How to Set Boundaries at Work (And Respect Others)

Office Lunch at Desk (person sitting at a desk looking at a laptop)
How to Set Boundaries at Work (And Respect Others)

When you spend the majority of your hours working, setting boundaries at work is vital. Equally important is respecting boundaries set by others. This can cover a lot: communication, workload, availability, and countless areas in between.

It won’t always be possible to lay down the law in every scenario that you’d like. But by knowing what your ideal boundaries are, and implementing them from the beginning, you’ll have a fighting chance at reducing work stress.


In modern QA, Slack can play a big role in communication. Boundaries are even more relevant with all expectations that come with live messaging. These can include:

Slack Workplace Boundaries (two hands holding a mobile phone with the Slack app open)

  • Keeping the Slack app off of your phone
  • Turning notifications off at certain hours
  • Not checking Slack before or after work
  • Keeping Slack closed when in the middle of urgent work

Timing is also important. If you don’t set Slack boundaries early on, people will think that they can reach you at any time of day – and it can be difficult to re-set expectations at that point. Continue reading →

The Role of QA in the Software Development Life Cycle

QA Testing SDLC (webpage/mobile app wireframes with magnifying glass icon)
The Role of QA in the Software Development Life Cycle

The role of QA in the Software Development Life Cycle isn’t always clear. Sure, there’s a QA testing phase. But what about all of the other stages? What role do software testers play in those, if any? First let’s go over what the Software Development Life Cycle is, and then take a look at the roles and responsibilities for QA at each step.

What is the Software Development Life Cycle?

QA and the Agile Software Development Life Cycle (icon shows agile process symbol - arrow wrapped around checkmark)

The Software Development Life Cycle (often abbreviated to “SDLC”) is a framework for, well, developing software. The SDLC methodology is a structured process that splits each aspect of software development into different phases.

In an Agile Software Development Life Cycle, the team can jump back and forth between SDLC phases. (Learn more about the Agile QA Process, which we’ll be focusing on below.) Continue reading →

5 Ways to Improve Your App Ratings — Without Buying Fake Reviews

Improve App Reviews (cartoon showing five gold stars above a man with a green t-shirt, blue jeans, and green converse typing on a laptop)
5 Ways to Improve Your App Ratings — Without Buying Fake Reviews

When trying to figure out how to improve app ratings, some companies consider buying fake reviews. Buying App Store (or Play Store) reviews for your iOS or Android mobile app is a risky decision. You may feel hesitant, or worry about being caught. But seeing a flood of negative reviews on your app’s listing can feel devastating — and even worse, tank your business!

Find out about the risks of buying app reviews, and what you can do to organically manage your app store ratings and reviews long-term.

Risks of Buying App Reviews

Aside from potential ethical concerns, buying App Store reviews entails some pretty big risks:

Suspicious reviews get removed regularly. If you shell out big bucks for App Store reviews, it might be for nothing when the reviews get purged from your mobile app listing. Apple has been ramping up their review detection for at least 5 years now. And if we know anything about Apple, they don’t give up.

Improve App Store Ratings (picture of an iPad with a screen saying "New to the App Store?" showing app icons underneath)Your app listing can get deleted. Apple and Google take fraudulent reviews very seriously. In 2017 alone, Google removed over 700,000 Play Store listings. It’s unknown what percentage of these were for suspicious reviews, but it’s clear that they’re vigilant in removing what they consider to be inappropriate content (which definitely includes illegitimate reviews).

Revoking your developer account. Without a developer account, you can’t list apps in the App or Play Store, period. If Apple or Google suspect that you’ve been buying app reviews, they can suspend your developer account completely. This can affect your career far beyond your current mobile app(s). Continue reading →

Oct 11

Mindful QA Nominated for Software Testing Awards

Software Testing Awards badge
Mindful QA Nominated for Software Testing Awards

We’re thrilled to announce that Mindful QA has been nominated for the North American Software Testing Awards. We’re a finalist in the “Testing Manager of the Year” category.

Read on to find out more about the Software Testing Awards, why we were nominated, and how the awards are judged.

Software Testing Awards badgeWhat Are the Software Testing Awards?

According to the official website:

The North American Software Testing Awards celebrate companies and individuals who have accomplished significant achievements in the software testing and quality engineering market.

When Are the Software Testing Awards?

The 2019 North American Software Testing Awards will take place on Wednesday, October 30th, 2019. Continue reading →

Resume Advice for QA Testers

Quality Assurance Resume
Resume Advice for QA Testers

So you’re ready to apply for your first QA job. Or maybe you’re already in QA, but looking to start at a new company. Where do you begin? The first step is putting together a stellar resume and LinkedIn profile. And the best part is, you don’t need years of job experience to do so. Read on for our resume advice for QA testers.

Do You Really Need a LinkedIn Profile and a QA Resume?

In a word, yes. There are some careers where a LinkedIn profile might not be necessary. But a LinkedIn profile can provide invaluable job and networking opportunities in the world of tech.

QA Resume (mobile phone displaying LinkedIn on a web browser)

Which Do You Start With?

