Thursday, March 02, 2006

QA and Testing - Debate continues ...

Further to this discussion on QA vs Testing – Michael Bolton makes a very interesting statement about what QA can do which tester can not or not empowered to do.

For myself, I don't like the term "quality assurance", and will do what I can to make sure that I'm called a tester. Unless I have authority and control over schedule, budget, staffing, product content, and product direction, I don't have the ability to assure quality in a product. I can report on it, though--and that's what a tester does, in my view.

Here is the complete Google group discussion thread on the topic
http://groups.google.com/group/comp.software.testing/browse_thread/thread/71c357a1c4d1b342

Shrini

4 comments:

Manjunath Bannur Siddappa said...

I do agree with your opinion of calling myself as software tester rather than calling quality assurer. Taking an instance in my project, our team is called QA. Our duty is to test our product, report defects, get them fixed before the release. But we rarely uncover all the defects in the product, moreover the development team rarely fixes all the defects that QA detects. At the end of the release we would be releasing the produce with a huge list of known issues list. When I am releasing the product with a huge list of known issues, what is the quality assurance i am giving to my customer.

Every time in the release we would be getting few defects from the field since the field setup is obviously be different from the test setup. So, when customer is finding defects in the field, which we cannot even simulate those defects in test test environment, I am not doing justification to the word QA, rather I would say we have done sufficient testing of the product in the test environment.

Shrini Kulkarni said...

I just reiterate what Michael said about QA/Testing - if what you do is testing and reporting health and "fit for use" for a software application and does not control, schedule, budget and feature that go into the application - you are essentially a Software tester or Test engineer.
We are software Test engineers - report on useful information about software we test and leave the decision to ship or no ship to project manager. We provide information about quality of application and DO NOT ASSURE QUALITY.

Shrini

Pradeep Soundararajan said...

I thought of writing this topic but you have hijacked it :D , jus kidding , anyhow ...

JackP said...

Indeed, its suppose to be exact difference between the QA & Tester.

The QAing of any product is not single person's(tester) responsibility, it includes the team efforts. And thats how, I guess, the term Process(es) [SQA/SEPG] were came in picture.

So, in short;
Tester(s) + Processes = QA

Regards,
JackP