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App Development
6 minutes read

What Is a QA Tester?

By Jose Gomez
By Jose Gomez
App Development
6 minutes read

If you are interested in mobile app or web app development, you might ask what is a QA tester. Quality Assurance (QA) is a critical component of modern software development. Digital products that fail to provide a high-quality User Experience will quickly be abandoned. QA testers ensure that the software being developed meets the quality standards of the organization. 

This post will explain the role of the QA tester in more detail and the benefits of QA testing. If your software development project is not utilizing QA testers, it is time to include QA testing in your project. QA testers can save your company valuable time and money. 

Understanding the Role of the QA Tester 

Quality Assurance is often erroneously conflated with quality control. While this is a natural and understandable error, this also serves to confuse people about the true role of a Quality Assurance tester. So before we take a closer look at the role of QA tester and what this position entails, let’s quickly differentiate between Quality Assurance and quality control. 

Quality control is focused on the end product. For example, if your organization is building a website, quality control would be tasked with ensuring the product works properly, finding bugs and errors, and testing the usability and other aspects of the website. Quality control is a reactive process. 

On the other hand, Quality Assurance is focused on the development process. Instead of focusing on the end product, Quality Assurance gets involved earlier in the development process to ensure that the developers are following quality standards and other organizational requirements. 

Instead of finding bugs and errors in post-development, Quality Assurance strives to prevent bugs and errors from occurring in the first place. Quality Assurance is a proactive process instead of a reactive one. 

A QA tester is responsible for ensuring that the development process follows the quality standards set forth by the organization. They accomplish this by developing test plans, auditing the development process, and working closely with developers to correct bugs and errors and improve the development process. In addition, a QA tester ensures that end users don’t see bad software. 

A QA tester might also be referred to as a QA engineer. Organizations with strong development teams typically have an entire Quality Assurance team. However, if your company is outsourcing software development, ask your project management team if they use QA testers. Quality Assurance testers are critical members of the development team and organizations that fail to include them in the development process risk producing a lackluster product. 

The Benefits of QA Testing 

QA testers play a critical role in software development. If you are unsure if you need QA testing in your development process, you must understand the benefits of Quality Assurance. The top benefits attributed to QA testing are:

  • Save money 
  • Save time 
  • Prevent breakdowns 
  • Preserve organizational reputation 

Save Money 

Errors and bugs found early in the development process are cheaper to fix than errors found later in the process. When used effectively, QA testing reduces the number of errors and bugs in the code. Actively preventing errors from being coded in the first place saves your organization a significant amount of money. 

However, financial savings are not just limited to the cost of fixing bugs and other errors. A poorly designed software product drives users away, which leads to financial loss for your organization. QA testers ensure that your product follows organizational quality standards and delivers a User Experience that attracts new users instead of driving them away. 

Save Time 

Besides money, the most valuable thing your business has is time. QA testing saves your organization significant time during the development and deployment phases of your software product life cycle. In addition, much like cost, errors found earlier in the development process are easier to fix. 

Fixing an error in the production phase of development is far more time-consuming than fixing an error in the design phase. With more time, your company and development team can focus on innovation and developing exciting features that attract users to your product. 

Prevent Breakdowns 

Trivial errors can lead to costly, time-consuming breakdowns. QA testing can help your organization avoid breakdowns. A famous example of a trivial error that ended up costing millions of dollars is NASA’s 1998 Mars orbiter. Due to a trivial error, the orbiter broke down, and NASA lost the orbiter in space. 

What was the nature of this trivial error? The Mars orbiter sent information back to Earth in standard metric units. The team at NASA proceeded to process this data as non-metric. This minor discrepancy led to a breakdown and the loss of over 100 million dollars. Of course, QA testers can catch more than trivial errors, but this example illustrates that even the smallest seeming error can have significant impacts.  

Preserve Organizational Reputation 

The reputation and brand image of your organization are critical. Poor software quality can significantly damage your brand image and reputation with the users most important to your business. QA testing is implemented to ensure product quality. As a result, QA testing can aid your business in preserving its brand image and reputation.

Bugs and other errors can lead to security breaches and other embarrassing errors that damage your brand in the eyes of consumers. Recovering from reputational damage can be difficult and time-consuming. A strong Quality Assurance team can help prevent the worst outcomes associated with software bugs and errors. 

Final Thoughts 

QA testers play an important role in the development process. Savvy businesses are bringing these professionals into the development process as early as possible to ensure that their processes are aligned with internal quality standards. If you need any help with QA testing or software development, reach out to an experienced app development partner. We hope this post has been informative and answered the question, what is a QA tester?

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