Who will handle your QA?

Mon 12 May 2014 Written by Evi

Who will handle your QA? 

 I've seen so many projects in which QA is simply ignored, usually in an effort to “save budget” or worse - due to a corporate viewpoint that says “QA isn’t necessary”. In a number of companies that I’ve worked for, and many other places throughout the industry, many believe that a software engineer is superior to a QA engineer, but I beg to differ.

 I can't stress enough how important QA is. In fact, it's more than important, it's crucial to the success of any software project. QA engineers are the gatekeepers of quality for your business. QA engineers are there to certify that what goes out to your customers and users is working precisely how the customer expects it to. 

 People often ask, “Why not just get the software engineers to do QA and skip hiring a QA engineer?” Well, that's because software engineers are trained to see the project from a micro oriented viewpoint, focusing on code tasks and features. They aren't trained to see the system as a whole. While the ability to see the system as a product composed of features - a product that is eventually there to serve a client or user might seem easy to grasp from an outside perspective, you might find it hard to believe how difficult it is for software engineers, who are just incredibly focused on their coding tasks. That’s why there’s a distinct need for a QA team to step up to the plate to ensure quality. 

 QA engineers see the system. Their job is to make sure that it's working, while not necessarily focusing any of the specific features of that system. They can compose tests for the system and then execute them. These tests will actually simulate what users will do on the system and that's the most critical issue that needs to be understood here.  As the in-house simulation of real users, correctly executed QA can prevent releases with embarrassing bugs that software engineers are likely to miss. In organizations with qualified QA teams, I’ve seen the incredible results that they deliver, over and over again. 

When you establish a good QA team, you also reduce the number of development cycles it takes to get a product launched, and thus its time reaching the market. That’s a key financial and resource planning advantage. Rather than sending out versions that have critical flaws, QA will quickly detect any bugs, before they're pushed out to the customer. This reduces the cycle times, resulting in the customer getting a more stable and effective release, which also leaves them with a good impression of the quality of work done by the engineers, and the company behind the product. 

The entrepreneurs among you who are thinking of developing a mobile app and or a web platform - I strongly suggest that you consider who handles your QA. Decide in advance who's responsibility it will be - yours?  Your in-house team? Or perhaps an external technology services company?

 It might be more expensive to use an external QA resource but I’d implore you to ignore that cost – it always works out cheaper to release quality products to your customers receive on time than it does to release buggy, flawed products late.