Sourcing Interested Candidates in QA

Nandini Dutt

Engineering Manager at Facebook



Some candidates think that QA is a stepping stone to move onwards to development. When hiring you need to discover if they are truly interested in a QA career.

Actions taken

  • For the interview process, I was inspired by a QA architect that I had worked with. He had said, "I look at an architecture, I can see what it does, and I immediately think about how it will break".
  • I posed my main interview question by putting an architecture in front of the candidate and asked them how they would break it. If they could break it or at least brainstorm about it, I knew they would be more interested in growing in QA.
  • I looked for a system level thinker who could think at the component level and the interactions between the components. Bonus points if they could introduce chaos into the system.
  • To remove any compensation related temptations to move out of QA career path, I leveled all the engineers in QA at the same level and salary ranges as software engineers. The caveat was that they needed to be able to automate the tests as well - Essentially, Software Developers in Test.

Lessons learned

  • If a candidate is only user interface (UI) oriented, they are not going to be able to test well on the back end and they may not be able to develop any tests for that either. And vice versa. My usual interview covered the full stack - a typical three-tier architecture. This helped me understand their inclination in the spectrum of Frontend to backend.
  • If you consider a QA engineer at the same level as a software engineer, you take away the temptation that they would make more money as a developer. Once you take away the compensation issues, engineers will really look at what they are good at and grow in that area. One should also ensure that the company culture supports it .

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Nandini Dutt

Engineering Manager at Facebook

Engineering ManagementTechnical SkillsSoftware DevelopmentCareer GrowthCareer ProgressionSkill DevelopmentLeadership RolesEngineering ManagerCompensation & Benefits

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