The software development industry has been in the business for a very long time and it has continued to evolve as per the market need. This chain of evolution has also impacted the process of ensuring the quality of software. Quality Assurance is responsible for ensuring that the software developed is meeting all the specifications and requirements and is developed exactly the way it should be.
In the earlier waterfall model, software testing and Quality Assurance used to come into the picture when the software was completely developed according to the developers. Here, the QA team is more focused on finding out the bugs or defects and performing retests.
But now in the generation of increasing software demand, this is not efficient anymore. It’s the Agile Development methodology that is followed by the enterprises to meet the current software demand.
In this methodology, Quality Assurance is the part of the project from its very beginning and its inputs and participation play a vital role in ensuring the development of quality software. With the change in the SDLC stage at which people respond to ensure the quality of the software is introduced, the industry is on its way to replace the Quality Assurance with the Quality Engineer.
Why do we need a test QE?
With the adaptation of Agile and DevOps processes, the software testing has been shifted to the left on the software development process and testing is performed on the software along with the development.
This reform has helped the teams in identifying the bugs in the earlier stages of development. The earlier a defect will be detected, the sooner it will be fixed and the lesser will the cost of doing so. Because of this, enterprises can increase their release rate. The QA team tests the entire software development completed in a sprint of 2 to 3 weeks. A sprint is a small SDLC followed in the Agile methodology.
Now, with the introduction of Continuous Integration/Continuous Development, it has become very necessary to make the QA team a part of the development process from the initial stages of DevOps processes to ensure faster release. Because of these short sprints, the QA team is left with a very less amount of time to plan testing and perform regression testing.
So to continue the faster release of software without compromising the quality of the software, the QA team needs to evolve and find out creative ways to perform more effective testing.
Software Quality Engineering (SQE) assures that the quality of the software is maintained from the very beginning of the project and has major significance in Agile and DevOps methodologies. Quality Engineer is the one, responsible for creating, implementing and maintaining quality engineering systems.
Roles and responsibilities of Test QE
Defining quality plan and strategy
QE is responsible for determining ‘what should be done and what should not be?’ based on the objectives and possible risks in the software. Along with that, QE also plans the tests and tools required for performing them, in the assigned budget.
QE testing also involves understanding the code and suggesting improvements if any. Based on the analysis and technical debt report plan of action is designed to implement in future development.
It is also the responsibility of the QE to thoroughly test the system for bugs in it. It is expected from a QE to be able to implement various techniques for effective testing of the software, along with the exploratory testing skills.
Only detecting bugs in the software is not enough, QE should be able to collaborate with the developer’s team to get them fixed. It is possible only if the defects are reported properly.
Automation at different levels
In the current world, enterprises are relying on automation tools to make the testing process more efficient by reducing the time and efforts invested in various hectic tasks. These tasks can now be performed by automation tools at a faster pace without fatigue.
Unit tests are performed on every new module of the software. It is the responsibility of the QE to review the test cases at regular intervals and suggest changes to cover all the risk factors. QE should be able to use automation tools like cucumber or selenium for preparing tests.
The QE should test the performance of the software at the protocol level and analyse the data of different components and always look for removing bottlenecks and for the scope of improvements.
The QE should know various tools and techniques for access control and ethical hacking.
A QE testing can be more productive to the project if he plans quality assurance with the business aspects in consideration.
QA vs QE
On one hand where Quality Assurance is responsible for assuring the quality of the product, while on the other hand, Quality Engineer is responsible for driving the development of a quality product and processes.
To improve the process, the maturity of the quality team is very important. Since it’s a new concept so it is a bit difficult for the team to get used to this new working culture. Quality Engineer keeps an eye on the quality of the project from the ideation stage. In Agile methodology, the test-driven development and behaviour-driven developed process are followed.
It means that the direction of development is based on the requirements that are of more significance to the business, Developers and the testing team. Because of QE, the whole team becomes aware of the common software requirements, even they can be reviewed and validated by them.
Enterprises need to transform from QA to QE because now, the products are more evolved, smart and requirements changes frequently. QA teams cannot be assigned weeks to understand the requirements, work in isolation and develop tests. They need to develop tests quickly, and QE can make it possible.
Quality Assurance is very important for developing software good enough to satisfy the clients and their users. By involving it in the earlier stage, defects can be detected as soon as they are committed. It also allows quick bug fixes and maintains the quality and efficiency of the entire development process.