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Post by Rich Moy on Aug 7, 2017, 12:00:00 PM

Quality assurance engineers are critical to the success of the engineering teams they work with. Whether they’re editing code or testing an application’s usability, QA engineers ensure that the end-product is as polished as possible before it hits the market and address any issues that customers encounter. Because of their impact on your internal teams and your company’s bottom line, it should come as no surprise that the sharpest quality assurance minds are in high demand. Here are a few ways you can stand out from the competition for the top QA candidates.

Know Where They Spend Their Free Time

Quality assurance is a crucial component to every successful engineering team, regardless of the programming languages your company includes in its tech stack. Rather than focusing on language-specific issues, a QA engineer will often turn to more general software testing forums when they need help with an issue or want to share their knowledge. Sites like Software Testing Club and SQA Forums host lively conversations around quality assurance best practices. Additionally, the Software Quality community on Stack Overflow attracts over 13,000 visitors per day.

As always, keep in mind that developers visit these sites primarily to commiserate with their peers. While they might be open to hearing about new jobs, avoid starting conversations with these programmers by gauging their interest in your open roles. Instead, ask questions about their current projects or anything about software testing you’d like to learn more about. This activity might not seem productive, but building relationships with these developers will make you stand out from the other tech recruiters who are looking to hire them.

Understand Their Biggest Challenges at Work

Developers will never quiz your tech knowledge during a recruitment conversation, but they do expect you to know some of the basics. Understanding some of the unique challenges they face at work can help you build credibility with even the most passive candidates.. Here are some of the biggest obstacles that quality assurance engineers handle on a daily basis.

  • Reporting usability problems as bugs. Minor hiccups in an application can often be dismissed as inconveniences that companies assume their customers will adjust to.  However, the best quality assurance professionals speak up on their behalf and escalate these issues as bugs for the engineers to address.
  • Establishing clear and scalable testing processes. Getting multiple stakeholders to use to the same process and tools can be a software tester’s biggest challenge. However, the best engineers establish guidelines and enforce them across their organizations.
  • Managing expectations across multiple teams. Even the most seasoned QA engineer can’t guarantee that an application will ship bug-free. However, they’re adept at setting and managing expectations not only with the development team, but also cross-functionally with all teams whose jobs the product affects.

Know What They Look for in New Jobs

In addition to understanding some of the technical demands on QA professionals while they’re at work, you should also be able to identify what they look for in new jobs. We spoke to Ludmilla Sivanathan, QA Manager at Clearbridge Mobile, about how she evaluates career opportunities. Here are some of the key questions she asks herself.

  • Is this role going to challenge me? “If the job doesn't allow me to push myself, then I won't apply,” Sivanathan says.
  • Are the tech teams truly collaborative? Sivanathan tells us that it’s can be difficult to find technology departments that work together efficiently. She adds, “Are the developers receptive to feedback? Does the team share responsibility? These are key questions I ask when considering a new job as a QA Engineer.”
  • What does career growth look like at this company? Not surprisingly, opportunities for advancement are important to Sivanathan. She tells us, “I like to make sure that there will be opportunities in the company that will help advance my career. If the company cares about the success of its employees, I am more compelled to consider the role.”

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