This content is part of the Essential Guide: Guide: Important steps to improving your QA career

What are today's top QA challenges?

In terms of development, QA testers are often perceived as the lowest of the low. Expert Amy Reichert explains why QAs don't get respect and what they can do about it.

Quality assurance professionals face many QA challenges. The number one challenge: gaining respect. Nearly every day somewhere, QA professionals are virtually banging their heads on walls, lamenting their profession because developers get all the money, extra benefits and attention in a software development business. The reason: Developers are at the top of the totem pole in software development and QA is at the bottom.

Why? The business nature of software development demands the creation and fixing of code. That is the job of developers. It's a simple fact that will never change, as long as a software development business needs to make money. As a QA professional, you shouldn't stress or gnash your teeth over it. Don't add more stress to a job that's already overwhelming in repetitive cycles. It is simply a business fact that QA can't control.

What QA professionals should be focusing on are the customers. Customers are important and their experience with an application is of utmost importance to business success. As a QA professional, quality and a positive end user experience is the goal. Nearly every software development business has quality in their mission statement or brings out the quality balloons and banners as needed. "Quality is Job 1," was the long-time signature statement for the Ford Motor Company after it was plagued with quality issues and lost significant market share. Most companies tout their quality, so we know it's vital.

As QA professionals who test software applications, we believe in the quality of the customer experience. We don't want to release defective or problematic code. But the reality is quality has to balance with business survival needs. Quality is important; QA is important, too. The problem is developers create the product and they fix the product when it's broken. QA cannot do that. For that reason, developers will always be more important than QA, and as a QA professional, you shouldn't let it get to you. One of our QA challenges is to do our best as part of the software development team to create the highest quality application possible.

Don't be insulted. Be proud of your work as a QA. It's crucial, even if we're not on the top of the totem pole.

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