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What is QA Testing?: Everything you need to know about Assuring Quality in Software Testing

What is QA Testing?: Everything you need to know about Assuring Quality in Software Testing

by
Mark Bathrick
“Quality in a Service or Product is not what you put into it. It is what the Client or Customer gets out of it” - Peter Drucker

QA stands for Quality Assurance. The American Society for Quality defines the term ‘quality’ as “the totality of features and characteristics of a product or service that bear on its ability to satisfy given needs”. Thus, quality refers to the inherent attributes of an entity. Assurance, on the other hand, refers to a positive affirmation of the quality of a product or service. It helps in instilling confidence.

Combining the two, we get the idea of Quality Assurance in Software Testing. While software quality might be hard to determine as quality itself is a subjective idea. However, QA ensures that the software quality of the end product conforms to the overall and scope agreed expectations. So what is QA Testing in Software? Let us answer the question.

In this blog, we shall try to answer the question of what is QA Testing? We shall try to understand what is Quality Assurance Software Testing in terms of its historical development under different development models. In other words, seeking to understand Software Quality Assurance against its historical backdrop.

Subsequently, you shall be provided with answers to what is Manual QA Testing as well as what is QA Automation Testing. We shall also look at what is QA Process in Software Testing as well as try and understand the distinction between Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC) in Software Testing.

What is QA Testing in Software Testing?

In this section, we shall look at what is QA Testing.

Quality Assurance Software Testing is the mechanism of determining whether a software product and service meets an industry’s or company’s quality requirements or not. In other words, whether it fulfills the standards of being a high quality software or not.

It is the means for ensuring that the software product which is going to be released in the market is of the highest possible and best quality for the end users. It is an important activity which helps in affirming the quality of production in the Software Testing Life Cycle.

What is QA Testing in Software Testing?

The utility of Quality Assurance Testing lies in establishing standard procedures for guaranteeing the quality of software product and helping the software team to deliver high quality software with consistent results. These quality benchmarks are important in order to make sure that the organization achieves its desired objectives.

In trying to understand what is QA in Software Testing, it is important to note that it does not specifically refer to actual software testing in the testing process. On the contrary, it emphasizes on a process oriented approach which could help in achieving the desired output.

What is Software QA Testing: The shift from the Waterfall to the Agile model

There has been a pragmatic shift in the form and nature of QA Testing with the gradual shift in the overall development model. In the traditional conventional approach, Quality Assurance Testing was largely conducted at the later stages of the development process. This was prevalent under the Waterfall model.

The norm was that the software product was fully developed and was then passed on to the QA team who was responsible for testing the software, ensuring quality and providing feedback.

With the adoption of the Agile model which rested on the principle of shorter sprints and the need to deliver high quality products with superior software quality within short span of time; the nature of QA testing underwent a change.

Under this model, the task of the QA team was not pushed to the later stages of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). Instead, the QA team worked in liaison with the development team, right from the start and helped to introduce improvements regularly. Thus, a continuous liaison between the QA team and the development team became the new norm. Hence, assuring quality became a shared responsibility of developers, operators and QA testers alike.

 Software QA Testing under agile model

The issue of what is QA Testing under the Agile model is one wherein the QA test results are incorporated into the software development process itself. Herein, quality is the fundamental guiding principle of the Software Development Lifecycle.

In trying to understand, what is QA Testing in Software Agile Methodology; one should remember that the software team follow the norm of short development cycles. This is followed by a Quality Control (QC) and Quality Assurance (QA) testing for the new feature which was just added. The results of this phase helps in determining the viability of the next development cycle.

What is the Utility of QA Testing in Software Testing?

1. Ensures product/software quality: Quality Assurance (QA) Testing helps to ensure the highest quality of a product by finding bugs and errors before they reach the end user, reducing the chances of customer dissatisfaction.

2. Improves functionality: By testing products for functionality through functional testing, the Quality Assurance team makes sure that a product is working as expected and meeting customer requirements.

3. Ensures compliance: Quality Assurance Testing helps to ensure that products comply with relevant standards, regulations and laws.

4. Saves time: By testing for bugs early on in the development process, QA Testing can save a lot of time in the long run by preventing the need for costly bug fixes later on.

5. Saves money: Since Quality Assurance Testing helps to find any potential issues before they become major problems, it can help to save a company from incurring additional costs due to extensive bug-fixing or product recall costs down the line of the software development process.

6. Prevents security breaches: By testing all aspects of a product’s security measures, QA Testing can help to prevent security breaches that could have a negative impact on a company’s reputation.

7. Increases customer satisfaction: By ensuring quality, functionality and compliance, QA Software Testing helps to increase customer satisfaction while also reducing customer complaints and returns.

8. Facilitates continuous improvement: By keeping track of how a product is performing, Quality Assurance Testing test strategy helps companies identify areas where improvements can be made in order to create better products in the future.

9. Helps identify training needs: By software testing to make sure that users are able to successfully use a product, Quality Assurance Testing can help to identify any training needs that may be necessary in order for employees or customers to fully utilize the product.

10. Enhances user experience: By finding and fixing bugs and other issues, Software Quality Assurance Testing helps to create a better user experience which leads to increased customer loyalty. This can also help a company's products stand out from the competition.

