clarity and consistency

Now, shifting focus from technical abilities, let’s highlight the essential soft skills a proficient QA developer/engineer should possess:

A proficient QA engineer comprehends the product intricately, mastering project requirements and staying updated with its current status. Frequently, QA engineers field numerous queries from developers who possess limited knowledge about the project’s entirety.

A QA Specialist’s Typical Workday

What does a quality assurance engineer do the entire day? Well, a series of recurring tasks characterize a day in the life of a QA Specialist. Here’s an overview of some of these responsibilities:

  • Crafting test cases, conducting tests, and documenting errors (depending on the project phase)
  • Reviewing the bug tracking system for resolved issues
  • Participating in meetups
  • Familiarize oneself with project requirements and engage in clarification discussions with the customer
  • Collaborating with developers
  • Compiling test documentation

Upsides and Downsides of Working in QA

Just like any field, what a QA engineer does comes with its strengths and weaknesses. Let’s explore the key pros and cons:

Pros of QA Work

One of the appeals for QA engineers is the chance to enhance product quality while mastering diverse technologies and diving deep into product intricacies. Many individuals find their interest in the job grows over time. Initially, things might appear vague, but as they grasp the project better, they crave more complex challenges.

Moreover, entering the high-tech realm and securing a good salary are enticing aspects of QA. Some started in QA to enter IT, finding the threshold lower than that for developers. Some even find QA work more diverse and exciting compared to developers. QA is such a field that constantly engages analytical skills and keeps individuals on their toes, pushing to learn new technologies and domains.

What QA does is also a product of their ability to seek errors that others might miss. A software engineer and tester approach problems differently. A programmer aims for quick solutions and moves on, while a tester meticulously uncovers overlooked issues and tests various combinations.

Cons of QA Work

The primary downside often lies in the monotony, particularly at the career’s outset. Early QA roles frequently involve executing manual test cases and dealing, which might be boring for newcomers in the field.

How to Become a QA Specialist?

Quality engineers don’t typically undergo university training. Aspiring QAs acquire knowledge through specialized courses or self-study. To become a QA specialist, one needs analytical skills, attentiveness, purposefulness, and a grasp of computer technology. Familiarizing oneself with testing theories and tools is also crucial.

Understanding the software development cycle is vital, along with theoretical knowledge, proficiency in testing and software development tools, and communication skills. Proficiency in testing theory involves answering fundamental questions like the purpose of testing, its types, bug life cycles, and relevant documentation. Exploring books, articles, forums and learning programming languages (e.g., HTML, SQL, CSS) enhances job efficiency and career progression.

QAs shoulder the responsibility of enhancing development process quality, requiring skills drawn from various team members:

  • From Developers: Understanding technical constraints and a basic comprehension of code
  • From Business Analysts: Grasping market dynamics and target audience understanding
  • From Project Managers: Appreciating the project’s holistic nature

Furthermore, QAs must view the product from an end-user perspective.

Besides, what QA does requires the following soft skills and personal qualities:

  • A broad IT perspective and a thirst for continuous learning are essential
  • Effective communication directly impacts software quality within the development team
  • Attention to detail, diligence, responsibility, persistence, analytical skills, abstraction modeling ability, and a critical eye for error detection are pivotal
  • Discerning between minor issues and critical faults is crucial

The Career Prospects of QA Experts

So now that you understand what a QA engineer is, are you intrigued to have a career in software quality assurance? Within the QA career path, there exist three avenues for professional advancement:

  1. Advancement within QA: Progression from junior QA to middle QA, then senior QA, followed by roles like QA team lead, QA manager, and potentially Head of QA department.
  2. Automation Focus: For those intrigued by automation and the role of a QA automation engineer, mastering automated testing is an option. This pathway demands deeper technical expertise.
  3. Diversification of Qualifications: With accrued experience, transitioning to roles like Business Analyst or Developer is plausible. Further growth into Project Manager, Senior Project Manager, or even reaching the heights of a CTO becomes feasible.

Moreover, the contemporary demand for QA training courses offers the opportunity to blend primary work with teaching or consulting, adding a different dimension to career growth.


A QA engineer plays an important role in the software creation process. QA Engineer is responsible for guaranteeing that the software functions correctly, meets user expectations, and delivers a high-quality user experience. We discussed the roles and responsibilities of a QA engineer in detail in this guide.

Moreover, the absence of QA poses a threat of delivering inferior products or services, leading to customer discontent, financial setbacks, and whatnot. So, if you want to deliver a high-quality product with no errors, feel free to reach out to our QA experts!