Best Practices from a Quality Assurance Specialist

In my experience as a Quality Assurance Specialist, many times the testing can become somewhat “mechanical”, losing focus of the user experience to focus only on the functionalities of the product. Working in QA always offers us new learning opportunities, which provide us with new tools and skills that will help us complement ourselves with the other roles involved in the project. But more importantly, I’ve learned to ask myself more questions instead of just focusing on documentation, considering the end-user experience in order to end up with the highest quality product. The following recommendations will ensure that your product delivery is a success:

Review and Analysis

When beginning a new project, my first mission as the Quality Assurance Specialist is to review the current processes of its development. This way, I get a sense of what is working correctly, and which parts are worth reviewing and improving. In this phase, the quality control must gather all the necessary data before making a proposal for improvement. This stage is not only necessary when QA joins the team, but also when you want to adapt a new technology or system. For Review and Analysis stage, I recommend the following steps:

  • Establish a comprehensive test and evaluation plan – Create guidelines, objectives, and deliverables of each type of test.
  • Perform a preventative part-test of all specified work – Do not leave anything uncovered, make scenarios for everything. This will also help you better understand the requirements.
  • Test from the beginning, and often – You can send your feedback to the development team and detect problems as they occur.
  • Develop tests in parallel with the code, update the tests when the product changes – If you write the tests too soon, then you will have to rewrite them as changes occur, so make sure to test on defined requirements, and make notes on any new changes or edits if the need arises.
  • Measure coverage, results, and test effectiveness – This way you and your team will better understand the testing process, and you can control and manage it.

Improvement Proposals

Once all the necessary data has been collected, as the QA tester, I make the relevant improvement proposals to ensure the quality of the final product. Prior to making any recommendations, I consider the standards and best practices followed by the company, while remaining realistic with the available resources. It is at this stage that an analytical capacity is most needed to achieve the objectives. When making improvement proposals, I recommend these steps:

  • Use the tests as indicators of progress – The test cases serve as a sure indicator that an implementation is done and works correctly.
  • Remember to keep your test cases updated with the latest version – If your tests reflect a previous version of the desired product, redefine your test cases and retest.

Tracing

Once improvements to the product have been approved, I follow up and monitor them. The objective of this phase is to ensure that the improvement has been correctly introduced. This monitoring must be carried out both in the test phase and in the implementation of the new process or technology.

  • Periodically inspect the tests and their adaptation to the current development comment – Development and testing go hand in hand. Remember to communicate with your team!

Conclusion

To maintain product quality and meet the demand for frequent product launches, we as Quality Assurance testers must break our traditional molds. The difference between excellent testing and just testing is how you think – your choices in designing the tests, your ability to interpret what you observe, and your understanding of the needs of your company or your client.

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Florencia Silva
Florencia Silva