Software QA (quality assurance) engineers are individuals who monitor every phase of the software development process so as to ensure design quality, making sure that the software adheres to the standards set by the development company.
Sometimes software quality assurance engineers are confused with software testers, which is a mistake. Software testers test parts of the software at different stages of development, whereas a software quality assurance engineer oversees the entire development process, which includes software testing, from start to finish. The monetary success of the software product is largely due in part to the quality of the product as well as the product’s ability to hit the market on time. Both are the responsibility of the software quality assurance engineer.
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A software quality assurance engineer is involved in tasks that include software design, writing source code, control of source code, reviewing code, configuration management, change management, program testing, integration of the software, and release management process.
A software quality assurance engineer will typically break up the entire process into goals such as verifications, activities, measurements, abilities, and commitments. By doing this they can not only keep the task from becoming overwhelming but maintain complete control over the entire project as well.
Software quality assurance engineers must also be able to see to it that the final product not only meets with company and governmental guidelines but also reaches the consumer market at the time appointed by the company. Delays can be very costly for the company, so the software quality assurance engineer must work closely with all departments to make sure the software project is not only on time but on budget as well.
Software quality assurance engineers usually work in the comfortable surroundings of an office or lab for about 40+ hours per week, with some nights and weekends depending on deadline requirements, or group meeting times.
Software quality assurance engineers can spend very long periods sitting in front of a computer typing or looking at programming code, which can lead to eye strain and back discomfort. Some software companies like Electronic Arts often have basketball courts, gyms, and even nap areas in an attempt to keep their staff focused and efficient. By offering these services, the employees get a chance to break away from their computers at much needed times.