In 2022, the focus of the IT segment has shifted from development to QA. If previously the industry concentrated its efforts on code creation, framework adaptation, etc., now the priority is to ensure software quality and UX optimization.
The role of the QA Engineer in this process is crucial. By automating the scripts, you achieve almost 100% coverage of the project’s test tasks and reduce the resources spent on their execution. The Pass Rate and relevance of results also increase.
As the Zippia study shows, QA Engineers are most in demand in the Technology industry (40%) and Fortune 500 companies (30%). But this does not mean that such specialists are not needed in other industries. On the contrary, due to the professionalism of a representative of this profession, companies can reduce costs by signing a contract with just one expert instead of hiring dozens of testers.
As for the goals that development owners want to achieve through QA, according to Microfocus, they include the following:
- increasing brand value;
- increasing customer loyalty;
- increasing supplier loyalty;
- increasing overall revenue;
- improving customer satisfaction scores;
- increasing employee motivation levels;
- improving recruitment/retention rates
So, if you are developing your IT project – you probably need to hire test automation engineers to ensure the highest possible quality of the digital product. Since this process often causes difficulties, we at Zapple Tech decided to make a detailed guide on how to find and hire specialists in this field.
Table of Contents
Hire Test Automation Engineers: Why Your Project Needs Them?
Many people step onto the path of testing and QA Engineering, in particular, for different reasons. Some hope to make super profits sitting in a comfortable office, while others are interested in IT but have no experience and skills to work with it. What they all have in common is the desire to learn the nuances of QA and make digital products better.
If you’ve done software development before, you know how important the QA process is and hiring industry professionals. It helps clean up app bugs before the MVP release and makes it more user-friendly for the end user. But the benefits of QA don’t end there.
A quality QA service is necessary for all projects for:
- comprehensive implementation of all types of testing:
- Functional Testing:
- Unit Testing;
- Integration Testing;
- System Testing;
- Sanity Testing;
- Smoke Testing;
- Interface Testing;
- Regression Testing;
- Beta/Acceptance Testing;
- Non-functional Testing:
- Performance Testing;
- Load Testing;
- Compliance Testing;
- Stress Testing;
- Volume Testing;
- Usability Testing;
- Security Testing;
- Compatibility Testing;
- Localization Testing;
- Install Testing;
- Recovery Testing;
- Reliability Testing;
- Functional Testing:
- process automation and validation of results;
- control over the timing of product implementation;
- planning development and testing;
- monitoring the progress of bug fixes;
- generating reports on a project;
- providing support.
And even that is not the end of the benefits of hiring test automation engineers.
Responsibilities of test automation engineers
It is difficult to overestimate the importance of the role of the QA Engineer since both the speed of release of a digital product and the quality of an IT solution and, accordingly, its success with the target audience depend on it.
The peculiarities of this profession are its complexity and higher requirements for specialists. Instead of working in one direction, they must cover virtually 100% of the project tasks and solve them qualitatively.
Typical responsibilities of QA Engineers include:
- research and analyzing the specifications of the digital product;
- development of a roadmap and testing plan;
- selection of the technical stack and tools;
- manual validation of typical tests;
- creation of test scenarios and scripts;
- increasing task coverage with test scripts;
- checking test results against specifications;
- manual validation of results;
- creating reports, manuals, and documentation;
- coordinating the work of the test department and developers;
- verification of bug fixes;
- participation in meetings;
- participation in CI/CD process.
This list can be expanded by specific tasks typical for companies or teams. Even in this form, it highlights the importance of the QA Engineer profession and the complexity of the services provided by experts. This is also one of the reasons you need to hire test automation engineers in your project and ensure the comprehensiveness of testing.
Checklist To Hire Test Automation Engineers: 6 Points for Searching
The process of finding a specialist is almost always the same. First, you need to evaluate all the available positions and only then choose the right expert for your project.
Things are a little different with the QA Engineer position. Choosing the wrong specialist, you run the risk of low work efficiency, stretching deadlines, and even stagnation of the project. Since this profession has several sub-specialties, not all are needed to solve specific tasks. For example, suppose you hire a QA Data Engineer instead of a QA Tester Engineer. In that case, some skills will not meet your requirements, and you will have to hire an additional specialist to compensate for this deficiency.
As practice shows, most digital product owners give preference to dedicated teams that can handle any kind of difficulty. According to Microfocus respondents’ answers to the question, “What are the three most important factors that determine your approach to test automation?” the results are:
- maintainability – 46%;
- business needs – 44%;
- new technology – 43%;
- ease of use – 39%;
- people/skills – 34%;
- cost of automation and tools – 33%;
- historical solutions – 33%;
- ROI on automation and value realization – 26%.
