Hello, my name is Joseph, and I’m a QA specialist or Quality Assurance specialist at DNAMIC.
Today I’m taking you to what I do daily as a Quality Assurance Specialist.
But before we start with the technical stuff, I’d like to mention my morning routine. When you work so many hours in front of a screen, you learn to take advantage of the times you are not.
Working from home has been a new experience for me, adapting to the environment of my house, my family, and new distractions that weren’t there before. But now, slowly but surely, the new normal has come to set in my routine. I’m from Perez Zeledón, Costa Rica.
My day starts with essentials, cereal, and coffee, always coffee. When I’m ready to start working, I turn on the computer at 9:00 am and begin my work.
What is Quality Assurance?
Quality Assurance, on a broad scale, is the segment of a process where the manufacturing quality system is the objective. It is the operation of procedures that aim to maintain the quality of the finished product, either physically or digitally, focused on eliminating all variations, revising, and implementing everything needed for the best outcome.
Quality assurance as a concept is the specialists responsible for inspecting, supervising, and advising measures to improve or correct the company’s final products to meet the set quality goals.
What would you say is QA, Joseph?
“We are the ones in charge of overseeing the quality of the final product. But it overseeing the quality of the process, the documentation, and the flow of every detail.”
Working in different industries, QA’s can fulfill their function quickly, no matter the improvement, change or purpose, given their versatility of markets, they can set themselves essential in any team. In our case, as a dominant technology company, our QA’s are in roles where they have the critical duty of improving our work as a software authority and raise the parameter with their skills.
Joseph defines QA as a multitasking but focused position. They can juggle different projects, but according to the client, the time, and the team. He describes his daily work as hand-in-hand with other national and international teams to maintain quality in the final product and the process.
¨Documentation is key.”
He calls the process of documenting essential. Why? Because when you are QA, you rely on other QAs, and if the process isn´t documented, it risks the chance of miscommunication, error, and obstacles that can slow or even ruin the development.
Around 9- 9:30 am, the team starts with a daily meeting. In that way, they can check the process done, the overdue ones, things to improve, doubts, etc. They try to start the day with the clearest mind, so everything is how they want it.
¨We are a team-based position¨
We don’t particularly need to work as a team, but we choose to. If you trust your team and the work you have done in the documentation, delegating is more accessible and a better option if you are conscious that the process will maintain a high-quality level.
Joseph says he’s a team player by nature. He has always felt better in a team, both work and life. He enjoys multiplayer video games, where he relies on his teammates as well as they depend on him.
“Everyone has an objective individually, but we keep good communication, we keep tabs on each other to see how the progress of everyone is doing, and then we work together to reach the main goal; it is very similar to my role as a QA, that’s how we work at DNAMIC.”
It is important to denote that Quality Assurance focuses on providing the quality and fulfillment of requirements given previously. It is also a position where confidence must rise to manage every activity with the correct procedures and arrangements.
According to the company, this role has different names, like Quality Assurance Associate, QA Internal Auditor, QMS/QA Specialist, QA Compliance Manager, QA Technician, or Quality Systems Coordinator. At DNAMIC, the position is called QA Specialist.
It is a position often confused with a Software Tester. Still, a software tester’s objective is to develop the app with a minimal number of bugs. A quality assurance specialist delivers high quality through the client’s requirements and has to be sure that the result is the best it can be.
“For example, our client wants two buttons with a particular background color; we use different tools to work on this requirement because as a Quality Assurance specialist my job is not only for everything to work perfectly but it is for it to look good too, so I bring to the table upgrades and ideas that could elevate the quality as well.”
He says his full-on hands are on deck by midday, and the day probably stays filled till 6:00 pm.
Joseph mentions that in the test case, he documents every step. He reminds us of that and laughs.
“We are the annoying ones, the obsessive team.”
Is QA a stressful position? How do you manage for everything to be perfect without overstressing yourself?
“Yes is a stressful position because we are counting on perfection at all times. Every QA is likely a perfectionist, so I’d say we are always stressed, but it can be easier if you love what you do, and that’s my case.”
Being passionate about your work makes every routine more manageable, and it can be a weight off your shoulders as you enjoy your daily tasks. Although, it is vital for everyone to keep small spaces to recharge, shake off any tension, and ease the mind.
At DNAMIC, we are committed to checking on our collaborator’s mental and physical health. Joseph calls his little moments of destress ‘play time’ because he keeps his mind active and stays self-competitive with a few minutes of a phone game to relax.
“If I have the chance, I take a quick break of playtime; when I’m done, I’m more ready to be back better than before, clear-headed.”
He takes his objectives very seriously and is proud of his concentration during the day, he enjoys his work, and the idea of a perfect outcome keeps him motivated.
At 6:00 pm, when the day passed, everything was documented, talked about with the team, and ready to be continued tomorrow.
What is a QA made of?
Effort, kindness, super micro-vision, and…
Detailed-oriented, sharp eye
Good communication skills and a good attitude (ask Joseph!)
Degree preferred and enthusiasm to keep learning
Experience to reassure the needed confidence at work
Motivation and fluency to work wonderfully by itself and with a team (or teams)
The knowledge of methods and concepts of Quality Assurance
The natural reaction to creating detailed, comprehensive, and well-structured test plans and test cases
A quick-thinking mind, with excellent data collection and analysis skills
Tools that a QA uses?
QA tools vary with the project tackled at the moment. They used tools that help businesses manage the quality of their process as well as results. They are usually digital ones that organize and support the design in question and are corrective, preventive, and provide visibility to their high-quality final product.
A Quality assurance process can escalate in less than a day, and that’s why the documentation is so essential for their work because the tools with the knowledge make any stressful situation into an obstacle that can be resolved with ease.
Want to be in a great QA team? Essential advice for a resume:
When creating your resume, try to focus on adding relevant information based on your applying position. What does that mean? Include the tools you know how to use and your knowledge of the job’s different principles or particular tasks.
Also, add any important certificates or personal projects that you can show as an advantage. It is always a plus to add a little about yourself because what makes a unique Quality Assurance specialist is its personality skills that differentiate them from others.