Why you need fantastic QAs on your dev team



Woman with a computer working at home

While new technologies keep emerging in the IT business, Quality Assurance is one of those roles that have to be able to keep up with change and not fall behind. With all of the advances in artificial intelligence, it’s not uncommon to hear that testing can be automated — but this is a myth.

People tend to assume that the role of the traditional tester will somehow become obsolete and go away — whether it’s because of test driven development, the increase in coverage with unit testing, or simply that it will be replaced by fancy apps that are able to do everything that testers do — faster and more efficiently.

Gladly for us QAs, that’s just not the case. TDD requires a lot of time and effort up front, which can make development feel slow to begin with (there’s no time to lose!) Unit tests do not ensure that all the errors will be detected, since every module is tested separately, and in later stages, different integration bugs may appear. Automation tools can only be used correctly if they have smart and proficient testers behind them.

So, why shouldn’t we move to developer-based testing? Why should we keep allocation for a quality analyst when a product is working just fine and always has been? Well, many businesses find that when they do make that choice, customer complaints increase. That means putting a halt to all ongoing development efforts to go back and fix the issues found at the very last stage of the product. Not to mention that the context switching destroys developers’ productivity.

Most development teams write and release software continuously, or nearly so. One of many duties a QA has is to allow our engineers to move forward with their tasks and keep them in a good pace by absorbing the larger portion of testing. Speed is the name of the game, and we want to stay ahead, and it is thanks to a group effort and the commitment of every team member that software can grow, evolve, and be better every day.

Nowadays there’s more testing to be done than ever, with all the interactions between applications, hardware and software, that it takes a village to do all the testing required. So, in fact, testing is not dead — it’s very much alive and with new approaches. It looks different than it used to, yes, but that’s because there have never been more pieces in the software chain that require smart and thorough evaluation.

QA testing is a challenging position that is often overlooked and sometimes under appreciated. Nevertheless, it is a crucial role that can make or break the reputation of an organization.

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