For these reasons, you need to take responsibility for hiring test automation engineers and choose experts whose skills are fully suited to your project.
Expertise and skills
The key evaluation indicators of a candidate for the role of QA Engineer are their expertise and skills. Expertise is measured by the number of completed projects, preferably commercial. Although with skills, it is not so simple because, for representatives of one profession, the set of skills and their level can vary dramatically.
Important Hard Skills for QA Engineer:
- programming languages:
- proficiency with tools:
- databases (e.g., SQL, not SQL);
- Test management (e.g., Test Manager);
- CI/CD (e.g., Jenkins, GitHub Actions);
- frameworks (e.g., Cypress, TestCafe);
- bug tracking (e.g., BugZilla, Jira);
- knowledge of development and testing techniques:
Depending on the type of project, you may need specialized skills from a QA Engineer. The skills mentioned in the article refer to the basic skill set of the average Middle QA Engineer.
Important Soft Skills for QA Engineer:
- communication skills;
- stress tolerance;
- creative thinking;
Because testing is closely related to development, the specialist needs to maintain constant communication with others involved in the project. It is also important to handle critical or conflict situations quickly and without excessive emotion. This affects the atmosphere within the team and, therefore, the overall efficiency and productivity.
When choosing a QA Engineer, pay attention to their experience in your niche. If they have worked on projects in a similar industry, they will get up to speed more quickly and perform their direct duties immediately. This will save time and money, speed up project development, and reduce the risk of problems.
As for the total experience in the QA industry, you need to look for a balance between the quality and cost of work. The higher the skill level, the more expensive the specialist’s services are. As a rule, the practical efficiency in the project of Middle and Senior is approximately at the same level; the difference is in the speed and scope of tasks. If it is essential for you to save your budget, then order the testing package from Zapple Tech. We will find you a specialist who will save resources and do all the work.
There is a direct correlation between the region where a QA Engineer works and the cost of their services and skills. For example, specialists from the U.S. have access to advanced technologies and are the first to implement trends. For example, NLP, but it costs a lot of money to hire them (from $45/hour Middle). QA experts from Western Europe compete in all aspects with their colleagues from the U.S., not inferior to them in quality or cost of work.
Eastern European countries (Ukraine, Poland, Latvia) can boast lower prices with high skills and experience. About the same situation with specialists from China, where the price and quality are at a decent level, but there are problems with time synchronization and the language barrier.
India can offer a large number of QA specialists, the lowest prices on the IT market, and a decent level of English. That said, some companies complain about the rather poor quality of work, which sometimes escalates into problems with UX or digital product performance.
Specialists from Eastern Europe are a perfect balance of price/quality, synchronized uptime, and the absence of language barriers. That is why their services are now in the highest demand in the IT market.
Expert experience is often tied to skill level, but this is not entirely true. Different gradations (Trainee, Junior, Middle, Senior) in skills do not give an idea about the total performance of a QA Engineer. Whereas industry experience helps determine an expert’s capabilities and knowledge.
The more a person is engaged in their activity, the stronger their skills grow, and the more personal algorithms and methods appear. If a specialist started their way from self-training, constantly practicing and improving their skills in pet projects or freelancing, they’re gaining experience. Accordingly, an expert with a large amount of knowledge is more valued in IT circles, but their services cost a lot more than a novice but talented QA Engineer.
The dilemma of choosing a specialist often lies in the cost of the work. If you care about the quality of your work, hire a Senior Engineer; if you are on a tight budget, look for a promising Junior+ or Middle.
Regardless of where your company and development team are located, it is important that the QA Engineer synchronizes their time with yours. Nearshoring model are considered to be great options for such requirements. The contractor is located in your or a neighboring country with a similar time zone. This also partially compensates for the language barrier, e.g., with China or Brazil.
You can also consider cooperation with Eastern Europe, e.g., Ukraine, Poland, or Latvia. The local experts adapt to the requirements and the customers’ time, allocating working hours considering the time difference between the regions.
If you’re considering hiring a specialist, you’re probably wondering whether it’s worth working remotely or moving them to your office. In practice, both options have their advantages and disadvantages. For example, with the onboarding model, you will have to provide the expert with equipment, workspace, housing, and logistics. In return, you get full control over their work, closer integration into the team, and increased productivity (the latter may not always be true).
- logistics, service, and equipment costs are reduced;
- productivity is increased due to more free schedule;
- communication and work organization problems are eliminated through tools and CI/CD suites.
- workflow control (leveled by CI/CD tools);
- synchronization of the uptime (also solved by CI/CD tools);
- lack of trust (solved by NDA).
On the whole, the outsourcing model is clearly more profitable and efficient than onboarding due to:
- access to foreign experts;
- lower budget costs;
- higher speed of work;
- high involvement in the project;
- synchronization of working hours and reporting.
