Tuesday, December 27, 2005

QA!= Testing : Mother of all testing related debates is here ....

Whatever is QA, It is not testing – Cem Kaner
Do you want any better and authentic source of opinion on this topic? May be not. It is the time to open the eyes. Let us face, Testing has grown big enough to be separated from its Big brother QA. My sole aim of writing this post to educate the mass about the misconception caused by using wrong terminologies at all places.

My versions of differences:

QA: An entity that observes the activities of software engineering (while being performed or at the end of some logical milestone) and verifies that all documented or know rules and procedures are adhered. This entity does not “Touch” the work product being produced. It watches the process.

Test: Something that gets hands dirty, works with the product, uses it, abuses it, checks all relevant documents etc. Something that is similar to the development team that produced the work product – by from an evaluation angle.

These definitions are my versions and I have attempted in my best abilities to represent the mass opinion about these terms. I could be wrong … I am ready for a debate.

Problems of using QA word for testing:

Testing can not assure quality. “Testing” only measures or attempts to measure it. Quality has to be built from the beginning not to be tested later.
Assuring Quality is everybody’s (in the team) responsibility. How only testing team can be entrusted with that job? In true sense, it is management that is the real QA.
If it is strongly believed that Testing is responsible for ensuring the quality – then others can say – it is testing teams to job to ensure quality not ours.
Sets up wrong expectations about the role of testing.

Notable posts that discuss this topic




Anonymous said...

Hey Shrini,

I alwasy used to thouyght if testing really comes under QA.. your views gave my thooughts a direction...


Anonymous said...

What do you think about this definition of Quality: Achieving the target (not conformance to requirements as used by many authors) & minimizing the variability of the system under test.
see www.geocities.com/xtremetesting ->
testing dictionary

Raj Narayanan said...

"Software Testing" for that matter any "Testing" discipline is the Quality Control activity. Quality Assurance is a terminology having broader view wrongly used of late by many.
Quality Assurance is "Doing Right Things"; Quality Control is "Doing Things Right".
QA activities ensure that the process is defined and appropriate. Methodology and standards development are examples of QA activities. A QA review would focus on the process elements of a project - e.g., are requirements being defined at the proper level of detail. In contrast, QC activities focus on finding defects in specific deliverables - e.g., are the defined requirements the right requirements. Testing is one example of a QC activity, but there are others such as inspections. Both QA and QC activities are generally required for successful software development.