Quality Assurance (QA) managers help organizations establish quality regulations for products and services. From a software development perspective, they ensure applications run smoothly and keep end-user/teams happy by finding and fixing bugs, errors, and other issues. However, this is just the tip of the iceberg as far as their role is concerned, this job varies day-to-day and every company/project has its own culture, required skills, and job duties/responsibilities.
So, What Does a Quality Assurance Manager Do?
This job role typically encompasses two core duties – Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC). The Quality Assurance aspect focuses on the development processes and operational procedures that enhance quality. It includes training, monitoring and audits, and documentation, to name a few. In contrast, Quality Control focuses on the product to find bugs or any other defects that remain post-deployment.
So, if you’re interested in improving quality and being on the frontline defense of your software solution to enhance customer satisfaction, this career path is for you. A typical day on the job entails designing, planning, executing, and ensuring that policies are regularly complied with and updated.
Building a Better Software and User Experience
Quality Assurance managers play an essential role in building better software and user experiences while meeting industry regulations and standards. These professionals design and manage the QA programs and policies to improve the organization’s efficiency, bottom line, and branding. Here’s a list of typical responsibilities under their belt:
Analyzing data from various sources to find product gaps and improvement areas.
Devising new strategies to improve the software development process.
Providing training to QA teams.
Auditing and testing software to ensure it meets both end-user and legal standards.
Planning, conducting, monitoring, and reporting product inspections to maintain and enhance quality.
Analyzing user queries and feedback to find improvements.
How to Become a Quality Assurance Manager
To become a Quality Assurance Manager, you’ll need at least a bachelor’s degree in a field related to your industry. However, this isn’t mandatory as most candidates applying for this role have several years of experience working within their industry or field.
You can also take several professional certifications to become a better candidate, such as a CMMI Associate Certificate or an ISTQB Foundation Tester Certificate from the American Software Testing Qualifications Board (ASTQB).
Skills and Competencies
Here are some skills and competencies required to progress in the field of Quality Assurance & Control:
Domain expertise to understand product quality.
Human knowledge to understand the impact of product usage on users.
Excellent communication skills (written/verbal) to lead QA teams and ensure smooth operations.
Strong multi-tasking skills transition between different tasks without compromising on quality or standards.
Project management skills to efficiently implement QA processes and protocols.
Segue’ Services Quality Control
At Segue QA and QC are linked and they are performed throughout the product life cycle, from product conception to release and maintenance. We offer a scalable testing solution, tailored to web, mobile and desktop applications. Our testing services include performance testing such as load and stress testing, as well as functional testing of all links, database connections, user data and collection forms. We can also evaluate application accessibility to determine whether individuals with disabilities will be able to use your site (508 compliance). Our QC services also include testing the graphical user interface, ease of navigation, and application compatibility across browsers and operating systems including Linux, Windows, and Mac OS, as well as mobile devices. You can find more information about Segue Services here.
What’s It Like to Be a Quality Assurance Manager?
Interview with LaTonya Pearson, Quality Assurance Manager at Segue Technologies Inc.
What is a typical day like for you?
Here at Segue, I started out doing QC and QA. The Quality Assurance aspect focuses on the development processes at Segue and operational procedures that enhance quality for software applications and development services that we provide. For Quality Control, which takes up most of my time, I focus on the products Segue develops to find bugs or any other defects that remain post-deployment. For Quality Assurance I have to create and update policies and conduct audits to ensure we are following these policies and to see if we need to make any changes to these policies.
- Team meeting, review of defects reported the previous day, status update on work, getting new task assignments.
- Working through executing batches of tests and reporting pass/fail results.
- Investigate any tests which failed to determine why and whether it was a bug in the code, a flaw in the test, or a data issue, and write up any bug/defect reports necessary.
- Review requirements and design documentation for upcoming work, and write test cases for those features.
(The above activities are often performed on multiple projects at a time)
- Review and update Policy information, and perform Audits against ISO and CMMI standards.
- Attend project and corporate quality meetings. Attend training, webinars, and conferences to keep my skills current. (This is not a daily occurrence, but is important to note.)
The activities could happen in different orders, and they could last more or less time on any given day, and some days you might even skip one of those groups of tasks, on other days I may have to juggle them all at the same time. But in general, my days look something like that.
What are the main 5 duties/responsibilities of a Quality Assurance Manager?
- Analyzing data from various sources to find product gaps and improvement areas.
- Devising new strategies to improve the software development process.
- Auditing and testing software to ensure it meets both end-user and legal standards.
- Planning, conducting, monitoring, and reporting product inspections to maintain and enhance quality.
- Analyzing user queries and feedback to find improvements.
For whom do you think this career is a good fit? Why?
A person who enjoys learning about how the software works (also how it’s developed) This helps when trying to figure out the best way to break the application.
A person who has great problem-solving skills, not only is QA testing about finding bugs within the code, but it’s also important to note that it’s prioritizing the bugs that are the most important to resolve. As a tester, you can help identify the bugs with the largest contributing factors to major problems within the cod as well as help determine what needs to be prioritized to create a great application.
A person with great discipline. QA testing can be a very repetitive process, so it’s easy to lose focus after analyzing and reporting for long periods of time. Since so much of the job can seem repetitive, QA testers have to possess a sense of discipline to get through the job. Finding bugs can be a very time-consuming process, particularly when you’re testing a large-scale application on multiple hardware and software combinations.
A person that has effective communication skills. There is sometimes a misconception that people think of QA testing as a process that doesn’t involve very much communication or collaboration. In fact, I spend a good deal of time going back-and-forth between the project’s stakeholders to collaborate on the most ideal product.
What’s your favorite part of being a Quality Assurance Manager?
Finding bugs before the client does. Creating processes that help improve the quality of the products and services we deliver.
What is the most challenging part of working as a Quality Assurance Manager?
The most challenging part is how to deal with bugs missed. By missed bugs, I mean bugs reported by end-users, which are generally expected to be found during testing.
The most rewarding aspects?
Hearing from the client how much an application or an added feature has improved their work or business.
What advice do you have for individuals considering becoming a Quality Assurance Manager?
Here are some skills and competencies that are required to progress in the field of Quality Assurance & Control. I recommend gaining experience and knowledge in the below areas.
- Domain expertise to understand product quality.
- Human knowledge to understand the impact of product usage on users.
- Excellent communication skills (written/verbal) to lead QA teams and ensure smooth operations.
- Strong multi-tasking skills transition between different tasks without compromising on quality or standards.
- Project management skills to efficiently implement QA processes and protocols.
Fun fact you can share about your role at Segue?
I often work side by side with my sister who is a Lead Business Analyst at Segue.
To stay relevant and competitive in the digital age, Quality Assurance Managers must remain focused on enhancing their essential skills and competencies while keeping pace with the emerging trends and technologies in their respective industries.
A QA and QC Manager’s day can be hectic but equally exciting for motivated candidates. The challenges and complexity of the position make it incredibly exciting. QA and QC professionals hold the line and defend the integrity of their products and brand reputation. With bugs, downtimes, and other issues inevitable, every day on the job presents a new puzzle to solve and solutions to explore.
If you are interested in joining our team or exploring our career opportunities visit Segue’s career page or share your resume with our Recruitment team at firstname.lastname@example.org To find more information about our team members go to Segue’s Blog: Employee Spotlight.