Whenever we think of jobs within the IT sector or software development, we tend to think of programmers developing mobile applications, web applications or maybe recently Artificial intelligence. The one job that no one thinks about is quality assurance tester.
So what exactly do we mean by quality assurance?
The amount of competition that exists today in the market is very high. There are multiple brands offering the same service with tiny changes here and there. In order for companies to stay at the top and survive in this technological eco-system where there are new advances every week, they need to make sure that the quality of their products is significantly better than their competitors. Their brand reputation and its brand name are just as important as the products that they’re selling from a consumers perspective since consumers are very picky these days about the quality of their product.
And then we have the introduction of the word ‘ Quality Assurance’. At first glance, it seems just like a buzzword term that companies use to trick their consumers into buying their product, like an elaborate marketing scheme, instead of an actually promised assurance. So, quality assurance in simple words is the process that checks the quality of the services and products sold to the customers, developed by organizations to ensure that the company is fulfilling its promise of providing complete satisfaction to the consumer. In the IT industry, we check the quality of the software and hardware devices that are sold. If a company has defects in any of its products like a phone or Television, then it is very bad for its reputation. For software products, we already have a quality standard which is pre-defined, so a QA tester will focus on making the software development pipeline more effective as per the standard.
Quality Assurance has many names, it is also widely known as QA testing. It also holds quite a few similarities with Software Testing but they’re two completely different things. Let us talk about the difference between software testing and Quality Assurance.
So, what’s the difference between Quality Assurance and Software Testing?
One of the main differences between Quality Assurance and Software testing is that QA is more focused on the engineering process of developing a product. Software testing, on the other hand, is the protocols that we follow after a product has finished being engineered and we want to check whether it is working properly and that there are no bugs or errors in the code. Hence, we can say that Quality Assurance is ‘process’ focused while Software Testing is ‘product’ focused. While performing Quality Assurance the practices that are involved are different than that of Software Testing, for example, the activities include testing procedures, processes and standards like audits training, while during software testing we, we perform activities to check the product- like review testing.
QA is used as a preventive measure, to improve the way products are developed so as to, have the minimum number of defects and the maximum amount of customer satisfaction. Software testing is used as a corrective measure, that is to find faults in the code and logic of the software after it has been developed. Quality Assurance is an ongoing process which starts at the beginning of production, so it is a proactive tool, while Software Testing takes place at the end of the development process, so we call it a reactive tool. Since QA deals with improving the process of developing a product, it deals with all the products that are being manufactured by a company. In Software testing, the only product concerned is the one that is being tested. Software testing can also be automated very easily by using selenium.
Now you’re serious about getting into Quality Assurance as a professional, the best way to do that is by getting yourself a Quality Assurance certification
Let us look at the top quality assurance certification
Certifications are what make us a legit employee to employers, so getting the best certification possible is imperative if you’re looking for a job as a quality assurance tester. It is also extremely important because customers treat this as a qualifying criterion while selecting a software vendor.
ISO 9000 is a standard of quality assurance that came into existence in 1987 and belongs to the system of quality management. The stakeholders of a company have invested vast amounts of money into a company and the consumers are where a company makes all its profits, so to satisfy the two of them, having an ISO 9000 certification helps ensure quality to both, the customer and the stakeholder. In order to be certified as ISO 9000, an organization undergoes an audit. During the audit, the company’s products, services, functions and processes are evaluated. The point of all this is to verify that the company is not cheating it’s customers and is following all the protocols as expected. Another reason why we do this is to see whether improvements are required in the existing processes.
Getting ISO 9000 certified will help your company increase its profits since customers will have greater trust in your products. International organizations would also be interested in your products so foreign investment, as well as trade, would improve. Have efficient processes for manufacturing a product also ensure that less waste is generated and the productivity of the employees is at a high.
In the 21st century, the consumers have evolved. Countless amounts of resources have been spent on understanding consumer beheaviour. We have tried very hard to understand why do people buy what they buy. We have finally understood a little bit about it. First thing is that consumers are feelings driven. We can see an example of this right now if we observe how consumers are beginning to shift to highly sustainable brands, from brands that abuse the environment. This also shows us the power peolpe hold in a capitalist economy if they realise it.
Due to such factors quality assurance is a huge part of any organization and being quality assurance certified will make you right for the job.