Interview: Precision in digital marketing with QA engineering
What is this article about?
This blog discusses the pivotal role of a SW QA Engineer in ensuring error-free software for marketing purposes, particularly in marketing CRM systems. It emphasizes the importance of QA
engineers' competencies in achieving successful application implementation. By analyzing functional specifications and providing feedback, these professionals play a critical
role in maintaining software quality. The blog also touches upon the need for early testing, effective communication, and the use of tools like Jira in project management. Overall, it underscores
the significance of SW QA engineers in the marketing technology landscape.
Success: The Crucial Role of a SW QA Engineer in CRM Software
Service quality expectations in each industry play a crucial role in determining ultimate customer satisfaction within the service itself. Modern business-to-business markets, irrespective of
industry segmentation, have revealed significant similarities in software demand. Whether it's a CRM built on top of an ERP system that helps analyze pricing patterns and manage
KPIs or other marketing systems integrated with corporate goals, a company should prioritize quality maintenance before releasing a software product.
Developed software for marketing purposes that facilitates interaction with customers and provides the company with a best-in-class comparison of marketing techniques will only be effective if it
Examining influential companies, such as VISA in the online banking industry, reveals that, as part of their digital marketing system, they have provided web-based applications
that define and implement automation solutions in the customer experience. Another example is FedEx, a multinational logistics company that digitized its services to integrate
functional business areas and bridge gaps across the supply chain. In both cases, to achieve today's results, companies face the challenge of ensuring consistency in software quality, providing
critical analysis of documentation, and clarifying test scenarios before development begins.
To maintain this approach, companies must conduct diligent work, primarily focusing on QA engineering. A company aiming for long-term customer loyalty results cannot afford to
release unproven marketing software. In an era where innovation propels the rapid growth of connected ecommerce on any device, the IT business is shifting its attention to better business process
management, which starts with quality engineering.
We're tracking the trend of digital marketing solutions in B2B, exploring one of the greatest meanings in digital business for its successful integration and release to the market. We took the
opportunity to talk to Karolina Blok, a QA Engineer with nearly 8 years of work experience in international IT companies. Alongside our speaker, we will provide an outlook on
quality in software development and the significant role of women in the IT industry.
You have worked as a QA Engineer for companies
in the BeNeLux. Your current position requires you to work within fast-paced
initiatives to provide quick market support for software development projects.
What are your biggest challenges as a QA Engineer?
There might be many things that can be challenging for QA Engineers, but through the years, along with experience, you have to be prepared for anything. Usually, QA teams are faced with an
unstable environment or modules in the application, which may happen very often, especially when the development team is big. Another problem that may happen is that tools, languages, or
frameworks are being forced to use by the customer that we are working with.
These kinds of problems can be caused by various reasons, particularly if the customer has already purchased licenses for these tools, and the development team on the customer's side lacks
experience with them. However, I wouldn't characterize it as a problem for me; instead, I see it as a challenge and an opportunity to learn something new and enhance my skills.
Fortunately, in the company where I'm currently working, we have the chance to suggest alternative technologies to the customer that may better suit their product. They are very receptive to
exploring new options from our side.
Above all, the most common challenge I face is tight deadlines. There are instances when I have a limited amount of time for feature verification, requiring me to prioritize tasks based on their
queue order and overall significance.
Applications developed for commercial purposes
for a large number of users are expected to support marketing and sales
activities by managing the product flow to help organizations capitalize on
their current business opportunities. How can a QA Engineer's competencies
affect the overall success of an application implementation?
QA Engineers wield a significant influence on the overall success of application implementation for various reasons. A profound understanding of the product and the ability to test it from the
user's perspective are essential aspects of our role. The optimal approach involves integrating QA professionals into the early stages of feature development, enabling them to
contribute suggestions from diverse perspectives. This proactive involvement not only results in fewer defects later in the process but also translates to considerable savings in terms of both
time and money.
Furthermore, it is crucial to underscore that QA Engineers bear the responsibility of ensuring that code is written in a secure manner. This focus on security aims to minimize the risk of
cyberattacks or data leakage, emphasizing the crucial role QA plays in safeguarding the integrity and reliability of the application.
Marketing systems as CRM are critical to today's
business development and customer retention. Ignoring potential risks
associated with issues that arise in the CRM software lifecycle can have some
consequences. In addition to reporting only potential risks, can the QA
Engineer provide appropriate feedback on the best way to solve the problem?
Yes, of course, as a QA Engineer, you're not only responsible for reporting issues in the platform or writing automation tests. There are situations where something should work according to the
documentation but in fact won't be user-friendly, or some paths weren't well-thought-out in the design phase. We can say that it's our duty to take care of good user experience as we have to take
the role of a final user and we suggest the best solution to the product owner or development team.
