A QA Engineer’s Guide to Better Collaboration with Developers

by René Ceelen, on January 13, 2023

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After a long, winding road of requirements gathering, development, more requirements, and more development, it can be easy for friction and frustration to occur when entering the quality assurance (QA) phase of software development.

This can be especially true if your development team lacks an understanding of the QA process or fails to collaborate and communicate with the QA team.

That’s why the TestMonitor team wanted to take a moment to share some of the best practices and tips we’ve learned over the years to help QA engineers improve collaboration with software developers and produce better software for customers.

Top 5 Ways QA Engineers Can Improve Collaboration with Software Developers

Be upfront about the test planning process.

Some hesitations around software testing come from software developers not knowing when QA testing will occur and what will be evaluated during each testing run.

Answer these questions—and reduce the amount of administrative work surrounding the QA process—by:

  • Ensuring both sides (QA professionals and software developers) are clear about the scope and goals of testing.
  • Ensuring requirements are clearly defined and linked to the test cases through sign-off.
  • Documenting how sign-off of each requirement will occur.
  • Confirming how risks will be collected, analyzed, and mitigated.

Keep developers in the loop about results.

The testing phase can be stressful for software developers not only because their countless hours of work are under a microscope, but also because communication about testing progress is often inconsistent.

Be proactive and identify a consistent, standardized way to keep developers in the loop about the testing plan, test results, and any changes to the plan. One way to do this is by providing easy-to-read test run schedules and result summaries.

When results come back, focus on making feedback constructive and actionable by using descriptive statements, screenshots, and other contextual data.

Be consistent with the testing documentation.

Take the guesswork out of the testing process by providing a standardized way to structure test cases, schedule test runs, and collect and report feedback. 

Leading test management tools make it easy to simplify these administrative elements of QA testing by offering test case libraries that evaluate functionality based on best practices or industry standards. With these libraries, developers will know what needs to be in place and how standards need to be evaluated.

Make collaboration and coordination easy.

Although face-to-face coordination is the best way to avoid miscommunication, today’s QA engineers and software developers need a flexible test management tool that promotes remote collaboration on key tasks and allows testers to share updates, triage bugs, and access test information, no matter when and where they work.

Focus on the building quality, not on the metrics.

Once testing starts and defects come rolling in, it can be easy to focus on tracking the numbers and metrics produced during the process.

However, instead of keeping score, remember that testing is a means to an end. Emphasize to everyone involved in testing that the ultimate goal is to improve the quality of the software for customers. 

Build Better Software with TestMonitor

The technical elements of the QA process can be difficult to manage, but poor communication, coordination, and collaboration can make this complex process even more stressful.

Fortunately, an industry-leading test management platform like TestMonitor is designed to take the stress out of test management by simplifying administrative tasks for QA engineers and giving your entire development team access to simple, intuitive, and structured tools, features, and processes throughout every stage of the testing process.

Want to learn even more about how to improve the effectiveness of your organization’s software testing? Then check out TestMonitor’s one-stop guide, QA Testing: A Helpful Guide for Software QA Professionals.

QA Testing: A Helpful Guide for Software QA Professionals

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