The outsourcing model is considered one of the best on the market due to its high efficiency and productivity. Remote employees handle tasks well and can adapt and integrate into the team. We recommend using this model to hire test automation engineers.
Important Tips To Hire Test Automation Engineers
The statistics of respondents’ answers to the question “How important are the following quality assurance skills in executing a successful Agile development program?” are as follows:
- cross-functional skills – 63%;
- knowledge of the business subject area – 61%;
- supervision and control skills – 60%;
- productivity, SRE, security skills – 58%;
- knowledge of CI/CD tools – 57%;
- test automation skills – 57%;
- development/programming skills – 55%.
As you can see, the requirements for QA experts are quite serious because the final quality of a digital product depends directly on their skills and experience. They especially affect automation and paralleling of testing processes. For this reason, you should cooperate only with professionals in your industry who have experience performing tasks in similar projects.
Digital product development is a complex combination of code writing, design, analytics, hosting, and QA processes. Their implementation requires experience, skills, and an understanding of business needs and target audiences.
A high-quality app created for the streaming industry is unlikely to suit agribusiness because of the logic and architecture of the software. Or another example: if your car broke down, you would entrust its repair to an auto repair shop rather than a confectioner. The same applies to QA specialists. If a person has dealt with core projects their whole career and they try to apply their experience to fulfill tasks in other industries, they will fail in 90% of cases.
That is why selecting a specialist with experience in your field, or a multidisciplinary expert is important.
At Zapple Tech, we are constantly improving the skills of all team members and acquiring skills in most high-demand industries:
- Pet Tech;
- Social Networks;
- Mobile, Desktop, Web;
That’s why we can provide you with subject matter experts to hire test automation engineers, quickly integrate them into your team, and provide top-quality service.
Agile and implementation
The QA process, and automation, in particular, are closely related to digital product development. Moreover, they should be integrated and adapted as much as possible into the Agile methodology of working on an IT solution. The Microfocus study states that entrepreneurs and project owners prioritize QA automation in stages as follows:
- During development – 48%.
- Requirements testing – 47%.
- Functional testing – 46%.
- Integration testing – 45%.
- Data validation – 37%.
- Non-functional testing – 33%.
- “Live” testing – 23%.
- Pre-launch testing – 20%.
That is, close integration of QA should start from the first stages of work on a digital product. That’s why you need to hire test automation engineers who can get involved in solving actual problems from the first hours after the project launch, creating early versions of automation scripts, and testing algorithms manually.
Zapple Tech experts have over 12 years of experience in the QA industry and are used to rapid implementations in projects. For the same reason, they are always ready to get down to their duties, regardless of the current stage of development and the number of features implemented.
Getting started on a project is a combination of stress, a lot of problems in the code, and in the organization of coordination between the teams. This is the reason why integrating into the project can be quite difficult. To improve this process as much as possible, you should set aside one day to get to know and introduce new team members, discuss current tasks, and network.
Sounds cliché? But it works effectively regardless of team size, internal code, or values.
You should also give the newcomers an excursion into the project specifics, the niche, and the technical stack, explaining their roles and responsibilities in this development simultaneously. Familiarization with the roadmap and work plan is also part of the induction course for new specialists after you hire test automation engineers.
Finding and hiring a QA specialist is quite a long and complicated process. You need to determine their experience in the industry and general skills, both Hard and Soft. It is also advisable to study all offers and compare the cost of recruiting working conditions, and potential effectiveness. You can start hiring and integrating a specialist into your project after that.
Zapple Tech is a unique forge of top talent for the QA industry. Our experts are fully trained in advanced methods and techniques and learn current and trendy tools, both classical and NLP-based. That’s why Zapple Tech professionals are the best option on the market for hiring test automation engineers.
With Zapple Tech’s services, you get top experts on your team, hence better software quality and customer loyalty! Don’t miss your chance to provide the highest possible level of QA to your digital project!
Please contact our manager to discuss cooperation.
The median cost per hour varies from $34 to $60. The final hiring price depends on the project’s complexity, the gradation of the specialist, and the price list of the company that provides the expert. The total cost of a QA project is 15%-20% of the total price of digital product development.
The Eastern European market is the best place to recruit a QA Engineer expert. For a relatively low cost (up to $40/hour), you get speed, reliability, and quality packed with stress tolerance, English proficiency, and adaptability.
Zapple Tech has been providing QA services for more than 12 years. We have implemented over 100 projects of different complexity and scale during this period. We provide the highest possible quality to apps, websites, and other digital resources, cooperating both on a temporary and permanent basis. You can find examples of our projects in the profile section of the company’s resource.