Junior QA testers are entry-level quality assurance professionals who work alongside programmers and developers to ensure that websites, apps, and other digital products meet user expectations and align with business goals. They work closely with programmers and developers to meticulously run test cases, spotting bugs and defects that might compromise the quality, speed, functions, ease of use, and security of these digital products before they reach users.
Despite working primarily in the early stages of software development, the impact of a Junior QA tester’s work is substantial. You, as a Junior QA, don the hat of an end user or a customer advocate. Your diligence ultimately ensures that the company ships a quality digital product that works seamlessly.
And here’s the cool part: thanks to a rapidly growing and evolving need for software, the skills of a junior QA tester are in high demand. Experts predict a growth rate of up to 25% before 2031, offering promising prospects for individuals eyeing a career as a Junior QA Tester.
Learn how to become a QA Tester, what skills you need to succeed, how to advance your career and get promoted, and what to expect in this field.
What is Quality Assurance In Software Testing?
To understand what a junior QA does, you must first learn what quality assurance means. Ideally, quality assurance is an integral part of quality management involving a set of activities and procedures that help provide confidence that quality requirements in a digital product will be fulfilled. It’s an important part of a product development journey that ensures user retention, customer loyalty, and a constant revenue stream.
Your job as a junior QA is to help developers design and deliver the correct approaches, techniques, methods, and processes that must be followed throughout the project’s lifecycle. The aim is to prevent defects and bugs by implementing processes and procedures to improve the development life cycle. This proactive and preventive process helps recognize flaws in the process and verify that the processes used to manage and create deliverables have been followed.
So, here’s what you’ll be expected to do as a junior QA:
- Making sure everything matches the requirements
- Creating designs and prototypes
- Checking the code and giving it a thumbs-up
- Version control
- Evaluating the user interface (UI) design and user experience (UX)
- Implementing continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD)
- Managing configurations
- Performing daily safety inspections and ensuring quality
- Creating status reports when and as needed
- Planning and executing tests
- Making sure everything is set up for the release
- Deployment and system integration
- And finally, collecting customer acceptance and gathering feedback from users to keep improving things.
Overall, you’ll be required to work closely with various departments and team members, including your supervisor, the development team, clients, and other stakeholders, to ensure the final product meets user needs and business goals.
How Do I Become a Junior QA Analyst?
Becoming a Junior QA Analyst involves a combination of education, skills development, practical experience, and a proactive attitude toward learning. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to embark on this career path:
· Understand the Role
Research and understand what a Junior QA Analyst does. Familiarize yourself with the responsibilities, skills required, and the importance of quality assurance in software development.
· Obtain Relevant Education
Pursue a degree in computer science, software engineering, information technology, or related fields. While not always mandatory, having a formal education can provide a strong foundation in software development and testing principles.
You can also land an entry-level QA job after completing a QA testing online course like Test Pro offers. They offer SDET online courses that have helped thousands of students land high-paying jobs as junior QAs or software testers.
· Develop Technical Skills
Gain proficiency in various testing methodologies such as functional, regression, and usability testing. Familiarize yourself with testing tools and platforms commonly used in QA.
These are categorized as load testing tools, automated testing tools, test management tools, defect tracking tools, API testing tools, cross-browser testing tools, mobile testing tools, or security testing tools. Some of the most common testing tools include Selenium, Tosca Testsuite, Sahi, Ranorex, TestingWhiz, TestComplete, and Katalon Studio.
· Enhance Soft Skills
Improve communication skills to effectively articulate issues, collaborate with teams, and document findings. Attention to detail, critical thinking, and problem-solving abilities are also crucial in this role.
· Gain Practical Experience
Look for internships, entry-level positions, or volunteer opportunities in QA departments. Practical experience provides hands-on exposure to real-world scenarios and tools used in software testing.
This hands-on experience will also help you understand the 7 phases of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC): Planning, Analysis, Design, Software Development, Software Testing, Implementation and Integration, and Operations and Maintenance Stage.
· Learn about QA Processes
Understand the software development life cycle (SDLC) and quality assurance processes. Learn about requirements gathering, test planning, execution, and reporting.
· Consider Certifications
While not mandatory, certifications like Certified Test Engineer (CSTE), Certified Software Quality Analyst (CSQA), and Certified Associate in Software Testing (CAST) can validate your skills and enhance your credibility as a QA professional.
· Build a Portfolio
Document any projects, internships, or coursework related to software testing. Showcase your practical experience and knowledge through a portfolio to demonstrate your capabilities to potential employers.
· Networking and Professional Development
Engage with professionals in the field by attending conferences, workshops, and joining online communities. Networking can provide valuable insights and potential job opportunities.
· Apply for Junior QA Positions
Look for entry-level positions advertised as Junior QA Analyst roles. Tailor your resume and cover letter to highlight your relevant skills and experiences.
Remember, the key to becoming a Junior QA Analyst is continuous learning and practical application of skills. Stay updated with industry trends, technologies, and best practices in quality assurance to excel in this field.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) On Junior QAA Engineers?
1. Do you need a Computer Science degree to become a QA engineer?
No, a Computer Science degree is not always mandatory to become a QA engineer. While having a degree in Computer Science or a related field can be beneficial and may open up more opportunities, it’s not always a strict requirement in the field of Quality Assurance (QA).
Employers often value practical skills, certifications, relevant experience, and a good understanding of software development life cycles more than a specific degree. Gaining hands-on experience through internships, self-study, online courses such as the SDET courses offered by Test Pro, and certifications can be significant in establishing a career as a QA engineer, even without a Computer Science degree.
2. Do you need to learn how to code to become a QA engineer?
3. What are the key responsibilities of a Junior QA Engineer?
Junior QA Engineers typically assist in creating test plans, designing test cases, executing tests (manual and automated), identifying bugs, documenting issues, and collaborating with developers and other team members to ensure software quality.
4. Is certification important for a Junior QA Engineer?
Certifications like ISTQB certification, Certified Test Engineer (CSTE), Certified Software Quality Analyst (CSQA), and Certified Associate in Software Testing (CAST) can add value and demonstrate a baseline of knowledge in software testing. However, hands-on experience and practical skills often hold more weight.
5. What career growth opportunities are available for Junior QA Engineers?
Junior QA Engineers can progress to roles like QA Engineer, Senior QA Engineer, Test Automation Engineer, QA Team Lead, or move into specialized areas like performance testing, security testing, or quality assurance management.
Displaying certain qualities and skills can significantly contribute to earning a promotion within the realm of a Junior QA Engineer. Here are some points that can be instrumental in your career advancement:
- Ability to identify average issues and successfully resolve them.
- Making suggestions on architecture and process improvement.
- Constructive comments during sprint plan discussions.
- Solid skills that allow mentoring a new team member.
6. What Is the Average Salary For a Junior QA
The average salary for a Junior QA Engineer can vary significantly based on several factors, including education, location, industry, level of experience, specific skills, and the company itself. In general, Junior QA Engineers typically earn between $50,000 to $100,000 annually in the United States.
The national average salary for quality assurance testers in the US is $53,688 per year. Besides your salary, some companies offer other competitive benefits such as visa sponsorships, remote work options, referral programs, health insurance, paid time off, in-office quality-of-life perks, and a 401(k) retirement package.
7. What are the common testing proficiencies that every experienced QA tester need?
There are various kinds of testing needed for various projects. To be highly marketable, you need to be proficient in most of these tests:
- Performance testing
- Usability testing
- Security testing
- Compatibility testing
- Regression testing
- Load testing
- Functionality testing