Is QA Beneficial or Detrimental to Development?

There is a quite common belief is that there is some form of strife between developers and QA. Potentially there is some small truth in this sentiment. However, in the majority of situations, this is just a stereotype. In any high-quality software development, both developers and quality assurance alike will realize how important the other is. Developers may have to spend more time focusing on bugs and fixes in the early stages of development. However, this is preferable to finishing development and realizing your product does not work due to early bugs that have not been fixed.

That is why there has been a major shift from the standard development followed by QA. The most common approach now for QA is to use agile development which benefits both development and QA. Agile development involves developers and QA working together during the development phase to identify and fix bugs during development. It is a faster method for most projects. There is also a misconception that standard QA is a bottleneck for development. It may be true in certain instances, but others view it as gatekeeping bad software from reaching the market.

The Value of QA

There is very little doubt about how beneficial QA is to the development process. Although it can include drawbacks such as bottlenecks overall it still provides more value. QA testers have a particular set of skills that developers do not. As a result, their ability to find problems and issues with software is a requirement for any high-quality piece of software. Also, a major factor is that they are objective in their approach.

QA testers also follow a strict approach to each test case. A key area for QA is to ensure that tests are defined early on in the process and implemented during early development stages. This will lead to a major reduction in bugs occurring when the product is released to your customers. If your clients find your software or product littered with bugs then it will lead to bad reviews and a high possibility of that customer not returning in the future. This is difficult to recover from in modern times as a lot of customers have high expectations when it comes to software development and QA.

You can also improve your QA and reduce the potential of bottlenecks by planning ahead. Ensure that developers and testers are on the same page and both have a clear understanding of the test strategy. This will encourage developers to ensure that progress in the project workflow will be good enough to pass testing. However, there still may be bugs that need to be fixed, but developers won’t leave large holes in the project workflow during sprints that cause issues later.

The key to getting the most out of your QA team is to engage them early in the project. Involve QA in both the planning and early development of the project. Bottlenecks will be avoided leading to greater results and high-quality software being produced.