Photo by Rhys Kentish on Unsplash

What does a Software Quality Engineer do?

Bart Thomas


The world is going mad for digital transformation. Organisations that historically have little experience in software development are now building self-service apps and digitised services — ranging from banking and financial services, to apps for digital TV, ordering dinner, providing metrics on your golf swing, storing your drivers licence and even allowing you to use the lift at work.

It is clear that Marc Andressen’s “software is eating the world” quote from 2011 has come to pass. The big problem however, is the quality of much of that software.

Poor quality software = brand and reputation damage

High-quality software is sadly now the exception rather than the rule, as anyone who interacts with just about any Government, utility or telco-built web portal or mobile app can tell you.

The ability to build high-quality applications represents a major competitive advantage and could well be the difference between winning or losing in your market.

There are countless examples of customer focussed startups whose high-quality, beautifully designed software with frictionless user experiences are seriously threatening — or even overtaking — the once unassailable incumbents.

In the digital economy, your software is your competitive advantage

What is the secret to building high-quality software at high-velocity?

Enter Quality Engineering (QE), a relatively new and evolving discipline that encompasses a multitude of technical and soft skills. QEs are key in the improvement of quality, speeding up development time, and shipping better products, more consistently.

Some of the most technically progressive companies in the world are now embracing Quality Engineering. In Australia, the market is frothy with organisations such as Canva, Atlassian, SafetyCulture, Qantas, Xero, Vodafone TPG, ING, CBA, WooliesX (and many more) all competing for very limited available talent.

At the most basic level, increasing the quality of software means reducing the number of defects in both the software itself and in the processes that are used to develop, release and maintain it. In practice, a whole host of disciplines…