What does a QA engineer do? Roles and responsibilities

8 min read
February 24, 2023

In the fast-paced world of agile software development, QA engineers (software testers) play a critical role in ensuring that the software products being delivered meet the highest standards of quality. 

As a QA engineer at DECODE, my responsibilities are often varied and complex. 

They require a deep understanding of the software development process, testing methodologies, and exceptional communication skills to effectively collaborate with the entire development team.

Here I’ll explore the significance of these roles and responsibilities and highlight how they contribute to ensuring the delivery of high-quality software products.

So let’s get to it!

QA engineer process in a nutshell

QA process stages

source: RubyGarage

The image shows the usual process of quality assurance.

But what are the actual responsibilities a QA has? 

Let’s have a look.

Preventing issues

As a Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer, my primary responsibility is to work closely with the design and development team to ensure the final product meets the highest quality standards. 

To achieve this, I begin by identifying and reporting any issues that arise during the design and planning phases. 

I can help prioritize and resolve potential issues by providing feedback to the team, including: 

  •  Requirement analysis
  •  UI/UX reviews
  •  Risk assessment

Requirement analysis is also one of the crucial steps in software development that involves identifying and documenting stakeholders’ needs and expectations.

It helps ensure that the final product meets users’ needs and satisfies business requirements. 

Quality assurance (QA) plays an essential role in requirement analysis by validating the requirements and ensuring that they are testable and measurable.

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UI/UX reviews are a part of the QA process that focuses on verifying that the software design meets the intended functionality and user requirements.

It involves testing the software design for usability, accessibility, and other design-related factors to ensure that the end-users can easily use and navigate the software. 

Usability testing should be given extra importance here because user experience is crucial for your app’s success.

Here’s a list of just a few benefits usability testing provides:

Usability testing benefits

Source: Nielsen Norman group

To further understand why usability testing is important, check out this article.

By conducting a thorough UI/UX review before development starts, software teams can ensure that the final product is:

  •  User-friendly
  • Meets user needs 
  • Provides a positive user experience.

It also helps identify design flaws early in the development process, which can save time and money in fixing issues later.

Risk assessment is another important process in software development that involves identifying potential risks and preventing issues early.

Quality assurance plays a crucial role in risk assessment by analyzing potential risks associated with the software development project and providing feedback on how to mitigate them. 

By conducting regular risk assessments throughout the software development process, I help software teams identify and manage potential risks before they become major issues, ensuring project success and delivering high-quality software products.

Creating Test Plans

Creating test plans is a critical responsibility of a QA engineer.

 The test plan must be designed to verify that the software meets 2 criteria:

To create a successful test plan, I usually need a deep understanding of the software’s architecture and intended use. 

This includes not only functional testing but also non-functional testing, such as performance, security, and usability testing. 

By creating detailed test plans, I can identify potential issues and risks early in the development process. This allows for faster and more efficient issue resolution. 

Collaboration with developers and product owners is essential during the creation process to ensure that the test plan aligns with: 

  • Software design
  • Acceptance criteria
  • Business objectives

This collaboration can also help identify potential issues and risks early in the development process for faster resolution of issues.

To create detailed test plans, I use either Azure Test Plan or TestRail, where Azure Test Plan is integrated with Azure DevOps platform, where TestRail provides independent test management functionalities.

Executing Tests

Executing tests is a crucial step in the software testing process that follows the creation of a test plan, and involves running predefined test cases to verify the functionality and quality of the software product. 

This step involves executing various types of testing:

Functional testing involves testing software functionality to ensure it works as intended.

Acceptance testing focuses on verifying whether the software meets the customer’s requirements. 

Regression testing involves retesting the software to ensure that changes or fixes to the code do not introduce new issues.

Performance testing checks the software’s performance under different load conditions.

Security testing checks the software for vulnerabilities and potential threats.

By thoroughly and accurately executing tests, I can identify any issues that need to be addressed by the development team, helping to ensure that the final product meets the required quality standards.

Identifying and reporting issues

A significant part of the QA role involves identifying and reporting issues during the test execution process.

When issues are found during the test execution, I am responsible for identifying and reporting issues called bugs. 

This is done by using a bug-tracking system like Jira or Azure, allowing the development team to prioritize and allocate resources to resolve issues in a timely manner. 

The bug tracking system also maintains a history of bugs found and resolved, which can be used to identify trends and areas for improvement in the testing process.

Managing bugs

Once identified and documented in a bug tracking tool, bugs are prioritized based on their severity and impact on the product’s functionality. 

First, we address the high-priority bugs that have a significant impact on product functionality.

During the resolution phase, the development team fixes the issues, and I test to verify that they have been resolved. 

The fixes are then retested to ensure that the solution works as expected and that the bug has been resolved. 

Bug management also involves tracking and reporting on the status of the bug.

I need to regularly update the status of each bug, ensuring that the team is aware of the progress. Bug reports are also used to track the overall quality of the product and identify areas that require further attention.

Automating Tests

In addition to manual testing, a Quality assurance engineer has a critical role in creating and managing automated tests. 

Automated tests have many benefits, such as:

  • Accelerating the testing process
  • Increasing test coverage
  • Minimizing human error
  • Allows testers to focus on more complex testing

This ultimately leads to uncovering more bugs that are hard to find only with manual testing.

To simplify automation testing across different platforms and application types, I rely on the following tools:

Additionally, automation allows QA engineers to continuously run tests, ensuring that the software is always in a stable and functional state while reducing the testing time and effort.

Here are some of the benefits of automated testing below.

Automated testing benefits

source: XBOSOFT

Continuously improving the testing process

As a QA engineer, I’m responsible for continuously improving the testing process. 

This includes keeping manual test plans and automated tests up to date, ensuring they are modified to reflect any changes in the acceptance criteria or the design of the software. 

It also involves staying up to date with the latest testing methodologies and technologies and implementing them into the testing process to improve its efficiency and effectiveness. 

By continually refining the testing process, a QA engineer can identify areas for improvement and introduce new strategies and tools to ensure that the software development team can deliver high-quality products in a timely and efficient manner.


In conclusion, the roles and responsibilities of a Quality Assurance (QA) Engineer at DECODE are varied and complex.

It requires a deep understanding of:

  • The software development process
  • Design
  • Testing methodologies 

It also requires exceptional communication skills to collaborate effectively with other members of the development team. 

This role is crucial in maintaining consistency and reliability in the performance of DECODE’s offerings, resulting in improved customer satisfaction. 

Without QA, there is a significant risk of delivering substandard products or services, which can result in customer dissatisfaction, loss of reputation, and financial loss.

If you’re interested in making a high-quality software product, we can help you with that.

So, let’s talk!

Written by

Marko Brajer

QA Engineer

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