By analyzing functional specifications,
including SRS, FRS and BRS, and OTHER business requirements, QA Engineers
provide companies with a second line of assistance to ensure that software
products will compline with project goals. What is the best testing technique
to increase production and maintain software quality?
Everything happens at a very early development process because when we start testing as soon as it is possible, the bigger chance is to deliver a very good product. Testing in the early phase
reduces the money spent on bug fixing because the defect which will cost your company for example 1.000$ on requirements phase, it could cost much more in the product
implementation stage or production stage if it wasn't found before. It's also essential to test on different browsers or devices because the same issue may not be happening on different
devices or browsers.
It's a good practice to also do regression testing when new features go live, the same with ad-hoc or exploratory testing. What is most important in that process is communication. Without
communication, there is a risk of misunderstandings and messes in the project. Having consistent Key Performance Indicators during the project and conveying test/bug
reports helps a lot in communicating, especially when the QA team is big. It's good to have dedicated channels on apps like Slack or Teams and inform about significant changes or issues.
Jira Testing Software Tool can reduce overall
cost and time-consuming project management. How can companies be more effective
in using such software if there are better alternatives?
There are a lot of tools that can be used instead of Jira, but it's still one of the most popular for the Agile project management approach. A good project management system can help automate the
Agile process and provide the business with much better insights on what's happening in the project and what are the biggest issues or blockers in each feature. Having such software today
is a must-have because we track our goals, and the business knows "where we are." I had an opportunity to work with different tools through the years, like Trello, which utilizes Kanban
boards, lists, and cards, which gives you a flexible overview of tasks, the same with Active Collab. But I have to admit that, except for Jira, the best tool for such management
is Azure DevOps because it has a lot of great features, and it brings together developers, managers, and contributors to develop and maintain the software. What is better? I
think I would vote for Azure DevOps because of the fact that Jira is broadly used for problem tracking and project management, whereas Azure DevOps has a complete software development
From a commercial point of view, testing
requirements for applications supporting marketing systems will be quite
different from those dedicated to industrial needs, such as in the
manufacturing industry. What are the best practices in creating a testing
strategy to get the most sufficient test plan to perform software testing at
the most effective level in applications developed for different purposes?
Before we start the testing process, it's good to have a test strategy because every project is different and its needs separate approach. We have to enlist responsibilities, recognize risks
in the project, and we have to get to know the resources that we have.
We have to choose testing tools, whether we're writing API/UI/unit or other tests, whether we are writing any performance or security tests, how to release control, testing
environments, and establish in general the entire approach. What is most important is to set rules such as the way we're writing test cases, so everyone understands well what steps have to be
done in the case and what's the best test apply to the feature per test case. Luckily, if you don't have experience in writing such strategies, there are a lot of articles and
tips on the internet which may help you with that, and it's also good to talk about the strategy with the management and development team because the more people involved and more ideas, the
Companies can reduce development time to execute
the testing process during implementation using Agile testing, which plays an important
role in the Process & Life Cycle. How can companies become even more
efficient in their development processes using other tools?
In Agile development and testing, many activities occur concurrently. Testing is not a separate phase, and both developers and testers must work closely together. This is in contrast to the known
Waterfall methodology, where testers may not be involved in the requirements phase and begin testing only after the completion of development. Agile testing is preferable because everyone stays
up-to-date with the same requirements. This ensures that the product meets all requirements, and the final product will be satisfying for both the customer and end users.
The number of women in IT is growing, but their
role in IT in many exceptions may be underestimated due to the lack of openness
in the software industry as a whole. How can the market be better influenced to
attract more women to the industry for more responsible roles?
In my opinion, everything is in the marketing and human resources hands. They are responsible for creating a friendly atmosphere in the company. First of all, if we don't see a problem, we will
never find a solution. The most important is to understand bias and reflect on our own underlying assumptions. It's also a good practice to create mentoring programs or apprenticeships. I have a
feeling that most women have a lack of confidence. They don't know how powerful they are and how much they can achieve in that industry because there's still that opinion that IT is a boy's zone
which is not true. Luckily, the number of women in IT is still growing and growing.
The same "methods" for supporting women in IT can also be used to support other groups, including people historically marginalized based on culture, religion, disabilities, etc.
The blog briefly touches upon the role of women in the IT industry and how creating an inclusive atmosphere is essential for attracting and retaining diverse talent.
QA Engineer graduate in infromatics technology with experience in application development and system testing for various business purposes.
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