12 Feb Top QA Leaders to Watch in 2019
In the early days of commercialized software, when IBM introduced the PC that changed the world and fragmentation was not yet an issue, developers were held to less rigorous quality assurance standards. However, as more players entered the market, lowering barriers to entry and closing gaps in differentiation, the spectrum of hardware and software configurations began to rapidly grow. This resulted in increased pressure for programmers to ensure software performed well on any and every personal computer. But still, this form of debugging was well within the developer's scope of ability and bandwidth.
Fast forward to recent years, where the demand for more frequent software releases has exploded and consumers' patience for poorly executed user experiences has worn thin. We're talking about a completely different ball game. Today, in a world where startup unicorns thrive on hype surrounding their people and processes, most times, QA stays quietly behind the scenes.
Meet the QA Warriors
With the rise of "Shift Left" and their responsibility to maintain consumer perception of quality, QA professionals are now marching to the forefront of DevOps organizations. Today, the sophisticated innovations required to meet the needs of continuous delivery, mobile computing and IoT are just as cool as some of the most advanced trends happening in software development.
You may know the names of top CEOs and VPs of Engineering at your favorite Billion Dollar Babies, but today, we're introducing you to the real driving force behind rapid adoption and retention, the QA Warriors. These are the top QA leaders to watch and emulate in the year ahead.
Rockstar Strategies from Real QA Warriors
"Testing has, and always will be, an acquired skill. Being labeled a “rockstar tester” by your team and colleagues is a badge of honor earned through several years of demonstrated testing proficiency… a title that can only be maintained by continually applying tacit (unspoken) and explicit (spoken) methods. This builds a strong foundation for the process of testing while also leveraging AI, Automation, and Manual tools as enablers of efficiency."
"A great QA strategy is one that aligns with your company's business goals. All activity, development, QA, technology selection, ops, infrastructure, etc., is in support of those goals."
"Our Rockstar QA Professionals have mastered the core skills of analytical, logical and critical thinking. They can envision business situations to enhance testing and take an unbiased approach to testing our systems. QA Rockstar’s are innovative, continuous learners of new technology and business processes. They are great communicators and implementers for what they have learned for the betterment of their teams and testing strategies."
"I think the most fundamental thing to remember when developing a test strategy is that test effectiveness must come before test efficiency. All too often teams dive head first into automating their existing tests without stopping to revisit and ask themselves if this is really the right set of tests for the domain. If you automate crappy tests it just gives you fast crap. I’ll take thoughtful, high coverage manual tests any day over a pile of false confidence. Test effectiveness comes first, and then and only then, do you automate to improve efficiency."
"The key to being a good QA professional is knowing and understanding your users, and having the ability to effectively anticipate which issues users will care most about in order to prioritize bugs and advocate for users across the company. A good workflow between customer support and QA will assist in ranking issues and designing test suites which reflect the usage patterns and concerns of your user base."
"Which one is worse - building the WRONG thing or building NOTHING? QA strategy is a significant investment upfront, but its invaluable insight has helped us make the right decision of not building the wrong thing, and avoid an insurmountable tech debt, maintenance cost, and decommissioning."
"What makes a QA strategy successful? Motivated people, a structured process, knowledge of the product and on testing, test automation, and continuous improvement of the process. Highly motivated people see their work as a challenge, as something interesting to do. It helps when you generate ownership. You must set ambitious goals and align the challenges with your team. Our goal is to be the best mobile QA team in the world. Challenge your process constantly. Question it and criticize it. Do this together with your team to generate the best insights."
Historically, software testing has had an unfortunate perception of being boring, slow, and behind the scenes; always taking a backseat to those on the front end of the development lifecycle. However, with a growing emphasis placed on the quality of customer experience, these once under-appreciated shadow workers are now being rebranded as the sexy heroes of DevOps.
Say hello to the new defenders of your brand’s perception in the wild.