How to Figure Out What QA Job Best Suits You Based on Your Skills?

Job searching is probably the most stressful and overwhelming part of our careers.

There is just something about it, that gets to even the best of us. I am not going to say, this post will change that. However, there is one bit of the tiring process that we will try and simplify- and that is, “What kind of a job can you aspire for, with the skills you possess?”

Every job post/ad/requirement comes with its own set of primary/required/mandatory skills & good-to-have and there is a gamut of these skills. While we would like to be ‘know-it-all’, we are often left confused because part of the job description fits our experience and skill level, part of it does not. We are often left wondering, “Am I a good fit for this one?” So today, we are going for a “Skill matching” of sorts.

We will try to create a list of skills and the jobs that are suitable for these skills.

On a lighter note, we issue a statutory warning: Please do not use this as your only source of reference and it always helps to remember that it is an approximation and intended for a general audience. :)

At STH we profess and of course practice a golden rule: “When applying for a job, it is rare that any applicant will satisfy 100% of the job requirements. Therefore, we recommend going for the job, if 75-85% of the criteria is a match with your skill set.”

And yes, if one of the points that you won’t satisfy is the years of experience, even then this rule applies. What I mean is, if you have ALM knowledge, SQL, QA concepts etc as required for the job and all that you lack is the years of experience that the job asks for – I would say, go ahead and apply for it.

The key is to focus on skills and proficiency rather than number of years. Are you wondering, “Has that ever worked?” It is a time tested theory. We encourage the same method through our STH’s QA class and a lot of our students are happily testing in their respective job. So, yes. It works.

Back to the main topic for today:

The below is a “Skills- QA position” checklist that you could use to see what the skills you have and what you want to work on to qualify for the most popular QA positions:



Note: We mentioned HP ALM (for test management), HP QTP/UFT (functional testing), SOAPUI (web service testing), HP LoadRunner (performance testing) as tools that you will need to know. But please feel free to replace any tool of the similar genre.

“Skills- QA position” checklist:

Core skillsAdditional skillsTo learn and perfectPosition qualified for
QA concepts and working knowledgeDefect management tool

ALM tool

Agile/test management software

SQL and UNIXFunctional Tester/Manual Tester/Software QA engineer
QA concepts and working knowledge(all work management tools)Java and exposure to seleniumSelenium IDE and web driverAutomation Test Engineer using Selenium
QA concepts and working knowledge(all work management tools)SQLDatabase and Database Testing concepts

ETL concepts

Database or backend tester

ETL test engineer

QA concepts and working knowledge(all work management tools)XML, Webservices knowledgeSoapUI or other webservice testing toolsWebservice tester or SoapUI tester
QA concepts and working knowledge(all work management tools)Strong domain and business knowledgeBusiness models and BA processesQA and Business Analyst
QA concepts and working knowledge(all work management tools)HP Quick Test Professional(HP UFT) and VBScript programmingFramework creation, ROI concepts, resuability aspects etcAutomation Test Engineer using HP QTP(UFT)
QA concepts and working knowledge(all work management tools)Release management and source code management toolsCode deployment tools like Kintana and the associated processesQA release manager
QA concepts and working knowledge(all work management tools)HP ALM - Admin or any other management software administrationAdmin certification(may be)QA tool administrator
QA concepts and working knowledge(all work management tools)Mainframe knowledge and exposure to QTP(UFT)HP QTP(UFT) proficiencyMainframe Tester using QTP(UFT)
QA concepts and working knowledge(all work management tools)Mobile Testing understanding and Emulator knowledgeDifferent mobile OS systems knowledgeMobile Test engineer
QA concepts and working knowledge(all work management tools)Agile methodology knowledgeSCRUM and Kanban models in-depth understandingAgile Tester or Scrum master
QA concepts and working knowledge(all work management tools)Performance Testing concepts and HP Load Runner(or similar performance test tool knowledge)Performance fine tuning, analytics and other trouble shooting expertisePerformance Test engineer
QA concepts and working knowledge(all work management tools)Security testing concepts, network protocol knowledge, NMAP or similar tool experience, Metasploit/Wireshark knowledge for penetrationEthical hacking do's and don’ts Security Test engineer
QA concepts and working knowledge(all work management tools)Exposure to real time projects and good communicationMeeting software working knowledge, general awareness of the current trends in the fieldQA facilitator :)
QA concepts and working knowledge(all work management tools)Metric collection

Test estimation

Team leading experience

Process knowledge and certificationQA lead/QA manager
QA concepts and working knowledge(all work management tools)Excellent documentation and written communication skillsDocumentation creation working knowledge and general awareness of the current trends in the fieldTechnical writer
QA concepts and working knowledge(all work management tools)Excellent eye for details and good knowledge of www standardsData collection and interpretation skills



Heatmap based data collection tool knowledge

Usability tester

Conclusion:

Once again, this is just a generic list. In addition to these skills please do not forget that positive attitude, excellent communication, work ethics and general awareness of the current events in the field can be instrumental to being successful in the QA field for any of these positions.

Most of the tools we mentioned above and testing techniques mentioned, we have plenty of reading material on STH that can get you all set up and started.

Here are the links, please check them out:

Not to forget, there are tons on interview questions and interview related articles as well. Be sure to check it out.

Author: This article is written by STH team member Swati Seela. She is also an instructor for our online software testing training course.

As always, we hope this article is going to be useful to you all. Please feel free to add, comment and submit your questions about any of the aspects we discussed above.

All the best!