Working in a fully remote Testing and QA role at DockYard has been a fantastic experience and I’ve learned so much. Here are some useful tips I gathered along the way to stay ahead of the curve.
Attend All Team Meetings
Even if Testing and QA input is not needed in a meeting, it’s still extremely useful to your role to attend all the meetings that the design and development team has. It allows you greater insight into requirements and new features in the pipeline, and it gives you that much-needed look into the clients’ needs and expectations. It is understood that there will be times for heads-down testing; however, knowing the big picture on software, web, and mobile projects is also key to good testing.
Video Chat is a Tool for Defect Triage
In an office setting, an efficient Testing and QA team member would usually sit down with an engineer to discuss a bug/defect that was found during testing. Working remotely doesn’t have to hinder that process. Setting up a video chat with screen share can work just the same as an in-person chat. Working remotely sometimes tends to desensitize team members into relying heavily on emails and messaging. However, communication can always be misunderstood using these methods. Speaking directly through video will not only limit the opportunity for misunderstanding but also speed up the process and create more efficient Testing and QA work.
Troubleshoot All Client Issues
Working remotely can sometimes hinder a QA professional’s ability to be involved in issues and problems that occur in a production environment, and which need to be remedied quickly. Sometimes designers, engineers, and project managers hurry to “put the fire out;” however, having a Testing and QA member as part of the fire squad is usually helpful to determine a blindspot in testing. So be proactive. A good way to stay on top of those items would be to request to be included in the triage of production issues and troubleshoot them along with the engineers.
Surf the Messaging Boards
Agency chatter serves as a good way to keep abreast of upcoming client work in the pipeline, shifting deadlines, and other issues for any team members. Specifically for a Testing and QA member, this firm chatter is helpful because sometimes bugs/defects are found by other team members. Also, a team member might have a question about how something works. The Testing and QA team could use this information to determine more blindspots in testing and quality control, or it could be useful training to develop a QA’s more in-depth knowledge of a system. Since working remotely usually involves the heavy use of some sort of messaging app and emails, surfing these messaging boards for your team and reading all emails from your team is a great way to still be involved in “office chatter.”
DockYard is a digital product agency offering custom software, mobile, and web application development consulting. We provide exceptional professional services in strategy, user experience, design, and full stack engineering using Ember.js and Elixir. With a nationwide staff, we’ve got consultants in key markets across the U.S., including Seattle, San Francisco, Denver, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, and New York.