The exact responsibilities of a software quality analyst can vary somewhat, depending on the type of work he or she is doing and the way in which the company the analyst works for defines his or her position. In general, however, this analyst is responsible for overseeing and participating in testing of new software in development in an effort to find errors or bugs. This process can be done in a number of ways, including manual testing and the use of special software to perform tests on the new program, which is typically handled by a software quality analyst.
A software quality analyst may also be referred to as a quality assurance analyst or a software quality assurance technician. The way in which software testing is performed can vary quite a bit from one software developer to another. In one environment, the software quality analyst may work directly with the new software that has been developed, looking for bugs and errors and determining the ways in which those errors occur. An analyst in this capacity typically uses the software in both normal and unusual ways, trying to find and replicate errors to provide extensive documentation and reports to the programmers.
At other companies, however, a software quality analyst might not work directly with the software in question, but instead provides a program that runs the necessary tests. In this type of environment, the analyst looks at the software that needs to be tested, and either creates a new program to run the tests or uses an established testing program. The software quality analyst then runs the program with the developed software to find errors and bugs in numerous ways. Information provided by this testing is then used by the analyst to produce reports and documentation to provide the programmers with information about the errors encountered.
There may also be environments in which the software quality analyst is not directly responsible for testing or running testing software, but instead acts as a mediator between testers and programmers. In this type of position, the analyst is likely to work as a team manager for testers trying to find errors or bugs in the software. As reports are prepared by testers, they are given to the software quality analyst who then processes the reports. Information from the analyst is then given to the programmers, often in a way that has been streamlined or otherwise made more directly useful for the programmers, either through additional documentation or with regard to the importance of a bug that was found.