Any good QA specialist will tell you that reviewing your product at least twice a day is essential to achieving your goals. QA professionals apply their technical knowledge, critical thinking, and attention to detail to ensure that our customers’ products improve at every stage of their life cycle. However, many myths and misconceptions still surround the field of QA testing, which can be incomprehensible to true professionals.
We asked a few members of our QA team, including Anna Okhremenko, Anna Holubenko, and Misha Patii, to debunk these myths and share their insights on the specialty of QA testing.
Myth #1. Automation can replace manual testing (Anna Okhremenko)
Automated testing can replace manual testing, but not completely. Automated testing is a good option for regression testing or stable modules. However, there are some products where manual testing is absolutely necessary. Sometimes it also requires the involvement of specialists from certain fields like medical equipment etc. This specialist can accurately understand whether the product meets the quality criteria or another function. For example, whether the device takes a high-quality picture of internal organs, how detailed the image is, etc. There are also cases when it is better to use manual testing itself because it will be very long and expensive to automate some module that is not yet stable. Therefore, I believe that the share of manual testing will decrease every year but will not disappear completely. The most successful approach so far is to combine automated and manual testing.
Myth #2. QA can guarantee 100% defect-free software (Anna Okhremenko)
Let’s say that not only the QA team is responsible for the quality of the product, but the whole team. Each is at its own stage. It is impossible to guarantee that the product will not include any bugs. In this case, you need to check all possible combinations of cases that the user can reproduce: from the operating system and the browser to even a specific combination of keys that the user can accidentally press. It is simply not rational to spend such resources on checking all possible cases. It may take years, and during this time, the product will no longer be relevant. Therefore, it is important to simply cover as many cases as possible to reduce the likelihood that the end user will encounter a bug.
Myth #3. Automation testing is always faster and cheaper than manual testing (Anna Holubenko)
Automated testing is not always faster and cheaper than manual testing. There are completely opposite cases. There are several factors to consider:
- The tasks of those who conduct automated and manual testing are different.
- Not everything can or should be automated, as it can be redundant or too costly.
- It is mandatory to support up-to-date tests to avoid false results.
- One must consider the experience of a specialist, the complexity and novelty of technologies.
Thus, it is worth properly allocating automation and manual testing resources and not solely focusing on the perceived speed and cheapness of one of them.
Myth #4. QA engineers and testers are the same thing (Anna Holubenko)
Indeed, the difference between QA engineers and testers does not exist in most companies. However, upon closer analysis, the following conclusion can be drawn:
QA is a person responsible for setting up the testing process at all stages of product creation. To a certain extent, they are an analyst whose task is to determine what, where, when, and how to test, as well as how to improve the product and increase the efficiency of software development. It is a commonly accepted fact that the earlier a defect is found (starting with the requirements), the easier and cheaper it is to eliminate it. Based on the information collected, the QA engineer creates test documentation, such as a test plan, test strategy, and test cases.
A tester is a person responsible for executing tests, identifying problems, and verifying fixes. In most cases, they do not establish a testing process but rather evaluate the quality of the product.
Therefore, a QA engineer must possess all the skills of a tester and also be able to analyze and organize the entire testing process.
Myth #5. More testing leads to higher quality (Misha Patii)
We aim not to find as many bugs as possible, but to make a system stable and qualified as a product.
Correct testing approaches, a well-chosen set of testing flows (set of testing suites) per a set amount of time, good communication within a team, and an understanding of the business value at a particular product stage – all of these combined will lead to higher quality.
Myth #6. QA is only responsible for finding defects (Misha Patii)
If we exclude the word ‘only’ from the sentence, we could say ‘yes.’ However, this would be controversial because it overlooks the fact that QA is also responsible for developing testing strategies, testing documents, reviewing requirements, facilitating communication, and analyzing testing results. ‘Finding defects’ is just one of the many stages in the full testing activity lifecycle.