The only QA in the village

There’s a general fear living in the whole Quality Assurance community about redundancy of QA’s role in IT. It’s very common, that startups and big companies bring a single QA person in a team of 4 to 10 developers. It’s being kinda mainstream-ish to open a position which responsibilities are half-clear to the employer (‘because we are young startup, we need more diversity, we want to be nicely represented on the market, so let’s hire somebody else rather then developers and blah blah blah blah’).

Bigger problem here is not only lack of understanding from employer’s side. It becomes problematic for a QA person who was hired by this company. Usually, a new hire must show themselves in the first days/weeks of work, start delivering result very fast (competition among QAs is huge, but this is another topic for discussion). As a result, having only half of understanding your role leads to either quick overplay with endless efforts to plug all the holes, or completely the opposite — to apathy of the employee who feels betrayal and meaningless.

I was hired by the company, which has hundreds of offices around the globe, which has very long story, weight, who’s products are global, and I’m proud of been working there. I wanted this job so much, that I turned a blind eye to the unclear vision of QA’s responsibilities and roles. On my first working day it turned out that I’ll be the only QA in 3 Scrum teams, 3 different products accordingly. 16 developers (not including PMs, UX, designers) and only 1 QA in the village.

To my surprise, not a single person in those 3 teams, not my QA manager had any single idea of what my responsibilities would be. Isn’t that ridiculous? Doesn’t it make you feel underestimated, even non-estimated at all?

You might say now, oh again these drama queens QAs can’t settle in life. I can partially agree, but is it really only QA’s fault? See, 3 years ago Microsofot and Yahoo have fired their testers to hell. What happened next? Shitty, buggy Win 10 and loyal end users as its testers, and Yahoo…. wait is it “For Sale” again with noone hurrying up to invest in this shithole?

I hope that with development and shifting of the IT sphere in general, QAs and testers will be granted 100% of consiousness and understanding.

p.s.:
Apple, 226 open QA positions only in US

Android, 158 openings

SpaceX, 465 test engineer jobs