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How to choose a QA specialist for your team?

To be honest interviewing for any position it is a hard task and QA is no different. Interviewer have to know what is the set of required qualities to do the requested tasks and what is the set of qualities that should be placed in "Nice to Have" category. From that perspective QA is the most complicated position in IT market as two general approaches are gaining ground in the field: "Technology View" and "Quality View". So which one of those two is more efficient in finding highly rated QA professionals?

Technology View
In this approach interviewer assumes that Quality Assurances its all about familiarity with a specific technology or business field, so if a person worked for 3 years in banking industry this person will be a perfect candidate for any banking position, or if a person performed nicely for several years testing in JAVA environment this person will be a terrific match for any QA position in JAVA development environment, unfortunately live are not so simple and those assumptions are usually incorrect and harmful for the company.
Quality View
In this approach the goal is to find quality oriented specialist which is interested in understanding how the required system working, interested in finding out what are the weak and breakable points of each feature, has a great attention to details and seas each test cycle as a new challenge. This person should have a technical set of mind, terrific understanding of SDLC, QA`s place in the company, and finally see his (or her) work as mission, a quest for better quality and product.

So when we are looking for QA  specialist his (or her) technical set of mind and a passion for quality should be the mandatory skills for any QA position. Don't get me wrong, a previous experiences in a specific business field is a nice-to-have advantage and can be a discussion maker on final stages of a selection process, but its completely wrong to use those factors as requirements in the initial selection process.
Some time ago I consulted a company that was in a process of creating a new QA department they started by hiring a new QA manager which came from development department and was all about hiring by using a Technology View approach (which is very useful and popular in development departments). His approach was all about mirroring the hiring process in development, so if the company planning to develop a trading system in .NET environment - developers should have .NET experience and QA should have trading experience, which led to poor quality results in QA. My suggestion was to switch to Quality View in the hiring process. I instructed the HR team accordingly and the result was terrific, in 6 months since my arrival the new QA team performed faster and better then their predecessors.
My suggestion to both HR and the hiring managers is to use Quality View as the candidate selection method for QA position.

If you are interested in hiring quality assurance specialist please visit Broad Sky Inc


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