What you need to know about the career path for a Quality Assurance Engineer at NashTech

Do you hear the term “Quality Assurance” all the time? Do you wonder what exactly it is?

Are you curious about what will it be like to be a Quality Assurance Engineer at NashTech? Do you want to explore the career roadmap for this job?

Let’s find out more!

What is Quality Assurance?

Quality is an attribute of a product or service and is achieved through a process, which is the set of activities that is performed to produce a product or a service.

QA focuses on improving processes to ensure that organizations deliver qualified/good products/services to customers. Once processes are consistent, there is the assurance that quality with the same level will be incorporated into any product or service produced by that process.

As such, software quality assurance (SQA) aims to assure software engineering processes, activities and work items are monitored and comply with the defined standards, which typically are the CMMI model, ISO 9000, ISO 9001, ISO15504, etc.

Quality assurance vs. Quality Control

Quality products and services mean that they are defect-free and meet certain requirements and customers’ needs. And both quality control (QC) and quality assurance (QA) are aspects of quality management. While of the two, quality assurance is more important, these two terms are often used collaterally. However, although some quality assurance and quality control activities are interrelated, there are distinct differences between the two concepts.

NashTech-QAvsQC

Source: http://www.theagilityedge.com/agilityblog/2009/11/quality-control-and-quality-assurance

Quality assurance at NashTech

Like any other role at NashTech, there is a transparent yet flexible career development path for Quality Assurance Engineers, which is illustrated below:

NashTech-QA-careerpath-graphic

At each level, there are specific requirements which vary from project to project, the general qualifications for Quality Assurance jobs at NashTech can be listed as:

  • Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science
  • Good English skills
  • Knowledge of CMMI, AGILE, SCRUM, KANBAN
  • Understand other Quality Management Systems (ISO, TQM, ITIL …)
  • CSQA certificate is a plus
  • Diagnostic and problem-solving skills
  • Technical aptitude to quickly learn new software products
  • Able to understand, and convey, the Developers and the Customers viewpoints
  • Strong communication skills, be good at documenting work, and must be able to work well with different groups

What the expert says?

To understand more about what it will be like to do Quality Assurance at NashTech, we had a chat with Ms. Ly Vo, our Quality Assurance Manager. According to Ms. Ly, if you have experience in the IT field, especially in software development in any position such as developer, business analyst, project manager, or quality control, it would be a plus for you to pour yourself into the quality assurance path.

Besides, a good Quality Assurance Engineer (QAE) is also someone who acquires these qualifications:

  1. Optimal goal is quality: QAE will need to be keen on enhancing quality as if you are enhancing your personal reputation.
  2. Research more: Doing extra research on quality standards and requirements of the industry you are working in, to reinforce the fundamental knowledge as well as acquire new one, isvital . For example, if you are a QAE in software development, what are the quality standards of a software? Customers tend to use a software because it meets their needs, defect-free and the functions are easy to use. As such, having a strong background in IT is a must if you are a Software Quality Assurance Engineer.
  3. Be a team player AND a consultant: Ms. Ly emphasized that a good quality assurance professional is someone who not only attains strong knowledge in improving processes’ quality but is also a good team player. Supporting, consulting colleagues, sharing knowledge, tips or even defects, should all be taken into account. By doing these, processes and outputs with highest quality will be optimized and assured.

Ms. Ly also shared some additional aspects on doing quality assurance at NashTech. At the company, talents will be trained and provided with more understanding and practical knowledge about software development processes, which is lacking from most Vietnamese universities’ education programs. The training program at NashTech will last for at least two months and later, talents will be guided to practice for six months in order to fully understand the quality management system. While working at NashTech, talents will also have opportunities to learn and gain deep knowledge in a broad spectrum, including project management, analysis, architecture, testing, implementation, etc.

With the goal of becoming an expert in quality assurance, Ms. Ly emphasized that QA professionals at NashTech need to continuously learn from real projects and the surrounding environment, adapting to the latest business trends in order to efficiently evaluate the current processes as well as design any potential new ones. From that, we can assure that the process and its outputs will meet our own as well as clients’ standards and requirements.

Eager to know more about what QA professionals talk about their journey of doing quality assurance at NashTech? Let’s take a look at the article about Toan Nguyen, Quality Assurance of the Year 2020.

