Tuesday, April 12, 2011

On QA Position Postings

Starting as a QA Manager for a greenfield team means that you have to start thinking about what type of testers can fill the roles that you intend to have in your team. Just like testing, hiring is also all about context and it starts with your job posting. For this purpose, I've removed some details which would identify a particular company.
Here's the listing:

QA Engineer


  • Test [Insert Company] products.
  • Provide/Create appropriate testing documentation as needed.
  • Perform behavioral and exploratory testing as needed.
  • Create automated scripts using In-House [Insert Automation Tool of Choice] Framework
  • Validate and troubleshoot reported bugs, clearly communicate problems and severity to appropriate IT personnel.
  • Triage bug reports with [Insert Company] staff, including both technical and non-technical staff.


  • [Insert required years] experience in Web software quality assurance.
  • A good understanding of software testing concepts, [Insert School of Testing or Certification]
  • Experience with automated QA testing tools, particularly [Insert Automation Tool of Choice]
  • Experience programming with [Insert Scripting Tool of Choice]
  • Experience using [Insert Continuous Integration Tool of Choice] and [Unit Testing Tool of Choice] is a plus.
  • Strong communication skills with a proven ability to interact with technical, business, editorial and other stakeholders.
  • Ability to conscientiously manage and follow up on multiple concurrent tasks and requests on tight deadlines.
  • Attention to detail, thoroughness, and tenacity, and an investigative drive to discover the underlying causes of technical problems.
  • B.S./B.A. in Computer Science, or a degree in a related field, or equivalent experience.
  • Above all, a willingness and ability to uphold the high quality standards of [Company]
Now, the reason behind the rhyme.
Test [Insert Company] products.
This is the most important requirement and pretty much describes what the job is really for. Most QA job postings will tell you that the candidate should "Ensure Quality". Lets get this straight, chances are the person that you hire won't be able to "Ensure Quality" (this is for a separate post) but that person should at least be able to test and report back to primary stakeholders what the deal is with any given project.
Provide/Create appropriate testing documentation as needed.
The second bullet point is also crucial. Most postings will require a new hire to "Create Formal Test Plans". We need to understand that actual testing is more important than documentation and documentation can be done along the way.

You may or may not have an automation framework. You might not need the knowledge and understanding of a particular type of technology. The rest is pretty much self explanatory and should revolve around the context that your company is in.
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