It only takes five minutes to register on LinkedIn, so it’s an easy first step. And if someone wants to add you, you’ll have a link to give them even before you add profile details. However, when it comes to completion, it’s more important to finish your resume first.

Although it’s beneficial to have one, you can still apply to many jobs without a LinkedIn profile. The same can’t be said of a resume. Continue reading →

What Are the Different Types of Software Testing?

API Testing
What Are the Different Types of Software Testing?

QA testing may sound like a catch-all term — and in some ways, it is. “QA” stands for Quality Assurance, and all of the different types of software testing have this goal. But each type of testing achieves it differently. As a result, they’re best used for different purposes. Find out how what the different types of software testing are, and when to use them.

What Are the Different Types of Software Testing?

The main types of software testing are:

  • Manual Testing
  • Automated Testing
  • API Testing
  • Performance/Load Testing

These types of testing can be done on websites, mobile apps, and other software.

Manual Software Testing (hand holding mobile phone)Manual Testing

Manual Testing is done by hand. This doesn’t mean not using technology — far from it. But it does mean manually going through different sections of a mobile app, websites, or other software, looking for any problems. Unlike automated, API, or performance testing, all you need for manual testing is access to the website or app. The other main types of software testing typically involve using other software or tools to test and/or find bugs. Continue reading →

Career Advices for QA Testers

QA Career Advice (graphic shows magnifying glass over briefcase with checkmark icon)
Career Advices for QA Testers

Whether you’re at the start of your QA career or thirty years in, it’s always a good idea to know how to negotiate salary, advocate for a promotion, and navigate difficult situations in the workplace. On top of general career best practices, there are also aspects specific to software testing careers.

QA Career Advice (graphic shows magnifying glass over briefcase with checkmark icon)Taking QA Careers From Junior to QA Lead to QA Manager

When starting a QA career, many testers have the word “Junior” in their job title. Even if it’s not part of the official title, it’s usually a given that your first QA position will be entry level or close to it. But after you’ve learned the ropes and started to enhance your QA skills, you may set your sights on becoming a QA Lead.

Tips for Becoming a QA Lead

Continue reading →

How to Have Effective QA Communication Skills

Best Practices for QA Testing
How to Have Effective QA Communication Skills

Communication is important in any career or area of life. But in the world of QA, it’s even more essential. Testers have to communicate with people at all roles and levels of the company. And on top of that, QA is at the front line when it comes to finding bugs and user experience issues — all of which need to be communicated well. It’s hard to understate the importance of effective communication skills for QA testers.

Read on to find out how to follow best practices for communicating anything and everything as a QA Engineer.

Communicating BugsQA Communication Skills (cartoon QA tester holding a bug report and a pencil)

Writing bug reports alone requires all kinds of communication skills. (Learn more about Best Practices for Reporting Bugs.) But even after you’ve created a bug report ticket, the bug-related communication doesn’t end there. It’s also good to follow these practices:

  • Sound the alarm for showstoppers. A showstopper bug means that it must be fixed immediately. For example, maybe the mobile app is crashing every time a user logs in. When you spot something like this, you’ll want to go above and beyond filing a bug report ticket. While that should be your first step, once you’ve done so, it’s time to make sure your team is aware. Continue reading →

QA Analyst vs. QA Engineer

QA Analyst vs. QA Engineer (software testers using websites and mobile apps)
QA Analyst vs. QA Engineer

You may notice that most software testing job postings are for QA Analyst or QA Engineer. There are other software testing job titles out there, but these two are the most common. So what’s the difference between a software QA Analyst vs. QA Engineer?

The truth is that there’s no evergreen definition of the differences between a QA Analyst and a QA Engineer. Sure, you might find articles with well-thought out details for each position. However, in real workplaces, the reality can be quite different. Read on for the standard definitions for each. In addition, you’ll find out what you can expect (or not expect) on a more practical level.

QA Analyst vs. QA Engineer (software testers using websites and mobile apps)

QA Analyst Job Description

The “QA Analyst” job title usually refers to a manual QA position testing software like websites or mobile apps. As a result, these are some of the tasks you can expect from a QA Analyst role:

Continue reading →

How to Find QA Jobs

LinkedIn QA Jobs (mobile app showing LinkedIn)
How to Find QA Jobs

So you have a solid resume and LinkedIn profile, and you’re ready to get a new software testing QA job. How do you find QA jobs, what do you apply for, and how do you follow job application best practices?

Where to Look For QA Jobs

In this day and age, there are dozens of major job sites. On one hand, it’s great to have so many resources. But on the other, it can be difficult to cut through the noise. You also don’t want to end up wasting time.

Some of the best sites for finding QA jobs include:

Interested in working from home? If you’re located in America, Mindful QA is often hiring for remote QA jobs, including remote manual testing jobs and remote QA automation jobs. If you’re just looking to pick up extra hours on the side, we also have work for part-time freelance QA testers.

QA Jobs (website with "QA tester jobs" page)

Indeed QA Jobs

Indeed has two main options: Indeed Prime and an online job board. If using the latter, you can filter and save searches by location, job title (for example, QA analyst or QA engineer jobs), experience level, salary, and more. You can also read reviews of the employer posting the position.

Indeed Prime is a free service that lets you post your resume Continue reading →