Common Myths about Quality Assurance and Testing

David Tzemach

Posted On: October 11, 2022

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Read time11 Min Read

I’ve worked in the Quality Assurance sector for almost two decades. Over the years, I’ve discovered that many professionals in the business world, even decision-makers, don’t fully grasp the nature, potential, and significance of Quality Engineering. One of my mentors, whom I adore, once told me, “Quality is not simply QA’s obligation; everyone—from development engineers to technical architects to product managers—must share the responsibility.” To be effective in a QA position, you must know the proper quantity of information from everyone and always ask questions.” I took my mentor’s advice to life. Since then, I’ve begun to express my worries, even if it’s a technical architecture for developers’ design discussion.

Common Myths about Quality Assurance and Testing

In this blog, we will debunk some common myths about the work of QA specialists. There are other myths, but these are the most common.

QA will not understand this because they are not technical

QA is familiar with technological architecture. To execute the tests, QA must comprehend the program specification papers. Finding flaws or failing a test is only one aspect of testing. If QA can’t think critically, the quality of the final product will decrease. Please reconsider your statement that QA is not technical, developers, product managers, and technical architects. At the very end of the product development cycle, QA performs the most time-intensive activities of confirming the product quality and facilitating communication with other technical staff. Without being technical? This is not possible.

Anyone Can Do It

In the software development industry, there is a general idea that, given a properly comprehensive test plan, anybody can execute it and conduct competent test work. A test plan based on binary test cases, where each test has a simple yes or no consequence, may often be done by untrained or low-skilled testers. Such a test plan would be extensive, costly to establish, and would require ongoing maintenance as new features and fixes were introduced to the system.

The majority of software developers consider themselves to be creative. They want to be able to create something valuable out of lines of software code. As a result, the development side of software development has looked down on the testing side, thus the disparaging epithet ‘tester’ versus ‘software engineer.’ In reality, software engineers with a quality mindset are some of the most important assets in any tech company. These are the folks who can see what can go wrong in a design as clearly as they see the procedure for making it go correctly. A software quality engineer who understands the code, its objectives, design, and potential problems are vital.

A QA Engineer Is a Poor Software Developer

It is often assumed that QA positions are provided to those who have been unable to obtain work as software developers or who lack the necessary experience. This is incorrect. A developer and a tester are two separate jobs that need people with different attitudes and perspectives on life. They do, however, complement each other: each has great features and plays an important role in the project.

QA Raises Critical/Show Stopper Bugs at the End Whenever Possible

This comment is typically made by top-level management. Product development often has a deadline and a release date. QA can’t begin testing until the development team has enabled product functionality and features. QA engineers must test the new features as well as do regression testing, integration, and performance testing. In the waterfall model, companies usually have QA entrance and exit criteria. The period of testing is fixed. On the code freeze date, all development efforts should come to a halt. However, developers continue to push back the code freeze date as they finish up check-ins, last and small corrections, and so on. Because the release date is fixed, testing time is always impacted. Furthermore, with the Agile approach, QAs notice this issue in most Sprints. Testing time is frequently decreased when developers work to resolve unit test concerns. The QA crew arrives late and does integration testing with the most recent code. Hidden issues that are not revealed during ad hoc or modular functional testing can only be discovered during an integration test. These major show-stopping concerns are always detected after the process, closer to the release date.

No coding was required for QA

Many of us believe that quality assurance testing does not necessitate advanced coding skills. However, keep in mind that this is a misconception. You must be familiar with coding to write complicated SQL queries, test data sequences, translate codes to databases, scripts for automatic testing, and other topics. You can only write testing sequences and scripts if you are familiar with high-level coding.

Testing should be automated

Although automated testing might boost the total testing effort, it does not mean that manual testing is obsolete. A mix of human and automated testing is the most effective way to achieve effective testing. Automated tests reduce the need for certain repetitious manual testing; however, they often use the same set of inputs for each scenario. A piece of software that has regularly passed a good set of automated tests may not fare so well when subjected to the more random and unexpected inputs of manual tests conducted. An experienced quality assurance professional’s experienced eye will provide a more comprehensive inspection than an automated script. It might also be difficult to select acceptable types of dependable automated testing in the early phases of a project or for new features. Most work is in flux initially, and it can be difficult to determine when it is optimal to start adding in test automation. Some software systems have a relative shortage of test frameworks, which might cause a reduction in automation.

Quality Assurance Is Too Expensive

QA can be too expensive, or your project is too modest to justify QA. True, the QA technique takes time and requires qualified personnel. However, only novice engineers would make shortcuts in software testing. Anyone who has witnessed a project gets stuck in an unending loop of writing out and fixing errors and will never neglect quality assurance.

Eliminating quality assurance is like attempting to fill a leaky bucket: you will repeatedly be pouring resources into a project to get rid of problems that might have been found and addressed as early as the design stage. When you try to save money on QA, you will eventually lose revenue, which will lead to customer losses, hindering your company’s development and hurting your corporate brand.

