Working in an area other than IT, it is difficult to imagine what quality assurance experts do. However, even those directly involved in the software development process are often mistaken. People often do not understand the complexity of the product quality assurance process, and often underestimate the effort required for the process.
Surprisingly, even an advanced software engineer well versed in his subject area may not know how to properly test the software he coded. Therefore, most people would agree that quality assurance is an important part of the software development process.
In this article, we will dispel popular myths related to work of the QA specialist. There are many misconceptions, but these are the most widespread ones.
It Is a Mind-Numbing Job
One popular myth about software quality assurance is that it is boring and monotonous: the QA engineer being like a worker standing in an assembly line. Many people believe that testing simply involves randomly clicking different places on the user interface, recording the results, and compiling a report.
In reality, a QA specialist has to solve many interesting and non-typical tasks every day. The tester’s objective is to ensure that users will get a quality product. To do so, testers set up experiments, constantly communicate with the development team, analyze app requirements, and offer their own ideas.
Anyone Can Do It
That is true! Almost anyone can start working as a QA engineer. However, only genuinely motivated and attentive people are capable of developing and building a career.
Testing is a time-consuming process requiring attention, responsibility, deep knowledge of the product, and an understanding of user experience. This task is often harder than writing code.
Quality Assurance specialists are often underestimated mainly by people who do not understand the whole value of their job.
A QA Specialist Is a Bad Software Developer
It is widely thought that QA vacancies are offered to people who failed to find a job as a software developer, or who lack the knowledge to become a software developer.
This is inaccurate. A developer and a tester are different occupations, involving people with different mindsets and views of life. However, they complement each other: each possesses valuable qualities, and plays a key part in the project.
One Can Fix All the System Errors
Software development follows one indisputable law: all products contain errors. You cannot eliminate all the errors in the system, but you can reduce them down to an acceptable level.
Even if your product has many errors, this does not mean that the software is bad. It just means that your product is not ready for release.
Testing should be automated
It is assumed that when system performance is tested automatically, the testing time can be reduced and there is no need to perform daily monotonous operations. However, at the moment, it is impossible to achieve 100% automated testing. Research testing aimed at a detailed study of the product can be conducted entirely by a QA professional.
Developers try to solve too many problems, resorting to automated testing. However, it is not always worth it since human testers can perform some tasks better. A hybrid approach is more feasible.
Testing Delays the Release
Yes, the testing process can resemble a bottleneck because the error report triggers a correction process, following which the product is sent for retesting. This means that the product is not delivered to the customer in time, giving the impression that the release is extremely delayed.
However, this issue can be avoided if attention is paid to quality at all stages of the project life cycle, not just before its completion. When the test cycle is pre-planned, it will not cause any delays for the project.
Quality Assurance Is Too Expensive
It may seem that QA is too expensive, or that your project is too small to worry about QA.
It’s true that the QA procedure takes time, and requires experienced professionals. However, only inexperienced developers would cut corners on software testing. Anyone who has ever seen a project being caught in an endless cycle of writing out and correcting errors will never skip quality assurance.
Cutting out quality assurance is like trying to fill a leaky bucket: you will constantly pour resources into a project to get rid of errors which could have been discovered and corrected as early as the design stage.
When you skimp on QA, you will ultimately reduce profitability, and that will lead to audience losses, preventing your company’s development and damaging your business reputation.
Quality Assurance is not a luxury, but a necessity when working in a competitive market. The purpose of QA is to find and eliminate flaws hampering the project, so that you can create a quality product to fully meet customer and end user expectations.
I hope I have successfully dispelled some of the myths about QA in software development, and that you now fully understand QA work and why it is important.