When I was a young chap my pappy would sit me down on his lap and say “TCorn, one day you will be the last line of defense against the darkness.” The darkness he spoke of was not a horde of orcs but errors in website code. How do we prevent these errors from reaching users? We QA. And cue the rock music.
At Brown Bag Marketing I have been called upon on multiple occasions to facilitate our QA or (Quality Assurance) process. Perhaps it was my sharp eye or knack for catching the tiny details that others couldn’t that I have gained confidence in being able to test a website or application to ensure it performs as optimally as it can before reaching its intended users.
Having a background in visual design, then being trained in User Experience best practices and front end development has helped immensely in logging accurate bugs. Our developers and I imagine all developers love details when going though error logs from a QA tester. Having knowledge of the three design areas gives me an edge because I can include vocabulary that I know a developer will understand. What also helps our QA process is utilizing JIRA. This software allows for teams to collaborate through tickets. A ticket is in essence a specific web page that team members can comment on, attach files to. We use these tickets for logging issues, keeping constant communication, team visibility, documentation and deviation from using emails or chats.
What I have learned about Quality Assurance is that it is not quick nor simple, it requires good documentation skills and patience. Patience, because retesting the same thing over and over will happen. Having 10 different fake email accounts will happen. Disjointed communication between designers, developers and project managers will happen. Crying will happen. As the final set of eyes before something goes live, it is important to document findings so that months down the road it’s not the testers ass on the line if something was found but not taken care of. It will have been documented.