14 de noviembre 2023

The prostitution of the term QA

5 minutos de lectura

We are convinced that we have captured your attention with such a captious title, but the truth is that we have not been able to find a better way to describe what, in our view, is happening with one of the most classic roles in software quality. I recommend at this point, for further contextualisation, to go to one of our last posts: “The evolution of the titles of the roles related to testing and quality”.

the way in which the labour market is being managed in our sector is truly confusing

As workers in the software quality sector, we are sure that at some point in your career, you have found yourself in an active job search period, and you have invested a large part of your time filtering offers, decoding requirements or unleashing your deepest “imposter syndrome”. The fact is that the way in which the job market is being managed in our sector is truly confusing, either due to a lack of technical knowledge on the part of recruiters, and companies, an absence of requirements criteria or simply because we are in a part of the sector that has been poorly or not at all established from a educational point of view.

We invite you to do the following exercise, let’s look together at any random offer on linkedIn for QA Engineer and let’s put the magnifying glass on its requirements for the position offered. Do you see anything strange?

By now, surely you have already perceived where we are trying to put the focus, and is that, indeed, this is an offer mainly oriented to testing, which is part of the quality tasks, we will never deny this, and I take this opportunity here to leave you another of our readings “Testing does not improve the quality of our product, does it?” Therefore, by being so focused on testing, you are leaving aside a large part of other attitudes necessary to fully impact the quality of your product, and therefore not being in line with the definition that is intuited to the QA position.

Does testing assure you of quality or does it simply control quality?

But what the hell does QA really mean? QA usually stands for Quality Assurance, and we ask you here, does testing assure you of the quality or does it simply control it? In other cases, QA may come from Quality advisor, which would make the difference even more obvious. Others could be Quality assistance or one of the favourites of this writer, Question Asker, and my experience tells me that a battery of accurate questions about the product, at key moments of the development, have done more for the quality of the product than large batteries of tests executed hours before its delivery.

And to conclude, and in view of the proposed example, the opinion on the position they are looking to fill in the job offer would have been much more accurate if they had replaced it with the title of tester. So, dear recruiters… let’s be more honest, let’s call a spade a spade or let’s solve this lack of knowledge about the role and for you quality professionals, a lot of patience in your job search, pay special attention to the requirements and do not overlook your profiles and the role you play because through it you can do a lot of evangelisation of our sector.


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