Monday with a QA Team Lead: Testing Web Solutions

by Helen Johnson | September 19, 2017 9:43 am

Do you know what testers actually do? And what about QA Team Lead or PM? How do they spend their working day? What tasks are they responsible for? What does it feel like to be a part of QA team[1]? We are going to spend one day with QA Team Lead to answer all the questions.

I had a chance to spend one day with Eugene, QA Team Lead, a person who manages, monitors and coordinates the work of the testing team. The day was awesome and I hope my observations will be interesting for you. So, let’s go.
To belong to an independent QA team means to be flexible. The beginning as well as the end of workday depends on customer’s time zone as well as developer’s one. But due to 4,5-year experience in web software testing, Eugene got used to this and different time zones do not cause any inconveniences.

Probably, you may think that QA Team Lead is responsible only for one project. I thought so too. But it’s wrong. I was very surprised to hear that Eugene leads 2 large projects and 9 subprojects. Can you imagine that? One person leads several subprojects simultaneously. It is amazing. I wish I had such an ability for multitasking.

My workday starts at 9 o’clock in the office and I know exactly at what time I will go home. Think this is relevant for testers? Not at all. Forget about time scheduling. When I met Eugene in the morning, he has already solved the issue with the website[2] – the 503 error. He detected the problem, informed the PM and development team and very quickly the site comes live again. And he did all that during his breakfast. Eugene said that Team Lead’s workday may start even at night. Flexibility is a must for every tester.

Besides, Eugene should be aware of tasks status and project progress to be ready for distributing and scheduling assignments. Besides, he should plan the work of every team member before the testers’ workday actually starts. Frankly speaking, Eugene is checking e-mails and Jira notifications all the time. In some moments it annoys me a little. But this is the part of work.

Eugene said that checking the inbox all the time is a bad habit. But still, when other people depend on you and your team, it is important to provide immediate feedback and necessary data to solve critical issues. Besides, time zones also play a certain role. One of Eugene’s project unites specialists from three different counties. So when you are sleeping, others can be in the middle of workday. It is very important to adjust work hours in accordance to project needs.

As I haunted Eugene on Monday, I became a witness of Weekly Scrum[3] Meeting as one of his subprojects is an Agile testing project. As far as I understood all project team is connected via particular channel and share their state of affairs including task status, updates and determine the scope of work for the next sprint. They all talked clear and precise providing only useful information.

Meetings present in every QA Team Lead’ life. Eugene said that all communications took near 1,5-2 hours a day. But everything depends on the project specifics and number of detected issues and other additional factors. Apart from that, there are daily meetings and status calls. So, the position of QA Team Lead is not the right choice for those to do not like to communicate with other people.

And you may ask – if Eugen talks so much when he is actually working to get money for? The answer is pretty simple. Constant communication is the basis for effective collaboration and smooth workflow. Sharing data, you avoid misunderstandings and misconceptions. It is impossible to manage the team work if you do not know what they actually are doing. Also, close communication with Customer’s side reduces the risks of improper vision of business objectives.

Bug detecting is among the responsibilities of QA Team Lead. He tests particular aspect of the solution, opens and processes issues. Also Eugene checks the already opened bugs and monitors the work of team members. He coordinates his team and strives to promote their high productivity.

Eugene said that surprisingly that Monday was rather easy and calm. No ‘red alerts’ except morning accident with production. For me, it was very full and busy day that helped me to better understand the nature of testing and work of QA Team Lead.

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