Lights and Technology
29 October 2022

The Evolution of the "Tester"

In recent years, we have seen in the technology market an evolution of the tester function and its role in the software development cycle.

By Nuno Raposo, Senior Manager at Noesis

In the last few years, we have witnessed in the technology market an evolution of the tester's function and his role in the software development cycle.

For many years and with the existing methodologies, development cycles were long and tests were framed in the final phase of those cycles, with tests to all possible scenarios. What has been the Evolution of the software "Tester"?

The tester was seen as just looking for defects and creating bottlenecks for the development team and was often blamed for project delays. This process was slow, time-consuming, painful and not very efficient.

The goal is the same: to mitigate the delivery of defective solutions to the end customer as much as possible. Just as important as guaranteeing the delivery of new developments in the shortest amount of time, it is also necessary to ensure the rapid correction of something that has reached the client incorrectly.

Therefore, the existence of Quality Assurance (QA) specialists with vision and experience, who can assess criticality and severity in the best way and understand what impacts the end customer's journey, is becoming increasingly essential. Knowing what can move into Production and be fixed quickly in the next inbound, for example. Often it's more beneficial to have the new version in a production environment and correct that defect afterward - it's part of the process and the times.

The very name of the function has been evolving, naturally, from "Tester" to "QA", removing even a particularly negative perception of the role. It is no longer someone who "only finds defects" but someone with a vision of Quality who can help evolve the product and prevent defects from reaching the production environment.

The profile of the current QA is characterized by joining various engineering skills, whose main capacity is to adapt to the market's new demands. This is an essential skill in an area where everything is constantly changing and rapidly evolving (engineering cycles generally last five years and then modify and the mindset changes).

Besides the natural evolution of some hard skills required in the profile of a QA, such as some more technical knowledge, communication and collaboration have become increasingly present skills. The grand goal is to influence Quality even before the software is developed.

The QA is someone who has to have a transversal knowledge of the product and whose communication work is essential with the different stakeholders. Whether with the development team, the Product Owner / Scrum Master / Project Manager (depending on the methodologies), the Business Analysts, or the Operations teams that support the products in Production.

The same goes for the ability to learn. With so many changes, "fast learning" is also crucial - it becomes decisive to understand the business and the area where we are quick. There are always changes in project priorities and new immediate market needs. In this sense, this ability to adapt has become a key factor.

It has been a natural evolution of the QA profile and the associated skills, constantly adapting to new realities and contexts that arise.

The QA has become a team orchestrator and, therefore, a highly valued profile in organizations - it has become a "sexy" role in teams.


Published (in Portuguese) in PPLWARE