QA vs Testing

As someone who have been in the software testing field for over 20 years I have seen the shift in the industry with more demands for QA Engineers as opposed to Test Engineers.

This is in reflection in the industry that simply doing the testing of the software once it has been built doesn’t ensure quality in the product because by then if major bugs are found in software either at modular level, system level or system integration level, it is already too late in the development process.

In the past, QA and Testing are considered to be interchangeable terms but from my experience they are quite different and I’d like to describe what these differences are, in simple terms.

Definition of Quality Assurance

ISO9000 defines Quality Assurance as “…a part of quality management focused on providing confidence that quality requirements will be fulfilled”.

In other words, QA is concerned with laying down correct processes in procedures in the all stages of Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), from requirements gathering, user story capture and articulation, UX/UI and system designs, coding, testing and deployment,  such that quality is backed into the product and not an afterthought.

If I could make an analogy to society in general, QA is similar to Law Makers and Supreme Judges laying down the laws of the land; the code of conduct that every citizen should follow, and prevention of unruly behaviour so that the society as a whole could function well as one. Furthermore, the role of Law Makers also involve monitoring of the current laws and continuously improving the processes and procedures as circumstances change in the society.


Hopefully, I’ve explained the differences between these two terms, then it leads to ask the question, ‘Who is the custodian of quality in a development team? The answer is, of course, the Team itself, from Product Owners, Project Managers, Analysts, Designers, Developers, Testers, Systems Engineers,  etc. who are part of the team and each one is responsible to built in Quality as a feature into the product.


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