Is a QA team actually needed?
It is a common practice in some companies to entrust software testing to developers, project managers, business analysts, and other team members. Of course, this approach is better than skipping the software testing stage at all being too confident in the genius of developers. But let’s face the obvious truth - even the best housewives constantly polishing their culinary skills cannot be compared with master chefs of
Michelin-starred restaurants. What we want to say is that quality assurance is an art in some way and to execute software testing properly it is important to have special skills, knowledge, experience, and mindset.
The thing is that a QA team not only interacts with an application imitating end-user behavior but also validates the application to make sure that it is indeed what users needs, thoroughly studies project requirements to make sure that they do not contain errors and ambiguities that can later be translated into code, checks app security and performance aspects, as well as verifies compliance with compulsory rules and regulations. All in all, the scope of the QA team’s responsibilities is so wide that no one out of it cannot even imagine how many nuances should be checked in order to deliver a product of indeed high quality.
Still, while product quality is the key advantage of having a QA team, in reality, it is not the only one.
The list of benefits includes:
- Cost-efficiency - a proper QA workflow implemented by a QA team gives an opportunity to detect bugs at the early stages of software development which helps to reduce expenses on bug fixing as it is always easier and cheaper to eliminate bugs on "hot scents".
- A sound reputation - a spotless reputation is a valuable business asset that is why it is crucial not to take a risk and make a good impression from the very beginning that is just impossible without a high quality ensured by a QA team.
- User satisfaction - happy users are your key to success, and the users can be pleased only with a thoroughly tested application that is not overloaded with bugs but on the contrary, provides a great experience.
- High return on investment - a QA team gives an opportunity to deliver an application that attracts a lot of users and keeps them engaged which results in high revenue.
We can actually add more points to this list but even those presented above are enough to give you a general idea about the importance of having a QA team.
Benefits of a Separate Test Automation Team
Test automation considerably optimizes the QA process, but not everyone can cope with this as test automation requires good coding skills. So apart from professional automated QA engineers, developers seem to be the most appropriate candidates for this mission. But is this efficient? We strongly believe that not. Everyone should do what they do best. So let’s have a look at the benefits of having a separate test automation team:
A separate test automation team is totally focused on test automation and all the related activities like building a custom automation testing framework, setting up a testing environment, writing test scripts, test script maintenance, test data generation, etc.
Automation QA engineers have specialized skills, knowledge, and background.
Developers are not able to assess their own code unbiasedly as well as the code of their colleagues. On the other hand, a separate team of automation QA engineers can provide a truly objective assessment.
Developers have their own important tasks like the implementation of new features, bug fixing, code refactoring, etc., and as a rule, they just can't afford to be slowed down by writing and maintaining test scripts.
Disadvantages of a Separate Test Automation Team
Can a separate test automation team have disadvantages?
The only one that comes to mind is that of course none can know the original code better than developers. So only they are perfectly aware of which part of automation can be affected by a new code modification.
For a QA engineer, it can take a longer time to get into the swing of things which can slow down a feedback cycle.
If a software company has ambitious plans and wants to succeed, it is worth taking the work of a QA team seriously. It is just unacceptable and shortsighted to delegate responsibilities of QA specialists, both manual and automated, to other members of your team.
The quality of your product is not what you can risk. So our advice to you is to engage QA specialists and let them do their job.
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