QA Engineer: What They Do, Skills, & Salary

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Celso Crivelaro
By
Celso Crivelaro
|
Head of Engineering
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Quality assurance is such an imperative part of any online enterprise, and adding a QA engineer may be the strategy that helps propel your app or software forward!
Published on
June 7, 2023
Updated on
April 11, 2024

Quality expectations today are not what they were 10 or 20 years ago. Clients and stakeholders expect software products to meet their requirements, be bug-free, and consistently perform. As quality expectations rise, software companies must ensure they meet them to be competitive.

Quality issues can lead to costly product development and release delays and reputational damage. Product quality also directly affects user experience and customer satisfaction. This is why hiring experienced and knowledgeable quality assurance (QA) engineers for your product team who will help you deliver high-quality products that meet customer expectations is essential.

This article will provide an overview of QA engineering, including the skills and salaries typically associated with this profession, so you can find the right professional for your project.

What Is a QA Engineer?

A quality assurance (QA) engineer is a professional who ensures that software products meet quality standards through the execution of different types of tests. QA engineers participate in every stage of the software development process, from planning to deployment. 

They use a variety of testing strategies and methods, such as unit tests, integration tests, system tests, and regression tests, to identify and document any defects that could be in the final product. They also collaborate with other software developers, product managers, and stakeholders to resolve these issues.

What Does a QA Engineer Do?

A QA engineer's role is to ensure the software product meets quality and performance expectations. To do this, they must perform a range of activities, such as:

  • Analyzing customer requirements and product specifications to ensure the software meets their needs
  • Developing and executing software testing processes to identify any defects in the product
  • Performing manual testing of the product to ensure it meets the desired requirements
  • Conducting security testing to confirm that the product is secure and safe from hackers and malicious software
  • Writing detailed bug reports to keep track of all issues that need attention
  • Collaborating with developers and other stakeholders, such as product managers, to ensure they fix all of the identified issues
  • Documenting the entire process, including test cases, test scripts, and release notes
  • Communicating with stakeholders to ensure they stay in the loop regarding the product's progress
  • Making sure the product team meets all deadlines

QA Engineer Skills

Hiring a QA engineer with the right skills is essential for any software development project. The product's success depends on their technical knowledge, experience, and capabilities. Below are some key QA engineer skills that a successful candidate should possess.

Soft Skills

Quality assurance engineers must have exceptional people skills to foster positive relationships with stakeholders and other product team members. These include:

  • Excellent communication skills: These are paramount to conveying the results of tests, explaining issues and resolutions, and keeping all stakeholders informed.
  • Analytical skills: QA engineers must be able to analyze complex software applications and identify potential issues.
  • Problem-solving skills: QA engineers must be able to think strategically and use their knowledge of software testing processes to come up with creative solutions for any identified issues.
  • Organizational and time management skills: Time is an important factor in software development projects, and QA engineers must manage their time effectively and prioritize tasks accordingly.

Hard Skills

Hard skills are the technical knowledge and experience a QA engineer needs to fulfill their role successfully. These include:

  • Extensive experience in software testing, such as unit, integration, system, and regression tests
  • Hands-on experience with automated testing tools, such as Selenium, Cucumber, and Appium
  • Knowledge of scripting languages, such as Python, JavaScript, and Ruby
  • Proficiency in test case management tools, such as Jira and Bugzilla
  • Familiarity with project management tools, such as Asana, Azure DevOps, and Kanban

Technical Skills

Closely related to hard skills, technical skills are the specific technologies, programming languages, and frameworks that enable QA engineers to perform their job effectively. Key technical skills include:

  • Understanding of test-driven development (TDD) principles
  • Familiarity with debugging techniques, such as debugging and tracing
  • Proficiency in programming languages, such as Java, C++, and Python
  • Experience with object-oriented programming (OOP) concepts
  • Knowledge of relational databases, such as Oracle and MySQL

QA Engineer Salary

Before hiring a QA engineer to join your product team, it's important to understand the salary range associated with this role to set an appropriate budget. For instance, a QA engineer's salary will vary depending on the engineer's experience and qualifications, industry, and company size.

According to Glassdoor, entry-level QA engineers with less than four years of experience in the U.S. earn an annual average salary of $81,393. Mid-level QA engineers with four to six years of experience earn an average yearly salary of $89,209. Senior engineers typically responsible for leading the entire product team with seven or more years of experience make a minimum of $97,723 yearly.

While QA engineers in Latin American countries are equally skilled, the lower cost of living means they usually earn 30% to 50% less than their U.S. counterparts, with salaries varying based on location and experience. Revelo provides a cost-effective solution while offering highly qualified, pre-vetted Latin American developers.

Programming Languages for QA Engineers

QA engineers must have a working knowledge of programming languages to execute tests and identify issues. Here is a comprehensive list of the most popular programming languages that QA engineers should be familiar with and why:

  • C/C++: This programming language develops powerful applications and software. It is a must-know for QA engineers as it helps them identify issues related to memory leaks, buffer overflows, and memory usage.
  • Java: This is an object-oriented programming language for building robust and reliable applications. QA engineers should be familiar with this language as it helps them assess the application's performance and identify any potential problems related to memory, exceptions, and threading.
  • Python: This is a versatile programming language used for developing web applications and automation scripts. QA engineers should be familiar with Python as it helps them create automated test scripts and identify any issues related to application performance.
  • Ruby: This is a dynamic, object-oriented programming language for web application development. QA engineers can use Ruby to develop and execute automated tests and identify any issues related to memory leaks or scope.
  • JavaScript: This is a scripting language used to create interactive web applications. QA engineers use JavaScript to develop automated tests and identify any issues related to UI, performance, and responsiveness.
  • PHP/MySQL: PHP is a popular scripting language for developing dynamic web applications, while MySQL is an open-source database management system. QA engineers use these technologies to build automated test scripts and troubleshoot any issues related to the database or web application.

How to Hire QA Engineers

Hiring an experienced QA engineer requires a thorough understanding of the role, an appropriate budget, and an effective recruitment process. Here are some tips to help you find the right QA engineer for your project:

  • Know the skills and experience you are looking for. Evaluate your needs and clarify what you require in a QA engineer.
  • Have a clear understanding of the salary range. Be sure to set an appropriate budget for the role, taking into account experience and qualifications.
  • Consider using a recruitment agency. Recruitment agencies have access to a larger talent pool of professionals and can help you find the right candidate quickly.
  • Use referrals, job boards, and social networks. Ask others in your network for referrals or post the role on job boards and relevant industry groups. This can shorten the recruitment process and save you time.
  • Create an effective recruitment process. This should include interviews, technical tests, and background checks.
  • Come up with an attractive offer. Make sure the candidate is motivated to join your team by making a competitive and attractive offer. This can include salary, flexible working hours, and other benefits.
  • Interview potential candidates thoroughly. Ask the right questions to assess their skills, experience, and job knowledge.

Hire a QA Engineer With Revelo

Hiring the right QA engineer for your product team takes time and effort. That is why it's crucial to have an experienced partner on your side. Revelo can help you find the perfect candidate quickly and easily through our talented pool of remote software engineers in Latin America. We offer a comprehensive recruitment service and access to pre-vetted talent ready to join your product team. Our service helps you find the right candidate quickly and ensures they have the necessary skills and experience to deliver high-quality products that meet customer expectations.

If you are looking for experienced and knowledgeable QA engineers to join your team, contact Revelo today and let us help you scale your engineering team quickly and efficiently.

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