 

Key interpersonal skills you most certainly need to excel at work

Interpersonal skills are defined as the set of skills people own by which decide the way they communicate and interact with others. By its direct link with soft skills and emotional intelligence, interpersonal skills insinuate how one manage the relationships that they have collected over time and resolve any impending conflicts.

Within the workplace context, which is more than often a people-filled and team-oriented environment, interpersonal skills have proven itself to be vital in any aspects of the operation. Possessing a great level of interpersonal skills will give you the advantage of dealing with group projects, “oiling the wheels” of any interaction and handling discord.

Some of the major components that make up a person’s interpersonal skills are communication, active listening, empathy, problem solving and the ability to be open to feedback. These skills are not something that could be learned overnight, rather, interpersonal skills should be cultivated with constant efforts on a daily basis.

  1. Communication skills

Having clear communication both verbally and non-verbally is the foundation of any strong and resilient organization. Tasks could only be carried out and completed proficiently when communication is there to keep everyone in the loop about the expectation and requirements regarding the job.

Communication is also essential in voicing your concerns and issues to higher management within the chain, a culture of transparency and clarity throughout the entire mechanism is what leads a company to greater success.

Find out more about the importance of effective communication here

  1. Listening skills

Monitoring your listening skills could also facilitate communication since these two are interrelated most of the time, especially at workplace. Active listening shows your boss and fellow colleagues your level of engagement during both formal meetings and informal discussions.

Plus, paying close attention to information being shared by others at work could make them feel more valued and respected which would strengthen your relationship with them and collaborate with ease.

  1. Demonstrating empathy and understanding

Empathy is of essence to workplace atmosphere. Employees will be reluctant to come to work if their boss and colleagues do not practice compassion and show understanding to the difficulties they might have been facing.

This quality can be found among people that are highly intuitive with a great grasp of emotional . Empathy and understanding enables you to relate and express sympathy towards people’s problems at work as well as help you get along with them.

  1. Problem solving

It’s fair to say that most our time at work is spent dealing with tasks and solving problems stemming from them. We could all agree that it’s an inherent part of any job and the ability to be prepared and ready to solve any of these problems is indispensable.

Honing your problem-solving skills could significantly facilitate your process of working your way up the career ladder since it is one of the most important qualities people at the top management should possess.

Explore the DO’s and DON’Ts while sharpening your problem-solving skills with us here

  1. Openness to feedback

People who easily get defensive towards different perspectives and feedback often lack interpersonal skills.

It is important to listen to feedback so you can learn about your piece of work from different viewpoints and to adjust / apply new ideas where possible and relevant. This is a highly needed practice in the process of refining your piece of work as well as enhanced productivity.

At NashTech, we seek to create and nurture an environment which facilitates the interpersonal skills development of our employees. We embrace everyone’s way of expressing themselves at the office since NashTech believe that each of our valued employee contributes to the lively and amiable workplace that we are lucky to have.

Read more about people at NashTech here.

When quality is not measured by how long but how well

Small talk with Toan Nguyen, Quality Assurance of the Year

Operating in Vietnam for over 20 years, NashTech has always been a people-centric workplace where our Nashers are valued and appreciated. As such, the annual ‘Employee of the Year’ award is organized to recognize and show gratitude towards outstanding employees.

To continue the series, let’s find out about the 2020 ‘Quality Assurance of the Year’: Mr. Toan Nguyen who shows that quality is not something that is measured by how long but how well you spend your time.

A year and a half: brief but quality time

Toan has been with NashTech for for one and a half years now. Looking back, he said that when he was still a student, NashTech (known as Harvey Nash back then) came to his university for a job fair. This was how Toan came to know about NashTech and its professional, but friendly, environment. Later on, listening to a recommendation from a friend who also works in Quality Assurance, Toan decided to apply to for a role.

Although it’s over one year now I’m still very excited. The emotion is just as high as it was in the first few days when I joined the company. I’m really proud to be a Nasher

Toan feels that he is really fortunate to be able to work with such excellent teammates and wonderful manager like Quality Assurance team.

All these talented people who have extensive knowledge of not just quality assurance but also many other fields, I’m grateful to work with them.

