QA, QC & Testing
Testing is often confused with the processes of quality control and quality assurance. Testing is the process of creating, implementing and evaluating tests. If you are shopping for a new television, you can call that process "testing for the best TV for you"... it's kind of pretentious, but that is what you're doing as you compare prices and features to find what will work best for you. Testing usually has a limited scope and duration – you're just looking at TVs, and only in your town, you're not going to spend a year shopping, are you?
Quality control is a refinement of testing, involving the formal and systematic use of testing and a precise definition of what quality means for the purposes of the test. You aren't just testing; you are testing and then doing something with the results. Quality control is used for testing a product or output of a process, with the test measuring the subject's ability to meet a certain benchmark or threshold of quality. The tests usually take the form of "does this product meet requirement X?", and are often pass-fail. Testing -- and by extension quality control -- is reactive; that is, you test to find deviations from a standard. If you systematically employ a formal battery of tests on a consistent schedule, you will be able to pass a product with fairly stable quality. The shortcoming here is that this kind of testing does nothing to improve the quality of output; as far as user-experience is concerned, you're just running in place. Testing and quality control does nothing to raise the level of quality beyond perhaps tweaking the standard to "raise the bar".
Quality assurance goes beyond quality control to examine the processes that create and shape the product: quality assurance looks at the quality of output, as well as at the quality of the inputs.

QA Vs Testing
QA is traditionally responsible for the measurement and auditing of the processes used to make a product. Not only is a Quality Assurance "team" not the same as a test team, they shouldn't even exist in the same organization. Quality Assurance evaluates or establishes processes, sets up measurement programs to evaluate processes, and identifies weaknesses in those processes so that the errors do not happen again. This includes analyzing the tools, metrics, and processes used by Program Management (including specification processes), Development and Testing.
The industry has created laughable titles like SQA Tester which make no sense to me. I looked at recently for QA positions (I'm happy here, but I like to know what's out there), and virtually every "QA" position is really a testing position.

Related Testing Topic

a. Black Box testing

1 comment: