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What is Quality assurance?

What is Quality Assurance, and why is it important?

Quality assurance is the process of managing the quality of the software throughout the development process. It is undeniably the most important step within an organization’s development process. Not only does it help to prevent mistakes and defects to the software being developed, it also ensures that customers receive the highest quality products, services and solutions. In short, quality assurance ensures accuracy and is the deciding factor for your product launch.

Quality Assurance vs. Quality Control

Although quality assurance, quality control and software testing services are sometimes used interchangeably, they are different. Quality assurance focuses on preventative activities, while quality assurance focuses on corrective actions. Quality control is a subset of quality assurance, while software testing is a subset of quality control.

  • Quality assurance is the procedure of examining the software development process to prevent possible defects and ensure the quality of products, services and solutions. Quality assurance is process oriented, meaning that it focuses on processes and procedures rather than conducting actual testing on the system. Process definition, process implementation, and audits are examples of quality assurance.
  • Quality control is the procedure of examining products, services or solutions to find defects and ensure quality of the end product. Other than quality assurance, it does not deal with the processes used to create a product, service or solution. It focuses on actual testing by executing the software with the aim to identify defects. Quality control is product oriented. Software testing, technical reviews, and code inspections are three examples of quality control. Quality control is a subset of quality assurance.
  • Software testing is the procedure of testing products, services or solutions before the software will be released. Other than quality control, software testing is a preventive process rather than a corrective process. Performance testing, security testing, usability testing are some of the examples of software testing. Software testing is a subset of quality control.
Quality assurance (QA) Quality Control
Software Testing
Purpose Examines the software development process. Examines the software to ensure it meets all requirements. Testing software to detect and solve any errors in source code or design.
Focus Process oriented Product oriented Product oriented
Approach Prevention Verification Detection
Timing Throughout the software’s development  process Before the release of the software At the testing stage, or along with the software’s development process
Subset - Subset of QA Subset of QC

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Quality Assurance Job Description

While there are various different roles in quality assurance, the ultimate goal is always the same. The quality assurance team is responsible for the development and implementation of inspection activities, as well as the detection and resolution of possible problems. Ultimately the team is responsible for the delivery of satisfactory outcomes.

  • Software quality assurance managers are responsible for planning, directing and coordinating the quality assurance programs and formulating quality control policies. They ensure that software meets certain thresholds of acceptability.
  • Software quality assurance engineers are responsible for monitoring every phase of the software development process to ensure that the software adheres to the set requirements. They are also involved in planning and implementing strategies for quality management and testing.
  • Software quality assurance specialists are responsible for conducting audits and drafting quality standards. They actively advise management on matters such as adjusting the strategy or improving business processes and evaluate employee performances.
  • Software quality assurance testers, also known as software quality assurance analysts, are responsible for testing the developed software with an intent to find whether the product, service, or solution meets all requirements. They ensure that the software functions properly and is free of defects before release.

> If you would like to learn more about quality assurance, read ‘What is quality assurance and why is it good for business?

If you're looking for a nearshore quality assurance service or a technical staff augmentation service, Pixel506 can help. We are located in Costa Rica but also have Pixelians based in Peru, Nicaragua, and Colombia. Contact us today to see how we can help―we look forward to getting to know you and your business over a digital cup of coffee.

Key takeaways

  • Quality assurance (QA) is the practice of monitoring the engineering processes and methods used in software development with the aim of improving and optimizing software quality before release.
  • QA is essential for businesses because it plays a key role in accomplishing the expectations and demands of customers. QA ensures proper quality of software before release.
  • Quality assurance, quality control, and software testing have different definitions. Quality assurance focuses only on the process while quality control focuses on the product. Software testing is a preventive process, while quality control is a corrective process. Quality control is a subset of quality assurance, and software testing is a subset of quality control.
  • While there are various roles in quality assurance, the QA team is responsible for the development and implementation of inspection activities, the detection and resolution of possible problems, and the delivery of satisfactory outcomes

About Pixel506

Pixel506 is a digital marketing agency that develops and designs web, mobile and desktop solutions. Our experts offer business consulting for clients in a wide range of industries. If you want to implement an effective and efficient quality assurance process, we can help you develop a clear-cut plan to meet your goals. You can contact us without any obligations ― we’d like to hear from you and see if we can help you grow your business. 

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