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I work in a company that creates websites. Currently, they do not have any description for the roles for the different levels (entry/junior, mid/intermediate to senior level) of sqa/sqc staff but would like to have one.

Any ideas on what roles or duties are assigned to the entry, mid, and senior roles?

marked as duplicate by testerab Sep 7 '14 at 21:29

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Even in a small business having defined roles is useful, as you need to know what to put on job advertisements. Also, having a defined job title allows for promotion (which is sometimes more beneficial than a pay rise) when the situation warrants it.

In the most basic terms, the break down of testing/QA roles is:

  • Junior - this person lacks experience and will run tests that have been created by someone else.
  • Intermediate - this person will create test packs for defined areas, based on a test design created for them.
  • Senior / Lead - This person will be responsible for the design of the test approach and the sign off of the testing effort

  • Manager - Responsible for the strategic implementation of testing, resource management and the bureaucracy associated with their team

If you have a small organisation, work top down from the Senior Test position. A good senior tester will ensure that your product works correctly. Intermediate and Juniors are best used to "free up" your senior tester so you don't need those until the work load becomes too taxing.

  • The problem of such roles is that they discourage people from doing what they can do, and that they put an unwarranted emphasis on seniority over skill. For a junior to become senior they need to be able to design the test approach for some projects, which they can't do if their role is running tests that have been created by someone else. So if having a description of the role is really important, aspects like "mentoring", "reviewing", and "resolving conflicts" are IMO what defines the senior's role. – Peter Sep 5 '14 at 11:44
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    These are only guidelines. I strongly advocate the "Aliens" approach to work: Ripley: I feel like kind of a fifth wheel around here, is there anything I can do? Apone: I dunno, is there anything you can do? I prefer to give the people I work with a task, an "Accomplish this" directive and then let them work out how they can best do the job. If that means that a junior "steps up" and takes on more responsibility, then everyone wins. They're happy about being able to work the way they want to and I get the job done to my specifications. – Dave M Sep 5 '14 at 12:06
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Same as in all other related roles like software developer, project manager, line manager, product owner, etc, the definition of the role varies by company/department/team/person.

If you really need some strictly defined roles, it's best to work out the definition with the people filling these roles - the answer by @Kate ( Software Tester Skill Matrix with Levels ) is a good starting point. However, if you don't really need strictly defined roles, avoid them - especially in small companies they can do more harm than good due to discouraging juniors to do more than their role defines and encouraging seniors to rule over juniors by right of seniority.

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