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Kanika Vatsyayan
Kanika Vatsyayan

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Software Testing & Quality Assurance: A Must Know Difference

Often thought to be the same, software testing and quality assurance are two very different terms in reality. In general language, software testing is more of an aspect of Quality Assurance services that involves a wide range of features, methods, and objectives.

However, the entire dilemma surrounding the two terms comes from the misconceptions formulated around testing and QA. On top of that, the lack of clear job descriptions and improper requirements make it difficult for testers and QA engineers to understand the difference in their roles.

In this blog, we will try to help you entail the proper meaning and difference between Quality Assurance and software testing.

Especially, when there is a difference of opinion between Quality Assurance Engineers who claim their activities are insufficient to ensure the quality of software and Testers who have to perform tasks that are more than mere testing (involving tasks like preventing defects by working in a development environment).

Learning The Basics

When it comes to the business goals surrounding digital transformation, no organization could taste success with only developers working on the product. Usually, such an approach calls for defects and errors in the end deliveries due to missing or unchecked requirements. And therefore, it became necessary for organizations to have a dedicated approach towards software testing and quality assurance.

Nevertheless, most initiatives made to drive quality into the software development lifecycle end up at manual and automated testing. Such practices often lead to error-free product development but do not allow meeting the highest quality benchmarks. Besides, testers being uninformed of the proper QA practices end up with unpleasing client feedback with the quality of end services.

To help simplify things a little, it is vital to start by learning the basic difference between Software Testing & Quality Assurance.

Software Testing: The Definition

Software testing is meant to work at testing the website, applications, or software for any defects in the code or possible concerns related to functionality, usability, compatibility, and performance within the system.

In general language, software testing ensures that the product under test should meet the acceptance criteria before the release.

Besides, software testing helps to identify existing defects within the system through different test practices that are either performed manually or through automated software testing through AI. It ensures that any problems within the system should not reach the end-user with the release and usually needs checking on all static and dynamic elements of the development lifecycle.

Quality Assurance: The Definition

Quality Assurance is all about preventing mistakes, resisting errors, and creating defect-free technology. Oriented to maintain the product integrity, Quality Assurance drives all the confidence to the testers on meeting the predefined requirements and sustaining the workflow with early error detection in the development lifecycle.

As long as it is concerned with the success of IT solutions, Quality Assurance is meant to overcome management issues related to development techniques and project analysis checklists. In simple words, Quality assurance helps to achieve long-term business goals with the right testing approach and evaluation process that compliments the development requirements.

With direct effect and impact on the development process, Quality Assurance helps with pre-designing, rich development, and quicker product releases. Thus, QA principles are more of responsibilities that are shared amongst developers, testers, and business executives when need to attain the highest benchmarks of excellence.

Software Testing & QA: The Differences

Both these practices are necessary and therefore complement each other. But most organizations prefer to outsource the QA and Software testing part, rather than creating an in-house team that works along with the IT department.

  • In simplest terms, software testing is meant to locate and fix existing issues within a product while QA is all about preventing any issues or defects in the first place.

  • QA is meant to ensure that design meets the defined expectations while testing aims at detecting points of failure. This is why testing aims at product orientation and required corrective actions.

  • On the contrary, Quality Assurance works at leveling up the quality of the project as well as development practices to yield quality in business operations throughout.

  • QA helps the organization to control the test process and ensure the software should perform well under all defined conditions. On the contrary, testing is restricted to developing case studies, implementing test suites, and evaluating the results.

  • Quality assurance is more about optimizing the process for quality and not just establishing quality for a single product.

Aligning QA With Software Testing: Learning The Challenges

At times, business organizations are concerned with the risks of extending the team to work on QA and Software testing simultaneously since the process could turn out to be expensive.

Also, the fear of making investment to hire QA testers and other experts for products that are not so competitive even makes the organization fall short on such initiatives.

On top of that, it is difficult to find someone who is familiar with all stages of product development for a product that has reached its highest stage of delivery as it needs extensive efforts to competently assess the effectiveness of such projects.

It is often assumed that testers working on a project from the beginning could work on the quality assurance duties due to their familiarity with all the aspects of the product and the overall business logic.

Such practices often cause a situation of conflict between testing and QA goals as most of the time testers are limited to pinpointing and fixing issues, while not tracing the errors with the manufacturing process.

The Crux

All in all, Quality Assurance is a sophisticated approach to management that helps attain quality objectives through highly-defined policies, tools, techniques, and standards. Testing on the other hand can be called the part of a well-integrated quality assurance strategy that is proactive.

No matter how cautious efforts are made to test software, mistakes are infallible. But at times, these mistakes could turn to be expensive, and finding errors at the earliest stages is always beneficial for the business goodwill.

And therefore, the effectiveness of the QA measures can only be tracked through manual testing signaling the interdependency between the two approaches.

As the end goal of releasing software to market is achieving long-term success, it is vital to assume that any work done is likely to contain defects that must be corrected at their earliest. The only way to leverage such performance and develop business resilience is by combining Software testing & QA for best outcomes.

As the end goal of releasing software to market is achieving long-term success, it is vital to assume that any work done is likely to contain defects that must be corrected at their earliest. The only way to leverage such performance and developing business resilience goals is by combining Quality Assurance and Software testing for best outcomes.

Top comments (2)

lewisblakeney profile image

Great article! I am a professional in the field of quality assurance services, and this was an incredibly insightful read. I've been in the industry for a few years now, and the information provided here is spot on. It's important for businesses to understand the differences between software testing and quality assurance, and this article does a great job of explaining that. Thanks for the great read!

munishgarg profile image
Munish Garg