For the most part of my professional life I worked as an IT Specialist in Brazil. An IT specialist is a professional that designs, develops, employs or maintains information technology systems. It is a pretty broad term that may encompass several different different job roles (from database administrators to software engineers to production support analysts). In my case, I was engaged with 2 primary activities: software development and application architecture.
All of that changed 3 months when I left my IT Specialist job in Brazil and moved to Czech Republic to work as a Software Quality Engineer (aka Quality Engineer) for Middleware Messaging products. Since then, a few friends had come to me to ask: a) what I am doing, b) what exactly a Quality Engineer does and c) do you write code. With that said, I think I have answered question ‘a’. Since question ‘a’ is already answered, let me explain what is a Software Quality Engineer (SQE) and it does.
A SQE is a specialized type of engineer that works on all phases of development to design, develop and execute tools, process and strategies to ensure that software products meet or exceed desired levels of quality (with quality being defined as the degree of excellence of an item or product).
A SQE usually:
- Design, develop and maintain tools to perform automated testing
- Develop and maintain automated test cases
- Elaborate and implement Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Delivery (CD) strategies including its infrastructure and support tools
- Help to investigate and verify security issues
- Elaborate and execute test plans
- Define and implement software quality metrics and design, develop and maintain tools to collect them
- Review product documentation
Whether an SQE writes code depends on what type of products it works with. For example, in my case I work with tools for messaging and enterprise application integration, therefore I tend to write code quite frequently, as most of these products are used by software developers, IT specialists and IT architects to integrate disparate systems.