What is Software Quality Assurance?

Software quality assurance (SQA) consists of a means of monitoring the software engineering processes and methods used to ensure quality. The methods by which this is accomplished are many and varied, and may include ensuring conformance to one or more standards, such as ISO 9000 or a model such as CMMI. Engineers applying for software quality assurance jobs are usually hired by software development companies.

What does a Software Quality Assurance Engineer do?

An Engineer who undertakes the responsibility of ensuring that a standard process is undertaken in the software engineering process to develop the best product/service, can be defined as a Software Quality Assurance Engineer. Typically, the role is to write software test cases, which can be automatically implemented, so that bugs and glitches can be identified in the system. This procedure ensures that the product is tested thoroughly before being introduced to the market.

A Software Quality Assurance engineer should understand how a user will behave and anticipate the actions that a user will perform on the software that is being developed. This strengthens the capabilities of the software and equips the consumer with a quality product/service.

What are the technical skillsets & qualifications you require to work in this vertical?

Successful software quality assurance engineers have a broad understanding of computer systems and software standards, are detail-oriented and adept at anticipating user behavior and solving problems efficiently and creatively, says the Princeton Review. Good interpersonal and communication skills are also helpful, since quality assurance engineers work closely with product managers and programmers to address software issues and fine tune products.

What are the certifications required to become a Software Quality Assurance Engineer?

A Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science or equivalent is essential in order to become a Software Quality Assurance Engineer. Quite often companies often look for candidates who have a Master’s in Computer Science and/or in Business Management.

A certification in Quality Assurance will definitely add value to a person’s resume. The American Society for Quality (ASQ), offers a course that will help potential QA Engineers obtain the relevant certification.

What are the career opportunities for a Software Quality Assurance Engineer?

A QA Engineer’s prospects to further his career are purely based on the expertise gained and the line of interest. If Hardware is the stream that interests you, than one can become a Computer Hardware Engineer. If expertise has been gained in programming or software development, than a QA Engineer can move on to become a Computer Programmer.

What does a Computer Hardware Engineer do?
The testing of computer parts, such as the circuit board, routers, networks, processors and other hardware parts of a computer is what a Computer Hardware Engineer will typically do. The usability of the various parts is tested from all aspects to ensure high quality in the assembled product.

Even though the growth has not been exponentially high as compared to similar careers, it is however a stable and steady career to pursue. According to BLS, a Hardware Engineer earns an average salary of approximately $100000 annually.

What does a Computer Programmer do?
Developing code to create software programs is what a Computer Programmer does. The programmer will understand how the user functions and how the software program should respond. This is a fast growing career and the demand has only risen in the past few years. The average salary that a Computer Programmer receives is around $75000 annually (according to BLS).

What is the scope for Software Quality Assurance?

There is high growth in pursuing a career in Quality Assurance. The US market has seen a high demand for these roles, and it is predicted that this demand will only grow. Career span typically begins from a Quality Assurance Engineer to a QA Manager and finally to a QA Lead. There are opportunities for QA engineers to opt for related fields such as analytics etc. The average salary of a QA Engineer is around $58000, as per Salary.com.

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