Toan also showed his admiration towards his manager, Ms. Ly Vo. He shared that she always starts meetings energetically, shares the dedication, enthusiasm and positive vibes the team, as a whole, feel.

“I have admired her since the day I joined the company. I take her as my role model to keep improving myself day by day, to keep striving to be the best!”

Sharing about his career path plan, Toan is keen on having more opportunities to challenge himself with projects in new markets, attain more knowledge, hone his professional and personal skills as well as get to know more talented colleagues that he can learn from.

All the good memories

During his time at NashTech, Toan has had many opportunities to develop himself during various projects which give him so many precious memories that would take pages to list out. One of the highlights, which Toan is really proud of, is the CMMI DEV V2.0 project.

I’m really proud to be a part of the project for getting NashTech to be the first company in Vietnam to be appraised at CMMI DEV V2.0 Maturity Level 5. This is such the fruits of our hard work.  

Sharing about being a part of this important project, Toan said that this new CMMI DEV version 2.0 marks a difference that extends beyond its previous version. As such, it brought more challenges to the team.

Countless days and nights of working, back to back meetings and debates, sweat and tears. I see relentless effort from my colleague despite of the stress and heavy workloads, I see the determination as well as the great leadership of my project manager. All of that is what got us to where we are.

Sharing about his emotion of being awarded as Quality Assurance of the Year, Toan shared that it was his honor to receive this award and receive such a strong faith from his manager in him. He also showed humility and said that: “There are many other talented and enthusiastic members in QA team and I’m just a fortunate person to represent the whole team to receive this award.”

A golden compass

Sharing some of his own mottos, Toan said that no matter where you are or what you do, put 100% of your effort and be dedicated in everything you do. Never stop striving, never stop learning. Improve and nurture yourself every day because that knowledge not only benefits you, but also the community.

Recognizing himself as an energetic and cheerful guy, Toan said that having these characteristics is also a nice-to-have factor for, not just your career, but your life as well. People are usually more open and prefer to work or hang out with those who brings positive vibes, enthusiasm and energy in to their work and personal life.

What is your career path as a Business Analyst at NashTech?

In the digital age, businesses are in high demand for organizational changes fueled by innovative, disruptive information technologies. 

At NashTech, with expertise in both IT and business domains, our team of Business Analysts (BA) specialize in understanding client’s needs in the ever-changing digital landscape and helping developers transform those demands into viable technology solutions.

Feeling curious about this job role? In this article, let’s take a look at what you need to know about the career of a Business Analyst at NashTech.

Business Analyst at NashTech

To bridge the gap between IT and the clients, our Business Analysts are responsible for ensuring client requirements can be fully interpreted by our development team. At NashTech, to get from the client’s demand to a functional, valuable software implementation, the role of a Business Analyst requires involvement in various phases of the project. 

Firstly, Business Analysts engage with business leaders to recognize how technological changes to process, products and services can improve efficiency and create future value. Then, they are responsible for creating the Business Requirement Specifications (BRS) and translating the analysis for changes into a succinct requirement that will serve as the input to the development team.

With an aim of transferring their knowledge to the offshore team, Business Analysts will work closely with Project Managers to define the project scope, estimation and planning. While the solution is being worked on, Business Analysts will act as the communication bridge between clients and the offshore team, ensuring the software development is updated with client’s requirements. To verify that all requirements of the system are fulfilled, Business Analysts will assist Quality Control Engineers in testing the implementation.

The career pathway of Business Analyst

Different from our other job positions, the career of a Business Analyst starts from Associate Business Analyst, which requires you to have some background experience in IT and business analysis. The higher levels of Business Analyst require deep understanding of multiple, wider business domains and proficiency in dealing with more sophisticated problems.

NashTech-BA-careerpath-graph

Different levels of Business Analyst expect you to handle projects at different scales. However, there are some shared key skills and qualifications for a Business Analyst that you need to acquire:

  • Bachelor degree preferably in Computer Science or Business Information System
  • Obtaining IT knowledge-base
  • Fluent English to be able to communicate directly with customers
  • At least three years of working experience of which two years in analyzing requirements
  • Basic experience in programming languages
  • Basic knowledge on databases such as database schema and simple SQL query
  • Knowledge of testing approaches and techniques
  • General understanding and experience of business processes as well as an interest to understand a broad range of business models and needs
  • Excellent communication skill and interpersonal skill
  • Have a proactive, can do attitude

You can learn more about our Business Analyst role here

Sharing from our expert

To provide better insight in to this position at NashTech, we had a conversation with Duong Truong, our Business Analyst Manager. Duong shared that Business Analysts must have a great listening ability and be able to understand the clients specific needs, as their insights will provide the inputs for all proceeding processes.

