April 30, 2006

What do QAers and Testers do?

People hear about QA and Testing, but don't always know what folks in this profession do.
The real answer, of course, is "it depends".  Every company is different, every department is different.  Some shops might limit the scope of the role much more tightly than others.

That said, here are some of the things my QA Teams do, in no particular order.
  • Review and respond to requirements
  • Participate in design reviews
  • Participate in architecture reviews
  • Create and maintain Test Cases
  • Execute Test Cases
  • Exploratory testing
  • Functional testing
  • Load/Stress/Volume/Performance testing
  • Security testing
  • Internationalization testing
  • Localization testing
  • Usability testing
  • Installation testing, post-installation testing
  • Data testing 
  • Release testing
  • Analyze Results
  • Write and update Bug Reports
  • Create and distribute Bug Status Reports
  • Create and Maintain test automation assets
  • Test Help
  • Test Documentation
  • Verify bug fixes
  • Create test data
  • Participate in Code Reviews
  • Conduct "Lessons Learned" sessions
  • Mentor junior testers/QAers
  • Conduct interviews of potential team members
  • Plan for future releases
  • Provide estimates of required test efforts
  • Attend miscellaneous meetings
  • Research upcoming releases, new technologies, and new methods
  • Teach others about products which have just been tested
  • Set up and maintain test environments
  • Discuss features, bugs, etc with Developers, Support and Product Management
  • Reproduce customer-reported problems
  • Publish lists of fixed bugs for customers
  • Maintain a Knowledge Base of known problems, limitations, workarounds
  • Validate new tools
  • Validate new methods and procedures
  • Chair the Production Control Board
  • Keep track of upcoming releases to platforms of interest (such as Windows and Internet Explorer versions)