Having been in the software testing industry for approximately a decade, I have had the privilege to witness multiple amateur quality assurance (QA) engineers find their feet while growing in professional capacity. And one thing always stands out; every beginner struggles with the feeling of inadequacy due to the complex workload that comes with the role they have been assigned. While that feeling of inadequacy can only be lifted by time and experience, there are tools you can have to make your early days as a QA more comfortable. So sit back and relax while I attempt to alleviate your anxieties.
1. A Trusty Workstation
When starting out in a new tech firm, everything you encounter is relatively new to you. This ‘newness’ can create a detached feeling in the mind, which can affect your ability to integrate seamlessly into your new working environment. Therefore, it is quite helpful to bring with you certain items you are comfortable working with and a trusty laptop could be the difference between learning very quickly or lagging behind. In situations where you are asked to choose a new company laptop, select one carefully. Here are things to look out for when buying/choosing a laptop.
2. Purchasing the Perfect Phone
In today’s software community, development firms now focus on building cross-platform software applications and, although this should play a part in the mobile device you choose to use, there is something more important you must consider: That is your ability to work on the go regardless of your location. As a quality assurance engineer, multiple situations will occur where you will be asked to get something done in your spare time or during the weekend. In these situations, having a handy mobile device with an operating system that runs all your testing tools will prove to be a life-saver throughout your career. So when choosing a phone, ensure that the most important criteria you consider is its app support base and not how good its camera is.
3. Stay Hydrated at all Costs
The stories on employees or interns of certain fortune 500 companies either passing out or dying due to having been over-worked are not just child tales. These sad incidents do occur in high-stress work places where too much work is given with too little time provided for delivery. Sadly, the job of a QA sometimes falls under this category. Therefore, if you have been given steep deadlines combined with too much responsibility on a regular basis, it is important to remember ingesting the universal life-source known as water. For while you may be able to go without food for extended periods of time, going without water will definitely affect both your performance and your health.
Yes, water may have been provided in the general water dispenser but the tip here is to always have a handy water carrier by your side for regular use. To ensure that you do not shun your hydration needs due to the distance from your desk to the dispenser a the other side of the office.
4. Develop Interpersonal Skillsets
No matter how efficient a programmer, software tester or analyst you are, not getting along with your superiors as well as your colleagues will hamper your growth in any firm. I do know that individuals have their different personality traits, but even a person taciturn in nature must learn how to communicate effectively to remain firmly rooted on the good side of his or her boss. Also, it is important to remember that you are a QA engineer, which means providing feedback is an integral part of your job and how can you do that without good interpersonal skills?
5. Time is Your Ally
For anyone willing to truly learn and grow in the QA role, time spent in the office must be viewed as an opportunity to learn from his or her superiors. During my time as a QA engineer, I have seen individuals who could barely work effectively with MS Excel sheets become experts with Selenium and other automation tools in time.
So do not be afraid to spread your wings and fly while working towards the goal of becoming an experienced quality assurance engineer or a professional consultant in the near future.
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