In this article, I will try to find a reason why these times it’s really hard to find a skilled QA on the market.
While I was doing multiple interviews for QA/Test Automation Engineers I noticed that a significant part of the candidates was not able to explain their skills from CV based on their experience. I would even say that over-skilled CVs are some kind of problem for hiring managers as the expectation from a CV is not met with reality, which definitely increases the hiring costs and wasting the time on both sides.
If you want to have a good QA in your team, look at the single achievements in the past/current projects, and ask the technical/soft questions about how this was done, and why – don’t focus on the title and experience years. Look for creative problem solvers with good technical and communication skills who are increasing their knowledge constantly, not just for QA on paper.
Today the IT industry is experiencing a total boom – everyone wants to be in, unfortunately, a lot of people are treating a testing job as a good start, even when not feeling that this is the right way, they usually think – you don't need to know a programming language, just click around the application and find some bugs, hah easy thing – no, it’s NOT. That kind of thinking is producing a lot of QAs on the market that are doing their job mechanically, this is reflecting on the project quality, team cooperation, and overall thinking about QA as a part of a development team. Very often I came across the opinion that testers are redundant in the team, do not bring a specific value to the project, or developers can cover some testing aspects, etc., today I know this opinion is unfortunately based on the bad quality testers and I agree with that.
My other observation is a lack of good communication from the QA side, we should think about that role as a bridge between development and project, that requires exceptional communication skills and an understanding of the processes and product, instead of this, really often we can notice a judging QA who’s trying to find a guilty or don’t see the issues in the QA processes. In addition, communication skills are a must when speaking about bugs to the developers and product managers, that’s a mix between tech and soft language – not easy, but also not impossible.
During my whole career, I met the QAs who have been introduced to me as super seniors but when I started to work with them I was disappointed, there was a lack of technical skills, especially in the test automation area, and the quality of work was unacceptable in some aspects. How this could happen?
In my opinion, the process of interviewing QAs is not focused on real skills but on asking the same questions, expecting to solve unreal cases, and not looking at the ability for problem-solving. It’s really hard to verify all these during an interview, but all can be noticeable during daily work. If you notice that your QA is not performing as you expected, don’t be afraid to talk about improvements. I would go even further, don't be afraid to fire an employee if you see they don't meet your expectations. Keeping a bad-performing QA in the team without any signs of progress may lead your team rockstars will find a better place.
And the last thing, but in my opinion the most critical – money saving on good people. How often do you hear that we need someone for the project, ideally senior level, but in reality, we are looking for junior/mid as in that way we can save some money? Unfortunately, this is false thinking, finally, this ends with team frustration, and opening a recruitment process from the beginning, which equals more money spent. Setting up the project expectations and needed skills is crucial for hiring good people and having a dream team.
Top comments (1)
Hey Wiola, I really like your style of writing :)
You described this topic really well with great examples and ideas, however, i do not agree with the point "everyone has to code", from my experience I have seen great QA who cannot write a single line of code and I've learned from them a lot about testing theory, strategy, and management. In an ideal DevOps setup, sure everyone is coding, but still it doesn't mean that we cannot have a great QA who recently joined the team and doesn't know how to code(Or even doesn't want to). Also, we were having for a while in one of my previous teams a really talented coder who was a terrible tester.
Testing is a huge field, with a different set of skills and tools, so we can have a place for everyone actually, it just has to be the right place for a person and vice versa.
I personally, in interviews, mainly trying to give the candidate some problem-solving scenarios and focusing on the way of thinking, communication skills and motivation, these things are crucial for me, and CV is mainly used for having some point to ask about and not as a knowledge proof.