Aspiring to become a QA Tester?, do read our blog on "How to become a QA Tester?: Let us Find out"

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What is QA Manual Testing?

Manual Testing can be conducted, depending on a wide range of conditions. Consequently, the feedback of the QA testers on the usage of the software product, happens to be invaluable. Manual testing is widely preferred in cases of Exploratory Testing, Ad hoc Testing and Usability Testing.

Quality Assurance Manual Testing is performed by highly qualified, experienced and skilled testers who use a wide range of devices and represent different end user profiles. As you seek to understand what is Manual QA Software Testing, you should remember that QA Manual Testing is best suited for evaluating the look and feel as well as the user experience (UX) of an application. This is because, such an assessment is best performed by humans alone.

What is QA Automation Testing?

QA Test Automation involves the usage of Test Automation Tools for running tests on the software that is being developed. Such kind of testing is held to be important for organizations which rely on continuous integration, relying on repetitive development, testing and deployment of software, several times in a day.

In trying to understand what is QA Test Automation, you should remember that this process of QA Testing can be carried out in two ways:

1. API Testing: Applications which do not have a Graphic User Interface (GUI), needs to be tested at the message layer and thus the Application Programming Interface (API) Testing is conducted.

2. GUI Testing: It is a form of Quality Assurance Testing which copies user experience. For instance, the testing might involve a series of keystrokes and mouse clicks in order to make sure that the program is running smoothly.

Know about the field of QA Automation in detail, do read our blog on "What is QA Automation and What is QA Automation Engineer?

What is QA Process in Software Testing?

In answering the question of what is QA process in Software Testing, you should be aware of terms like the Deming cycle, which is commonly referred to as the PDCA cycle.

Each of the letters in the term ‘PDCA’ stands for a particular phase in the Quality Assurance Testing process. This involves:

  • PLAN: This involves the establishment of process related goals within the overall QA Testing process. This means that it is important for the organization to assess which processes are important for delivering quality products.
  • DO: This is the action packed phase. You will be responsible for the creation and testing of standardized processes and accordingly introduce changes to the workflow process if they fail to meet quality standards.
  • CHECK: This is the phase of evaluation. It involves observation of QA Testing process, introduction of necessary modification as well as assessment of whether the changes introduced are relevant in meeting the targeted objectives.
  • ACT: In this stage, you will be responsible for carrying out actions which are deemed necessary for accomplishing prime improvements in the QA Testing process.

QA Process in Software Testing

What is Software QA Testing in terms of its Benefits

In this section, we shall look at the importance of Quality Assurance Testing in terms of its advantages in software development.

  • Quality Assurance (QA) Testing helps in ensuring that the quality of product being developed is of top-notched quality
  • A successful QA Testing project helps in giving a positive first impression by guaranteeing that the output is bug free
  • QA Testing ensures the execution of standard requirements and procedures. This helps in guaranteeing product quality
  • QA Testing helps in pushing overall productivity through continuous and consistent improvement. This is made possible through continuous testing, auditing, process monitoring and product assessment
  • QA is the reflection of progressive management and collaboration of the DevOps team

What is QA and QC in Software Testing?

The idea of Quality Assurance (QA) is quite closely related to that of Quality Control (QC). This often results in interchangeable use of the two terms and hence it is important to address the question of what is Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Control (QC) in Software Testing.

Before we delve into a comparative analysis between the two, let us try to understand what is Quality Control (QC), first.

Quality Control (QC)

Quality Control is the mechanism of ensuring the quality of end products and services. Unlike QA, which primarily deals with the quality of the process, Quality Control (QC) focuses on the quality of end products.

The main purpose of Quality Control (QC) is to make sure that the design of the products meets the specifications and requirements of the customers. In simple words, Quality Control is an effort to test the effectiveness of an actual product. It evaluates the software after the software development process and fixes bugs and any kinds of defects, before it is made publicly available.

Quality Assurance (QA) Quality Control (QC)
It encompasses activities which guarantee the execution of procedures, standards and processes, in the context of intended requirements It encompasses activities which guarantee the evaluation of a developed software product, in the context of documented requirements
QA emphasizes on procedures and processes instead of conducting actual testing. QC emphasizes on actual testing by assessing the software against the ultimate aim of finding any defect
It is a preventive strategy It is a corrective strategy
It is a sub-category of Software Testing Lifecycle (STLC) It is a sub-category of Quality Assurance (QA)

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Conclusion

Having gained a fair idea of what is QA and Testing, you must have understood that even though the idea of QA Testing is used conjointly, yet Quality Assurance (QA) is much more about fixing bugs and defects.

As you seek to understand what is QA Testing in Software Development, you should remember that Quality Assurance is about the establishment of overall quality standards and the guaranteeing of end user satisfaction.

The Agile model rests on the principle of bridging the gulf between the phases of Software Development and Software Testing in the Software Development Lifecycle. This has automatically propelled the demand for individuals who can write as well as test codes. These individuals are Software Development Engineers in Test.

We, at Syntax Technologies, help you develop skills in consonance with that of an SDET. Read more about our SDET Automation course.

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Author:
Mark Bathrick
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