Day in the life of a SQA Engineer working on mission-critical software...


Usha Arugonda

SQA Engineer at APD Communications

Have you ever wondered what it’s like to create mission-critical software for emergency control rooms? We take you behind the scenes to meet Usha Arugonda, one of our talented SQA Engineers to find out just that.

What brought you to this career choice as SQA Engineer?

A Software Quality Assurance (SQA) Engineer is a specalised type of engineer - we monitor every phase of the software development process so as to ensure design quality, making sure that the software adheres to our high standards. We make sure that new products work before they are released to our customers.

I chose this career because I love a challenge. It may sound strange, but I like to break things - in a positive way - as it enables us to deliver the very best software. As an SQA Engineer, you never have the same day twice - meaning it’s never boring!

What does your role as SQA Engineer at APD involve on a day-to-day basis?

My day here starts with a daily scrum meeting, bringing everyone together to share the current work priorities. Each SQA Engineer will take ownership for a testing task, and we’ll then have a brief discussion about what was completed yesterday.

I will then gather all the information I need to undertake and complete my task - this will include researching its background including related cases and product backlog items - which is the way we record our development and testing priorities.

Next, I’ll begin writing the test conditions and test cases for the tasks - this allows me to clearly define what I’m testing and why, which results in the best outcomes after the test has been completed.

After this, I’ll run the test. This will result in me either passing the task if it works as expected, or failing the task if it does not. In this case, I will record that this is a defect and report it - this involves assigning it back to the development team with proper proofs.

When the task is ready to be re-tested, I repeat the process until it passes the test.

An important part of my job is documenting the tasks I’m completing - this enables us to refer to previous cases. I also work closely with the development team to ensure that our software is world-class - this is so important, especially given that it is mission-critical in supporting our customers across the emergency services.

What do you like best about your job?

I like being involved in the creation of software, finding defects and solving them. As a SQA Engineer, I’m an expert tester and this allows me to practice my instinct for attention to detail and problem-solving. What I like the most is that this role constantly gives me the challenging and learning experiences I thrive on - every day.

How does it make you feel knowing that your work supports critical and emergency control rooms?

I am very proud of the work I do here at APD. Being part of making software that the emergency services use makes me feel like I am helping others and making a positive difference in the world. There is nothing more gratifying than helping other people.

Simply it makes me feel like in some small way I am helping people by helping those in the control rooms do their jobs, saving and protecting everyone in our communities. They’re very much #UnsungHeroes and I’m proud to support them in that.

Find out more

If you’d like to work with us or find out more about our control room solutions, just get in touch at You can also call us on 01482 808300 or connect with us on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.