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At many places, Quality Assurance(QA) is used as a designation/title for Testers.

In general, the difference I got between QA and Tester is as below:

QA supposed to be more focused on preventing defects in the first place by fixing the process itself whereas Tester is more concerned about finding defects as an after the event

The problem I have is that this definition means that calling Testers as QA is wrong:

How does QA assure quality?

Testing does not assure quality. I have never met anyone with QA in their job title who actually assures quality.

How does QA prevent defects?

The activities I can think of falls under Testers activities. None of the activities I can think of prevent defects.

Can Tester really assure Quality? If yes, How?

I don't know any way that a Tester can assure quality. Testers can only find potential defects. They can't prevent defects. They can't fix defects.

Testers can report their perspective on the quality of the product to their team, and they can help their team to make the product as good as possible.

Is QA a right term to be used for Tester?

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    @AlexeyR. No, It doesn't answer my question(s). I am not asking the difference. I did my research and have also added in the question itself. My main question: Is QA a right term to be used for people doing testing? How does QA assuring Quality? How are QA preventing defects? and a few successive questions related to it. Can you please read the question again. Feel free to ask again if you are still not clear. – JAINAM Jul 6 at 13:36
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    @Niels just because it's not followed at some places it doesn't take away the actual intensions of bring in these designations . This question helps us in revisiting the process and try to look for the real skills when hiring a QA or tester . I worked a QA and as a tester . When I was working as QA approving product release , ensuring new features etc were my duty . But in test role , I could just recommend , the final decision was done by developer . – PDHide Jul 6 at 20:31
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    @Nakilon well it sad to see you don't care how did a sys admin transition to DevOps though. I bet you don't even know they don't have the same responsibilities based on your statement. By knowing these responsibilities, you will be able to do your job effectively, that's what I believe. – ky-chan Jul 7 at 2:33
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    @Nakilon I'm not trying to make it as argument though. Also, I am not a sysadmin by nature but I do have an experience of being a sysadmin before transitioning as devops. And then become an automation tester after that as a programmer (which is my current job). I'm not trying to judge you that's why I said it is based on your statement, and if it offended you, I'm sorry for that. What I am trying to say is that, it will be very hard to understand the task that will assign to you if you just ignore how these traditional title evolves. – ky-chan Jul 7 at 7:43
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    Please comment the reason for closing the question. As I mentioned above, it's not duplicate with the one mentioned by @AlexeyR., answers given there are not clearing the questions I mentioned here. If there is any, please share that link. It's not right to just follow traditional roles without knowing or understanding logic behind it. If anyone else agree with me, then please vote to re-open. For people who don't have privilege to re-open can upvote this comment or add your views in comments. – JAINAM Jul 7 at 8:49
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I look at it this way: software testing is a part of quality assurance.

In a nutshell, quality assurance is something that can be done throughout the entire SDLC. With the current trend of Agile and DevOps practices, almost every tester is doing some form of QA by default.

Testers are involved in many (if not all) team meetings so they contribute to quality even before development starts, like in refinement meetings (bringing up scenarios no-one though of) or by making a case for unit/automated testing and related best practices. This way the process improves - even if it's just handling stand-up meetings differently - by input from testers (and others). Also hindsight is quite important: testers can be the protagonist to set up specific processes (such as incident retrospectives, metrics or reporting) that are targeted at improving quality over the long term.

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  • Thanks for sharing your views @FDM. What do you mean by the statement "almost every tester is doing some form of QA by default"? I think with that perspective, we should say everyone on the team is doing some form of QA, why just testers? – JAINAM Jul 14 at 4:50
  • @JAINAM Yes everyone hopefully is, or at least can be, participating to quality, but I'm talking about testers only because that is what your question is about. – FDM Jul 14 at 6:12
  • So, We can say Software development is also a part of Quality Assurance. right? – JAINAM Jul 14 at 6:51
  • @JAINAM Testing by definition exists to improve quality (in a specific manner) while development is another type of activity. However, developers (and development as activity) can contribute to quality in many ways. If you want to read that as 'being part of', go ahead. – FDM Jul 14 at 7:48
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Testers can only find potential defects.

This seems a very narrow view on what activities testers could do in a team. I think the testing discipline is mainly about managing risks. Designing and executing test-cases is just one path of reducing risk. Risk analyses and defect root-cause analysis are example activities that testers could (and probably should) facilitate, both can prevent issues before they occur.

Is QA a right term to be used for Tester?

No, because both are wrong. I think in software development we should loose the term "Tester" and "Quality Assurance", because both have a very negative feel historically:

  • Quality Assurance and Control: Part of a quality management system, following a formal process and ISO standards. Adding lots of overhead and slowing us down.
  • Tester: Low skilled click monkeys that we can give the boring stuff, because he/she is just a tester. The lowest in the development food chain.

You are more than just a tester, you are not a label. (Check out Damian Synadinos presentation on "More Than That")

The Agile Testing and the Modern Testing movements talk about product quality and mature quality cultures. Therefore I have changed my tittle to Software Quality Specialist. Where I assist a product development team with Process, Structural and Functional qualilty.

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Is QA a right term to be used for Tester?

Well tester is for traditional called for responsible of testing the product thoroughly. Although for many years, hiring lots of manual testers are getting more expensive, so the term QA Tester has been emerged. With QA tester (that what it is called in my country), we are doing more on automation things. Creating automation scripts for the repetitive task, ensuring it run on different environment using Jenkins without the need of many people doing it at the same time. It can also detect earlier broken functionalities in the app, if you establish your automation right (really nice to have when you are doing regression test). It save a lot of resources and time. That's why more company are preferring more on QA tester than a manual tester.

Can Tester really assure Quality? If yes, How?

Well I am not sure how to respond with this question though. But as tester, your job is to ensure that the app is not buggy, by doing what you think the user will do. So with this, you can assure that you are not being biased. That's why when we create a test cases, it should not solely be reflected on what these new feature/functionalities can do but more like on what can user can do with this functionalities.

The key point of these two terms though are the same. Ensuring the quality of the product/app. No matter how different the approached they used, it will always goes down to that.

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As a software testing company, mostly QA and Testers are interrelated term but as a QA, the responsibilities have also increased. Nowadays client expects a QA to work as per project requirement i.e as a manual engineer, automation engineer, dev ops etc. As the world is changing, its is very important to justify tasks and ensure a defect free product.

Happy Testing!!

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    How do you ensure a defect-free product? – Mate Mrše Aug 7 at 12:40
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    Never a tester can judge himself that his product is defect free. – Mohamed Sulaimaan Sheriff Aug 7 at 13:03

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