Software testing and quality assurance are often confused because both involve ensuring the quality of the finished product. At first glance, it may seem that quality assurance and software testing are essentially the same since they both focus on ensuring your product works and meets expectations.
However, these two disciplines are very different in the approach, methodology, and responsibilities of those involved in each practice.
The following table illustrates more critical details on software testing vs. quality assurance.
Let us study the two processes in detail to analyze the differences between software testing and quality assurance.
What is Software Testing?
Software testing is about verifying if the software meets the requirements set forth by the client or customer. It’s also about making sure that the software is stable and usable.
In software testing, businesses evaluate and verify software to determine if it is performing as it should. By passing software tests, companies can better understand the risks associated with software implementation.
It is designed to detect defects by determining how accurate the software is based on a specific hypothesis. The testing process detects software failures to find faults. During software testing, you can reduce development costs; bugs can be prevented, leading to better performance.
Software Testing Methods
There are different types of software testing, each with its advantages and disadvantages. The most common software testing services include unit testing, integration testing, system testing, and acceptance testing.
Unit testing is testing individual software components to ensure they work as expected. Integration testing verifies that features work together as intended. System testing assesses the end-to-end functionality of a system. Acceptance testing determines whether a plan meets the user’s needs.
Let’s explore these methods in detail:
It involves executing a specific set of steps or inputs to check for an expected result. If there is no change in the output from what was expected, then the test has passed. If not, it fails, and this becomes part of the report, which can be included when requesting changes or fixes from developers or maintainers of the code being tested.
Unlike unit testing, integration tests need some additional environment. For example, if we want to test two modules simultaneously, we will need some prerequisites. Both modules should be integrated into the same running environment, such as the operating system kernel or Java Virtual Machine (JVM).
Its primary objective is to check whether the application functions as expected. It is often conducted on beta versions of software or after significant changes have been made to the core product, just before releasing it in the public domain.
It focuses more on how the customer feels about using the app. You could also call it customer experience or UI testing because you’re essentially checking how easy it is for customers to use your app and navigate through screens without errors or bugs cropping up.
It evaluates the speed and efficiency of a program by identifying bottlenecks in the program. For instance, when someone tries to open a web page but cannot do so due to a slow internet connection, it may take several minutes for pages to load instead of seconds or milliseconds. Some techniques include stress testing, performance profiling, benchmarking, etc.
Involves comparing new updates against previous ones to find possible regressions (errors introduced by new code). Even though it can be tedious and time-consuming, regressions are among the hardest to find and fix, so preventing them saves lots of money!
This testing is usually performed in the final stages of the development cycle. This testing mainly ensures the final product is free from defects and issues. Since this testing is usually executed near the end, it’s costly to implement since fixing a single bug or defect can cost thousands of dollars.
What is Quality Assurance?
This process ensures that appropriate processes and procedures are followed during software development so that the product or service delivered will be of the highest quality. It is a proactive approach that prevents any potential bugs from occurring. The entire project team must participate in quality assurance, a component of the software development lifecycle (SDLC). The quality assurance process enhances the project team’s productivity by specifying quality standards and the software development process.
In short, QA refers to the whole process of ensuring a quality product, while testing focuses on finding bugs within an existing one. While both terms are sometimes used interchangeably, there are differences between software testing and quality assurance in terms of purposes. One goal of QA is to find bugs before they happen as part of prevention efforts; meanwhile, testing looks for them after they occur to fix them.
Standard Quality Assurance Methods
QA methods vary, but there are three main approaches: process-oriented, risk-based, and business process-based. All three of these approaches help ensure that the end product meets customer needs while reducing the likelihood of bugs or errors during the development cycle.
The method you choose will depend on your unique project requirements, but all three have proven effective for both large enterprises and small startups alike.
- Process-oriented: In this approach, QA is integrated into every stage of the software development process.
- Risk-based: This approach focuses on identifying and addressing risks early in development.
- Business process-based: As the name suggests, this approach ties QA directly to your business processes.
QA testing methods include the following processes:
Mobile Testing: Quality assurance testing on mobile devices is a recent addition to the industry. There are two basic types of mobile application tests – functional and non-functional. Functional tests use a script to automatically click through an app, ensuring it works as expected. Non-functional tests evaluate how well an app performs under certain conditions, such as data speeds or network coverage, using benchmarks, and test cases are written specifically for those environments.
Mobile testing also checks the software impact on the device battery, Wi-Fi signal strength, signal strength within buildings, cellular service performance, different carrier networks performance, roaming status, and connection speed.
Regression Testing: It mainly involves comparing the older version of the software with its newer version to ensure that the coder’s team introduced no bugs during the update process.
UA Testing: UI design and usability testing can be incorporated into this phase to ensure that customers find the interface attractive and easy to navigate.
Security Testing: Ensuring that nothing malicious enters your system is vital for keeping data safe.
End-to-End Testing: Once everything has been put together, you can do one final round of testing across the entire system from start to finish.
By now, you must have understood the differences between software testing and quality assurance. While testing and quality assurance focus on improving product quality, they differ in their approaches.
Quality assurance focuses on delivering a defect-free product by utilizing checklists to ensure that processes run smoothly. On the other hand, testing is concerned with ensuring that defects do not slip into products while they’re being developed.
Overall, Quality assurance outsourcing involves both the process of conducting tests and following up on the results of these tests. It also involves making sure all defects are reported in an orderly manner and addressed appropriately. In contrast, software testing outsources only tasks related to analyzing how the product reacts under specific conditions and follows up accordingly.