Friday Profile: Alistair McIvor, QA
Tell us a bit more about your role on the QA team…
As part of the Quality Assurance (QA) team, my role in essence is to help ensure the project team delivers quality software that meets the client requirements. This means that I would be doing test planning, capturing acceptance criteria, carrying out tests (both functional and non-functional) and reporting on the outcome throughout a project. The documentation created through the scenarios we write are what we use to capture the system behaviours so it’s very important these are accurate and thorough.
What is the QA process from start to finish? Is this the same for every project?
At Friday, QA is involved from the start of a project to ensure we a very familiar with the products being tested, what the requirements are and how these are important to the client. It also allows us to spot defects and issues at the earliest possible time, even before any code is written. In a project these are the types of things that I would typically be involved in from a QA point of view; story mapping, specc’ing, test planning, sprint planning, testing, reporting, retesting, regression testing and client demo’s.
We also work with clients, running UAT phases and see things through into production. This process would largely be the same for most projects, but it would depend on the scope.
What does an average day at Friday look like?
Like most of the team at Friday, my day would always start with a stand up. This allows the team to go over the progress of a project and look at the actions for the day. There are also a variety of regular sprint activities we take part depending on where we are in a sprint such as planning and pointing, demos and retros.
Outside of these I would generally be executing tests, reporting defects and talking to developers. We use a lot of tools when testing a website including, JIRA for project progress tracking, Load Impact which allows you to performance test and Jaws, which is a screen reader software.
As part of your role at Friday, you work with a range of disciplines. Who would you work with on a particular project and what is the best bit about this?
The main team members that I would work with on a day to day basis are; Front and Back End developers, UX and UI Designers as well as the Delivery Manager that is looking after the project. If it was a bigger project, it might mean that there are more people from the QA team involved.
However, as a discipline, we have regular meetings to share what we have been doing and look at the work. It is great to work with a range of the Friday team as this allows you to learn from their experiences but also contribute from your own experiences.
What are the key qualities you need to be a QA?
The main qualities needed would be;
- Attention to detail – You need to be really thorough when testing a user journey to ensure it delivers the best user experience and meets client requirements.
- Quick to learn – You work with a lot of new technology that you often need to pick up quickly for each project.
- Ability to prioritise – Not only your own day to day tasks but also prioritising higher-risk elements of software under test.
- Ability to work independently but also in a team!
Finally, tell us a fun fact about yourself...
I lived for Japan for 4 years which was a really interesting as I was able to experience another culture - Luckily, Farringdon has lots of Japanese eateries!