What is QA in Software Testing?

The Role of QA in Software Testing

When software is designed, distributed and deployed, the hope is that it works correctly without issue. But, as we all know, that is often not the case. How many times have you been working on something only to discover a software bug or other problem? Or been working in software that is difficult to use, does not do everything you need it to do, or is inefficient to use. Probably at least a few times. A software defect is not just a bug, it could be any problem that impacts the end-user experience. That is where software testing and quality assurance come in. The way to minimize defects and maximize end-user experience is with quality assurance in software testing.

How Do Quality Assurance and Software Testing Work Together?

To assure quality in any product, it may need multiple rounds of testing. It needs to be tested in different ways, with different users and different scenarios to truly feel confident that the software you are distributing will provide end-users a quality experience. There is a difference between testing and assurance. Software testing identifies problems. Part of quality assurance is finding a solution to the problem and implementing it. But, there is more to it than that.

Quality Assurance as More than Fixing Software Defects

Beyond simply fixing apparent (or hidden) problems, quality assurance works with defined metrics of ‘quality’ to ensure that they are met in the software. What needs to happen for your end-user to have a ‘quality’ experience? These metrics must be clearly defined so that the quality assurance process can receive the information from software testing and determine what changes need to be made. The internal quality of the software (the code) must be honed to the ideal quality so that the external quality (the end-user experience) can be optimized.

While fixing software defects is incredibly important, it is important to remember that software testing and quality assurance is a two-sided coin. In addition to managing and eliminating defects, it is important to determine what ‘quality attributes’ should be in place. Because really, anything that does not meet the needs of the end-user could be determined a ‘defect.’

Testing provides the information but QA is the process of actually implementing the changes to assure that the end-user actually experienced quality software.Quality assurance and software testing are both good, but they are far better when they work in unison to produce an outstanding software product.

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