What Does a Quality Assurance Engineer Do?

Quality assurance engineers are employed to oversee new software development projects from start to finish. Those in this position are invaluable when it comes to guaranteeing the quality of new software. Day-to-day tasks of quality assurance engineers working in software development include designing new software; writing, reviewing and controlling source code; managing software configuration and changes; and testing and integrating software.

Quality assurance engineers closely monitor every step as new software is developed. They first must familiarize themselves with the goals of the software, as well as the needs of the end user, and then use that knowledge to ensure the product in development follows all standards set by the client.

Another central responsibility of a quality assurance engineer is timing – those in this position must manage timelines to ensure the new product is released to the client by a certain deadline. Delays can cost companies lots of money, which calls to mind another important duty of a quality assurance engineer, which keeping the cost of the entire project within budget.

To achieve all of these responsibilities, a software quality assurance engineer typically breaks the process into manageable chunks. This keeps projects from becoming unwieldy and allows the engineer to remain in complete control for the duration of the project.

Work Environment

It is typical for a person in this role to work full time in an office or lab. Deadline requirements may demand night and weekend work from time to time. It is common for quality assurance engineers to spend long periods of time working on a computer or reading computer code; to mitigate eyestrain and other computer-related health problems, most companies encourage employees to get up and take regular breaks away from their computers.

Salary Expectations

The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not report salary information for this career, specifically, but other sources list the average salary at roughly $83,000 per year. This number will vary by location, experience, the size of the company for which the engineer works and other factors.

Education and Other Qualifications

Most companies require quality assurance engineers to hold a bachelor’s degree in computer science, math or a related field, but those interested in this occupation should also consider The Software Guild’s boot camp program. Program enrollees will receive staff expertise and personalized attention they may not get in traditional classrooms.

This boot camp is intended to help students master the techniques they’ll need to oversee IT projects, start to finish, in a variety of industries – health care, finance, retail, manufacturing, e-commerce, insurance, etc. – in a collaborative, hands-on way. This industry-specific knowledge of various audiences will make graduates of the program more attractive in the eyes of employers, and thus will increase their job prospects upon graduation from the program.