Unit tests are sufficient

Those who believe unit tests are sufficient frequently provide software with user-interface problems or issues brought on by several components that don’t function properly together. Though it may seem straightforward, unit tests test the units. This kind of testing makes it hard to evaluate the user interface’s usability or responsiveness as well as the end-to-end flow of an application operation.

The capacity to spot gaps in potential assumptions made by others is the largest advantage of a committed, knowledgeable QA or tester. Asking, “What will happen if I hit the large red button that reads, “Don’t Push This Button,” is an element of the tester mindset. People who lack the tester mindset are less likely to think about testing the system’s usability or intuitive flow.

Tester and QA are the same

Let’s just say that you should rethink your viewpoint if you believe that “tester” and “QA” relate to the same job title or are just synonyms for the same type of work. A testing activity is one. Testing may essentially be done by anybody. In contrast to QA, which uses strategic testing and entails preparing how and what to test, testing frequently only involves utilizing a product or service. A tester’s job is to test software as it is being developed to find defects and report them, whereas a QA is responsible for carrying out several tasks to guarantee the quality of software at all stages.

Only the Quality assurance team needs to be involved in testing

A quality assurance team is accommodating since they are concerned about product quality and thoroughly grasp what to look for while testing a system. Quality assurance, on the other hand, should be the responsibility of everyone. Entrusting quality assurance to a separate team of testers might be risky since it reinforces the notion that only an expert can do software testing. It also suggests a consistent development approach based on functional silos, in which business analysts formulate requirements, technical architects design solutions, developers produce code, and quality assurance tests the finished product.

Software Testing Adds No Value

Quality comes at a price. Development is a source of profit. This has become a given in the realm of business accounting. As a result, justifying quality expenditures on tools, training, and so on is considerably more challenging than it is for development. This belief that quality does not add value stems from a failure to recognize that a lack of product quality results in a considerable loss of product income. The development of code development may be compared to the production of raw materials and the assembly of a quality product with the finishing touches. With the development of app stores, where a product’s success or failure is determined by changing user ratings, product quality has never been more important or deserving of investment.

Testing is boring and monotonous

One common misconception about software quality assurance is that it is tedious and monotonous, with the QA engineer resembling a worker on an assembly line. Many people assume that testing just entails clicking in random locations on the user interface, documenting the results, and generating a report. Every day, a QA engineer must tackle a variety of unique and unusual problems. The tester’s goal is to guarantee that users receive a high-quality product. To do this, testers conduct trials, maintain continual communication with the development team, assess app requirements, and provide their ideas.

The more testing is done the better it is

Many projects strive for 100% system test coverage. This is possible but seldom realized since coverage tends to reduce in response to shifting development schedules. Decisions on which areas to test are typically decided on the fly rather than using a more methodical technique to identify priority. Priority selections should take the risk and economic imperatives into account so that the areas with the greatest potential effect receive the most treatment. This risk-based strategy implies that comprehensive test coverage is impractical, but it does allow for better-informed judgments about the most specific areas to focus on.

Quality assurance might be deferred until the very end

A lot of projects are organized in such a way that testing may be completed after development. This may appear sensible because it allows you to test the entire system through several quality assurance cycles and fix the entire system’s integrity. The idea is that as the project progresses, the time allotted for these quality assurance cycles shrinks. Unavoidable delays might cause the final phases of development to be hurried. It’s simple to cut quality assurance costs if you have to pick between a testing cycle and the option to add a new feature. With such a flawed approach to testing, most, if not all, defects can be permitted to fester in the system until the project’s final stages. It is usually less expensive to address problems early in the development cycle than to stabilize the final system with deep-seated bugs; moreover, the developer will have to update the code in his head.

Performance testing should be carried out in a production environment

Performance testing is frequently performed towards the conclusion of a development plan as a series of load tests. This method assists in identifying the points at which a system fails rather than ensuring an acceptable level of overall system performance. At this point, it is not too late to remedy serious performance issues, but it is costly and time-consuming. For this reason, performance testing should be integrated into the development life cycle. Use code profiler tools to look for bottlenecks in your code that might come back to bite you. Define performance criteria and utilize prototypes to assess architectural decisions during the design process. First and foremost, rather than leaving it to the “big bang” of crush testing, regularly plan and evaluate system performance throughout the development stage.

Conclusion

When working in a competitive market, quality assurance is not a luxury, but a requirement. The goal of QA is to identify and eradicate problems that are impeding the project so that you may generate a quality product that meets all customer and end-user requirements. I hope I was able to clarify some of the misunderstandings surrounding QA in software development, and that you now fully understand what QA is and why it is necessary.

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David Tzemach

The founder and owner of the Agile Quality Made Easy blog (25K followers). A platform that he uses for teaching and coaching others, sharing knowledge with people, and guiding them towards success while giving them the inspiration and tools to discover their own path.

Blogs: 55



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