List of Software Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer Skills

Software Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer Skills for Resumes and Cover Letters

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A software quality assurance engineer monitors every phase of the software development process and ensures that the design and software adhere to company standards.  

Software delays are costly for a company, so it is vital for software releases to meet target dates and stay within budget. A software quality assurance engineer helps meet release deadlines by breaking up the development process into attainable testing goals and relaying any issues back to the development and product teams or leaders.

Jobs for Software Quality Engineers

Software quality engineers work in a variety of fields. You may find them:

  • Assessing whether an airplane's control system meets required performance standards.
  • Designing a plan to test potential human errors in an automated system for drug delivery.
  • Using tools to track software bugs.
  • Making sure a video game won't crash just when you're about to take out the bad guy.

How to Become a Software Quality Assurance Engineer

While there is no license or certification required, getting a job in the field usually requires at least a bachelor’s degree in software design or engineering computer science, as well as prior practical experience. It sounds like a catch-22; you need experience to get a job. The way out of the impasse is to work a series of internships while in school. It is also important to remain up-to-date in the current trends and latest advancements in the field.

The state of the art in computer programming can change rapidly.

Top Software Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer Skills

A software quality assurance engineer must have strong skills in a variety of categories: engineering and technology, math and science, verbal and written communication, problems solving, reasoning and logic,  and practical skills like exceptional documentation and time management.

Companies require software quality assurance engineers to have:

  • A bachelor’s or master's degree in software design, engineering computer science
  • An understanding of software QA methodologies, tools, and processes
  • Knowledge of SQL and scripting
  • Working experience in software development and software quality assurance
  • Knowledge of the current trends and latest advancements.  

Technical Skills
Of course, to be a software quality assurance engineer, you have to thoroughly understand the software you are working with, as well as any number of related tools. Which programming languages, tools, and techniques you have to know may change rapidly; an online list is likely to get out of date quickly. If you are ready to work in the field, you’ll know how to find out what’s current, and have top-notch technical skills.

Analytical Skills
Knowing how software works is not enough. To figure out what’s wrong when it does not work, you must be a creative, insightful, and rational thinker. Some people are naturally better at these types of thinking than others, but fortunately, it is possible to improve your analytical skills with practice.

Communication Skills
Clear and accurate written and verbal communication is a must, but a quality software assurance engineer must also have more than a little tact.

Consider that your job will be to tell other professionals that they have done something wrong, that the program or app they’ve put time, money, and emotion into doesn’t work right. That’s something nobody wants to hear.

Ability to Work on a Team
You may or may not be the only software quality assurance engineer at your company, but you will definitely be working with other programmers and members of other departments. You will have to understand their goals and objectives and, in some cases, explain problems and necessary solutions and adjusted timelines to people who don’t have any specialized knowledge of software.

Time Management Skills
Part of working on a team means working with other people’s timelines and finishing your own work in a reasonable amount of time. Since you don’t know when a problem might arise, keeping on schedule takes strong time management skills.

List of Skills

Here's a comprehensive list of software quality assurance engineer skills for resumes, cover letters, job applications and interviews.  Required skills will vary based on the job for which you're applying, so also review our list of skills listed by job and type of skill.

Personal Attributes

  • Analytical Thinking
  • Attention to Detail
  • Excellent Analytical and Problem-Solving Skills 
  • Flexible
  • Initiative
  • Proactive
  • Persistence
  • Self-Motivated
  • Strong Written and Verbal Communication
  • Think Outside The Box
  • Willingness to Learn New Technologies
  • Work Efficiently in a Fast Paced Environment

Technical Skills

  • Ability to Code Automated Tests
  • Ability to Work Independently and In Team Based Environment
  • Analyze Test Results
  • Break Project Into Attainable Progress Goals
  • Capable of Using Source Code Repositories
  • Communicate With Technical and Non-Technical Resources
  • Create Test Plans
  • Develop Standards and Procedures to Determine Product Quality and Release Readiness
  • Discover Bugs Within Software
  • Document Test Cases
  • Drive Innovation and Streamline Overall Testing Process
  • Experience With Agile Development Process 
  • Experience With Web Based Testing Applications
  • Identify Areas of Improvement
  • Identify, Isolate and Track Bugs Throughout Testing
  • Identify Potential Problems Users May Encounter
  • Interpret Technical and Business Objectives and Challenges
  • Perform and Document Risk Analysis
  • Perform Manual and Automated Testing 
  • Record Test Progress and Results
  • Research and Analyze Product Features Being Tested
  • Research New tools, Technologies, and Testing Processes 
  • Review User Interfaces For Consistency and Functionality 
  • Solid Understanding of QA Testing Environments
  • Thorough Understanding of Software Development Life Cycles
  • Work Closely With Development and Product Teams

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