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Does QA Require Coding? Everything You Need To Know To Start

Does QA Require Coding Everything You Need To Know To Start

The role of Quality Assurance (QA) is pivotal in the world of ecommerce and software development. Aspiring QA professionals often ponder a fundamental question: Does QA require coding? The debate on whether QA demands coding skills has persisted for many years and still continues until today.

In this article, we navigate through the nuances to find answers, exploring the intersection of QA, testing, and coding. If you are new to the concept of QA, read this introductory article from Orienteed. If not, let’s proceed!


Is QA Just Testing?

In software testing, QA can be broken down into two key roles – Quality Analysts (QA) and Software Designer Engineers in Test (SDET), each with unique responsibilities and required technical expertise.

Quality Analysts

Quality analysts evaluate software functionality after development. Their role is often less technical, focusing on ensuring the software meets quality standards without diving into coding.

In addition, quality analysts identify defects and collaborate within a team, focusing on user perspectives and testing methodologies. Their responsibilities go beyond testing, such as test planning, case design, execution, and defect management.

Software Designer Engineer in Test (SDET)

Meanwhile, SDETs are professionals that are actively involved in the product design and development. They manage the database, programming, and UI details. 

Unlike quality analysts, SDETs contribute within the development phase. As such, their role demands appropriate coding knowledge, blending development and testing. Most automation testers can be regarded as SDETs.

Depending on the process and the specific QA role involved, it can decide whether coding is required.

Does QA Require Coding - a common question by QA testers

Characteristics of Good QA

Building an effective team of Quality Assurance (QA) professionals goes beyond having technical prowess. Here are key characteristics that distinguish a proficient QA:

Domain Knowledge and SkillsAdept understanding of the relevant field with associated skill sets.
Logical Thinking / ReasoningStrong logical reasoning skills to efficiently solve complex problems.
Good Programming KnowledgeWhile not mandatory, possessing programming knowledge can enhance testing skills.
Technical Tools and KnowledgeEffective knowledge of testing tools (especially automation tools) that can achieve optimal results.
Time ManagementExcellent time management, and able to adhere to specified project delivery times.
Automation ExpertiseAbility to identify tests suitable for automation.
Communication SkillsExcellent communication for seamless collaboration within diverse teams. Also, the ability to translate results into actionable insights.
Quick and Continuous LearningAdaptable to evolving technologies and continuous learning.
Analytical SkillsAbility to analyze test results and apply insights for future improvements.
CreativityThinking outside the box for innovative problem-solving.
DevOps AwarenessUnderstanding the importance of collaborative environments such as Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD).

These characteristics collectively contribute to a QA professional’s effectiveness, ensuring they not only excel in testing but also bring value to the broader software development lifecycle.

Do I Need to Code for QA?

Now let’s address the pivotal questions that we’ve been asking ourselves: do we need to code to perform QA? Is programming experience necessary? 

While coding undeniably offers advantages to those who are keen to embark on Quality Assurance (whether as a profession or when integrating the process within an organization), there are a few factors to consider:

Core QA Responsibilities

  • QA professionals shoulder diverse responsibilities, including test planning, case design, execution, and defect management.
  • The core of QA lies in ensuring software quality through comprehensive testing methodologies and principles.
  • Deep insights into testing principles, methodologies, and industry best practices form the foundation of effective QA practices.
  • Therefore it is not uncommon for QA professionals to contribute effectively without needing to code.

Test Automation and Tools

  • For many popular test automation frameworks in the market such as Selenium, coding is essential in the creation of automated tests. 
  • The objective of automation is to streamline repetitive tasks, enhance efficiency, and deliver precision in QA testing processes.
  • However, the emergence of low-code and codeless tools are challenging the notion that coding is an absolute requirement for effective QA test automation.
No-code test automation in QA - how to start for ecommerce

Communication and Collaboration

  • Above coding expertise, effective communication is crucial in QA.
  • Nevertheless, an understanding of programming and the software development lifecycle can bridge the gap in technical discussions with developers, especially when problem-solving is required. 
  • No-code testing tools also serve an important role in facilitating cross-team collaboration.

Based on the factors above, we can summarize with the following answer: No, coding is not a mandatory prerequisite for success in QA, BUT it is extremely beneficial in some cases. 

How Much Coding Knowledge Does a QA Tester Need?

The coding proficiency expected of a Quality Assurance (QA) tester is influenced by factors like testing nature and career aspirations. At its foundational level, QA testers benefit from a basic understanding of coding concepts and in aiding communication with developers.

In addition, there are factors such as the complexity of the project, its automation emphasis, and team collaboration dynamics that impact the coding demands on QA testers. Striking the right balance involves tailored learning paths based on project needs and individual / team goals. 

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Tips for QA Beginners

Starting Your QA Journey

For newcomers in Quality Assurance, a solid understanding of manual testing, basic scripting languages like JavaScript, and testing concepts is a good starting point. Familiarity with SQL and Database Management Systems (DBMS) are helpful for tasks involving database verification.

Effective Bug Reporting and Test Management

Mastering bug reporting is crucial. Clear and detailed bug reports aid the development team in understanding and replicating issues. Novices should also focus on developing test management skills, using platforms like Jira or Trello to efficiently handle tasks throughout the testing process.

Understanding UI Elements and Continuous Learning

A foundational knowledge of UI elements, including HTML and CSS concepts, is beneficial for QA testers engaged in UI testing. This knowledge enhances analytical abilities and enables thorough software product analysis. 

Continuous learning is essential, especially when it comes to keeping up with evolving technologies, testing methodologies, and industry best practices. This adaptive approach ensures QA testers remain agile in addressing project challenges and contribute effectively to the dynamic field of software testing.

Wrapping Things Up

Quality Assurance is a multifaceted field and encompasses a broad spectrum of skills. While coding knowledge is advantageous, QA professionals can excel without extensive coding expertise. Nevertheless, a balanced approach is needed in this topic, acknowledges the advantages of coding in specific contexts while recognizing the diverse nature of Quality Assurance. 

With the availability of codeless approaches, the focus shifts toward comprehensive testing principles, methodologies, and collaboration. Test automation tools like Valido App offer intelligent testing solutions for practical QA applications. With features tailored for user-friendly, no-code testing and monitoring, Valido streamlines test processes, enhances collaboration, and ensures a focus on delivering exceptional user experience and performance in ecommerce. Explore how Valido can elevate QA testing for your business today.

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