The short answer to this question is that a QA lead is responsible for ensuring that everything works properly in his/her QA team.
What do we mean by “everything”? We’ll try to talk about this further.
A planning process and control. For example, when a test group needs to execute numerous tests and has a limited time to do this, it’s a QA lead who should analyze a planning process and distribute the tasks between his/her subordinates evenly.
Be able to build the architecture of testing processes properly. Sometimes architecture doesn’t allow to cover software with tests completely due to big connections between its parts.
And a QA lead should build these connections properly, by making final decisions.
Work at the stage of software development and be able to interact with low-level tests. Any testing tool helps testers and developers work easier and more efficiently.
“Elite” tests should be displayed on the good basis of cheaper tests.
For example, exploratory testing will be very expensive if you don’t use unit tests since it will catch numerous bugs. And here a QA lead should come in handy.
Development and testing of infrastructure for new services. Infrastructure as software code doesn’t differ from any other software code and should be covered with tests and be tested completely in a non-functional way.
And this is the primary task of a QA lead.
Development of test environments. It’s a very difficult technical task that needs the development of convenient test environments, to deploy and test various versions of software.
Separately worth noting the following tasks that are connected with the everyday work of a typical QA lead:
- Non-functional tests and then – automation;
- “Canary” releases and a process of analyzing the bugs that have been missed before an official release;
- Making releases to production;
- Monitoring each feature and system components;
- Analyzing unexpected situations;
- Health monitoring.
A QA lead in a product company is mostly someone who has a system mindset and who is able to measure a current state of software from each perspective, establish a strategy of future testing, and implement it.
A QA lead is a worker who should check everything: a process of test planning, working with releases, analyzing unexpected situations, having a possibility to rapidly and thoroughly highlight software issues directly in production.