Evaluating Software Quality Assurance Practices in Potential Employers

Evaluating Software Quality Assurance Practices in Potential Employers

3 July 2024 Stephan Petzl Leave a comment QA

When looking for a new position in software quality assurance (QA), it is crucial to assess the practices and environment of potential employers. While the “Joel Test” provides a general framework for evaluating software companies, testers may need a more specific set of criteria to ensure the company aligns with their professional needs. Below, we explore a tailored approach for QA professionals to evaluate potential employers effectively.

The Alan Test: A Focused Approach for Testers

Inspired by the “Joel Test,” the “Alan Test” provides a more targeted set of questions for testers to consider:

  • Are testers influential from day one of the project? – Early involvement ensures that testers can contribute to shaping the quality and usability of the product.
  • Does the test team own their own schedule? – Autonomy in scheduling allows testers to prioritize tasks effectively.
  • Does the test manager report to the general manager (and not to development)? – Reporting structure can impact the independence and objectivity of the QA team.
  • Are career paths for testers and developers equal? – Equal opportunities for advancement reflect the company’s commitment to quality.
  • Do the developers value testers? – Mutual respect between developers and testers is crucial for a collaborative work environment.
  • Do testers have the same working conditions and resources as development? – Parity in resources ensures that testers can perform their tasks efficiently.
  • Do testers use good test case management and source control tools? – Access to robust tools is essential for maintaining high-quality standards.
  • Are tests built daily? – Regular testing helps identify issues early, reducing the risk of major defects.
  • Are automated tests and manual tests valued appropriately? – Both types of tests have their place and should be recognized for their contributions.
  • Do testers have the same coding guidelines and rules as developers? – Consistent guidelines ensure that all code, including test scripts, meets the same quality standards.
  • Is there a culture of quality? – A company-wide commitment to quality fosters an environment where testers can thrive.

These questions help testers evaluate whether a company values their role and provides the necessary support for them to succeed.

Additional Considerations from the Joel Test

While the “Alan Test” covers many tester-specific concerns, some points from the “Joel Test” are also highly relevant:

  • Can you make a build in one step? – A streamlined build process maximizes the time available for testing.
  • Do you have a bug database? – Effective bug tracking and analytics are essential for systematic bug fixing and prevention.
  • Do you have a spec? – Specifications provide clear requirements and priorities for testing.
  • Do you have testers? – The presence of a dedicated QA team indicates established QA processes.

Making the Right Choice for Your Career

Ultimately, the right set of criteria depends on your personal and professional goals. Whether you prefer a stable environment with established processes or a dynamic setting where you can blaze new trails, understanding what you value most in a workplace will guide your decision.

If you are passionate about ensuring quality and efficiency in software development, consider tools that can enhance your testing processes. For instance, Repeato is a no-code test automation tool for iOS and Android. It leverages computer vision and AI to create, run, and maintain automated tests quickly and efficiently. Repeato is simple to set up and use, making it a valuable addition to any QA toolkit.

By using these criteria and tools like Repeato, you can ensure that your next role not only matches your skills but also supports your growth as a QA professional.

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