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Testing And QA

Lecture 2 - The Purpose of Testing -> Quick Intro -> Exposing Misconceptions -> How To Make Use Of Stats For Post-Release Bugs -> Testing And QA -> Lecture Recap


A certain Mr. G. realized one day that his life was boring and uneventful, so he left his wife and their little son. In order to spice up his existence, he moved to another city and started all over. Many years passed. One day his ex-wife calls him and asks him to influence his twelve-year-old son who has started to smoke, has been caught at the movies ditching math class, and has made several futile yet confident attempts to kiss his neighbor Jessica. The situation appears to require a father’s firm hand.

The QA approach would be if ex-husband never left his wife and raised their son, trying to prevent bad seeds in son’s behavior.

The testing approach occurs when the ex-husband

            – compiles a list of issues like: “actual: movie; expected: math”

            – locks the little rascal in a mountain cabin, limiting his spiritual and sexual life to French literature of XIX century

            – hires private tutors who are supposed to look at the list and mold the boy to make sure that all the issues on the list are dealt with

Brain positioning

The purpose of QA is to prevent bugs

The purpose of testing is to find and address bugs that have not been prevented

QA and testing are similar because:

– Their common mission is to improve software

QA and testing are different because:

– QA improves software through process improvement

– Testing improves software through bug reduction

Although our Course is focused on testing, we’ll also look at many issues from the QA angle.

Why is process improvement so important? Because software development IS a process (more precisely: a set of processes), and thus software quality has its roots in two things:

            1. How quality-oriented our software development process is

            2. The mentality and actions of each participant in the software development process*

* The software development process is also called the software development life cycle – we’ll spend a lot of time talking about this.

This brings us to the important idea that testers and QA engineers alone cannot be responsible for software quality. You can be held responsible only for things that you FULLY control.

For example, if a spec has a bug, that bug can be incorporated into the test cases and the software code as a legitimate thing.

But what is so special about testers and QA engineers, then? Our mission is to be passionate advocates of constant quality improvement in any shape and form. While we cannot be in full control of software quality, it’s in our hands to go above and beyond promoting quality as a vital philosophy within a software company.


In theory, QA engineers and testers should do different things, but in reality, QA engineers are usually testers who know how to improve various processes.

It’s also a common business practice to use “QA engineer” and “test engineer” (or shortly “QA” and “tester”) interchangeably. This same business practice is used with the terms “QA department” and “test department”: both names are legitimate.


It’s much easier to do process improvement in start-ups than in big companies, because start-ups have

– More open environments

– More flexibility in decision making

– Less red tape

– Less people Next ->

Lecture 2 - The Purpose of Testing -> Quick Intro -> Exposing Misconceptions -> How To Make Use Of Stats For Post-Release Bugs -> Testing And QA -> Lecture Recap