When we asked about the skills that a good Business Analyst should master, Mr. Duong Truong shared that both hard and soft skills matter equally for this position. Hard skills an excellent Business Analyst must master include knowing how to gather and filter information from the clients and the solution they are using, then figure out the potential improvements to the system. Softer skills include the role of communicator which involves interacting with both clients and the development team, being able to speak the language of both client and developer, work in a team and have strong presentation skills.

To excel as a Business Analyst, you must understand people and inspire them

Mr. Duong shared with us that a key to success of a Business Analyst is having a proactive spirit. This means that you must exude a positive attitude so that clients can feel inspired and trusted by you.

An obstacle is often a stepping stone – heartfelt sharing from our two “unsung heroes of the year”

The one value that we have consistently upheld and reinforced here at NashTech, since day one, is the culture of employee recognition. NashTech believes that without the dedication of our incredible colleagues, we would not have attained such extent of growth and success.

We strive to honor our employee’s ongoing achievement and contribution, both informally and formally through the annual “employee of the year” awards – our biggest employee appreciation event.

In today’s article, we would like to introduce you to Mr. Tung Tran and Ms. Han Thai, who have both made their name in the “Unsung Hero of the year” category this year.

Mr. Tung Tran – Behind every success is a great team

Tung Tran is a returning Nasher who took a short break and rejoined NashTech in 2018 as a Talent Acquisition Executive at HR Department. Tung is currently in charge of talent acquisition, specifically, his primary domain is assisting talent acquisition process with the purpose of finding suitable candidates for certain projects. Tung shared with us that working at NashTech has been a rewarding and delightful experience for him which enables him to elevate his performance, this could be attributed to the supportive and encouraging work environment created by his colleagues at HR department and the Talent Acquisition team in particular.

We were moved to know that Tung also takes pride in being a Nasher and sees his workplace as his second home. Tung is also impressed with NashTech’s well-established career path and benefits package for their employees.

When Tung was asked about his most unforgettable memory at NashTech, he recalled going through an appendectomy earlier this year, and was asked by the doctor to take a hiatus from work while recovering. A couple of days after the surgery, he was so happy when his colleagues came to visit. On Tung’s return to work, his fellow colleagues in the HR department also threw a surprise party to welcome him back, this was such a heartwarming and touching experience for Tung since his colleagues have never failed to make him feel like a part of a close-knit community and he was beyond grateful for the support and sentiment from his team.

According to Tung, his ‘unsung hero’ award is not just for him. It is because of the team’s selfless efforts and contribution over the past year, that he has achieved this award. Tung would also want to extend his deepest gratitude to everyone at NashTech, especially, the HR and Talent Acquisition team. He also sees this award as a milestone that will encourage him to make greater contribution to the company in the upcoming period.

Ms. Han Thai – Keep striving so you can look back and be proud

Ms Han is the Senior Purchasing Executive at NashTech and came across as a lovely and friendly colleague who, in her free time, is fond of multiple activities such as reading, travelling and watching stage play.
Her main responsibility at NashTech is purchasing miscellaneous products for the company, including collaborating with other departments to organize evens for Software Development (SD) and Business Process Solutions (BPS) in both Ho Chi Minh and Hanoi. Han finds this job particularly fascinating and refreshing owing to the fact that she gets to meet and interact with a lot of people at the company.

Plus, she also shared that there is a certain sense of achievement in her daily task since everyone in the company has to go through her team first in order to purchase any item. However, “with great power comes great responsibility”, when peak periods hit, Han’s team tended to get overloaded with requests flooding in from all of the departments, this period could be incredibly hectic and exhausting.

Recalling the reason why she chose NashTech, it came to Han inadvertently through the introduction of a friend, she discovered that NashTech owns a professional work environment with plenty of room for their employees to learn and grow, that’s when she decided to become a Nasher.

Han could not contain her excitement when she was asked about her feelings on the day she knew that she would become a Nasher. Han shared that she was genuinely elated and honored to earn an opportunity to work in an active professional, and amiable environment. Han was also well pleased to be able to work in a renowned company that is always listed as one of the companies with the best working environment in Vietnam.

2020 marks Han’s six-year journey at NashTech, but her most unforgettable memory is during the year of 2015, which also marked NashTech 15th anniversary. She was able to participate in different events to celebrate such milestone. After being given the chance to join the organization team of such events, Han has learned a lot from the experience and it was awe-inspiring for her as she was thoroughly impressed by the scope of the events and the magnitude of business at NashTech

As someone who has witnessed the establishment and execution of the “unsung hero of the year” award, Han reckons that this is an incredibly meaningful award that was designed to recognize and honor the contribution of the individuals within the “support team”

Han’s motto is:

Keep trying your best, even though your efforts might not come to fruition in the end, you will not regret anything, since you’ve already put in everything you’ve got 

The power of asking questions

Nowadays, most of our daily tasks are executed based on asking. We ask for information, exchange ideas, request for status updates and seek support. Yet, unlike other professionals who are already trained how to be a good questioner as an essential part of their career such as journalists or investigators, in this business world, especially in IT industry, questioning is one of the soft skills that need to be honed.

Asking questions – why should we master this art?

Questioning is a unique and powerful tool used to unlock hidden values in any organization. It stimulates learning and idea exchange, fuels innovation and accelerates performance improvement. In simple words, questions spark curiosity, curiosity helps generate good ideas and good ideas fuel innovation and creativity.

Moreover, asking questions also helps build rapport and trust among team members. Also, by questioning, we can uncover any unforeseen pitfalls so that business risks can be mitigated.

But, since good questions lead to good responses that are worth listening to and answers that contains valuable information, how the questions should be delivered, perfectly and ideally?

Tips to become a good questioner

For some people, questioning comes easily. Natural inquisitiveness, high EQ, and ability of reading minds, all these factors place the ideal question on the tip of people’s tongue. But often we lack the habit of asking questions, nor do we position them properly.

So, how to overcome this situation? Following and practicing these tips, you can turn yourself into good questioners:

Know what to ask: People usually face difficulty in fully conveying their idea into questions. Listing out all the information that you are seeking in case you miss out any points and arranging them logically is a useful tip to overcome this barrier. Also, knowing what to ask and what should be kept as private is key.

Use the right tone in the right context: Questioners should be aware of when and where to ask the right questions and what tone of voice should be used. In some cases, people are more forthcoming when being asked casually instead of a buttoned-up and official tone.

Keep it balanced: We should carefully determine the amount of questions that should be asked. A lack of questions might lead to a dead-end conversation. On the other hand, asking too much can be intimidating and the audience might feel like they are participating in an interrogation. Thus, we need to keep the number of questions balanced.

Be a good listener before you become a questioner: Asking follow-up questions is a powerful way to trigger interaction and build trust between a questioner and a responder, which leads to a productive conversation.

Follow-up questions signal to the conversation partner that you are actually listening, showing care and an interest in wanting to know more. This makes the responder feel that they are being heard and respected as well as open to discuss more.

Know when to keep questions open-ended: While the feeling of being interrogated is favored by no one, some questions can lead the conversation into that awkward yes-or-no situation. Thus, in these circumstances, open-ended questions can counteract that. They also play a vital role in uncovering hidden information or discovering something new that no one has thought of before.

For example, if you want to ask for someone to give feedbacks on your work, instead of luring them to dead end by asking “Is my piece of work good or not?”, you can warmly ask “What do you think about it? What are the things that I can do to improve this?”. By giving the answerer an open-ended question, you are giving them the freedom to express their ideas openly and honestly.

However, open-ended questions are not always the perfect cure as it’s not a good method to gather quantitative information and consume more time to answer compared to close-ended questions.

Overall, questioning is communication skill that everyone must hone. At NashTech, we encourage our Nashers to step out of their comfort zone and dare to ask questions. Because there is nothing wrong with questioning. By mastering the art of asking the questions, ideas are exchanged efficiently, performance is improved, innovation is fueled and success will definitely be achieved.