Quality assurance analysts, QA analysts, are the backbone of quality assurance in a variety of industries, from web development to app creation, health care and videogames. An analyst is a professional who is a problem solver.
These professionals will analyze websites or software for potential issues.
But their duties go well beyond testing.
QA Analyst Duties
Analysts are responsible for many tasks and duties. These professionals are problem solvers and testers who will be responsible for testing a variety of product factors, including:
- User experience
When analysts sit down with your site or software, they’ll be responsible for trying their best to break everything. The goal is to be able to break software or websites so that they can be fixed before they hit market.
Even products that are already on the market may have an analyst come in to conduct thorough testing.
Patches and major updates may also undergo testing to ensure that the end product is as high-quality and error-free as possible.
Testing to Break Software or Websites
Tools may be used along with manual testing in an effort to break software and websites. The goal is to break a product so that it can be fixed prior to being given to the end user. It’s important for software to be thoroughly tested so that it doesn’t malfunction during consumer use.
Manual testing will check for unique patterns that may break software.
Multiple clicks on a menu followed by a specific action may cause the software to lock up or exit. These behaviors are often not experienced when the developer is testing the product because they’re odd actions taken only by consumers.
But regular actions will also be tested.
The QA analyst will go through every feature checking to make sure that the feature meets the product’s guidelines and standards.
An analyst will:
- Test again
When an issue occurs, the analyst will provide a detailed outline of how the issue occurred.
Breaking software or websites requires in-depth documentation. The analyst will first have to follow a specific set of steps to be able to find a bug or issue with the software.
And these steps must be documented.
The initial bug will be tested again and again to ensure that it’s a recurring issue. If the bug is a recurring issue, documentation of how the bug occurred is provided to the developers. The developers will be able to recreate the flaw and patch the flaw.
QA analysts will conduct another round of tests to ensure that the flaw has indeed been corrected.
A test plan will be part of the overall process. While the plan is different than documenting a bug or issue with a site, it is a key part of the testing process. The plan will outline all of the necessary features and steps that will be followed during testing.
The plan may be deviated as needed when bugs or flaws are found.
Skills That May Be Needed
The skillset that is required of a QA analyst will vary depending on what the testing entails. An analyst may need to have experience in:
- Project management
- SQL and other databases
- Software development
- A variety of programming languages
Of course, an analyst does not need to master all of the points above. The tester will be trained to develop the skills needed to break into the field.
Oftentimes, patching these issues will create an array of new problems or bugs. All of these issues must be tested afterwards to ensure a smooth user experience.
What Issues and/or Items May Be Tested?
Each project will have its own items or issues that must be tested. But a general idea of what a QA analyst will have to test is:
- Access the functionality of the product to ensure that the function meets the goals of the project guidelines
- Analyze the performance of the product to find any issues
- Test the functionality and compatibility of the product
- Check the compatibility of the software, site or app with other systems to ensure fluidity across multiple platforms
- Follow a plan to find bugs or other issues
- Ensure that the product’s UI is in correct formatting and uses the correct language
A localization expert may also be brought into the process to conduct or examine any translation work that has been performed. Cultural compatibility may also be performed, depending on the project, to ensure that the product meets the cultural needs of all users.
Internal audits will be conducted, and the analyst may also be asked to take part in an external quality audit.
Companies often outsource software testing to companies like QAwerk to bring a new, fresh perspective to a product. Third-party teams, with no emotional attachment to a product, can bring an unbiased look into a product or service.