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QA software testing

What is the QA testing area and why is it important?

The QA testing area is responsible for the early detection of errors and for reporting possible improvements in the development and design of digital products.

At XOOR, this area plays a key role in ensuring that applications are released to the market without functional errors, which guarantees the satisfaction of users and avoids additional costs for the clients in repairing bugs or problems. 

In this article:

What does a QA analyst do?

The professionals who make up the QA area are present throughout the entire software production cycle, and they check that there are no defects at each step. In addition, they suggest improvements to the system so that the public's experience is superlative.

Many people wonder about QA testing’s meaning. Since it is an acronym, it is difficult to figure out at first glance. QA stands for Quality Assurance. But to better understand what QAs do, we first need to differentiate it from QC.

QA refers to quality assurance from the beginning of a product's life cycle. The work is focused on all those procedures that tend to **maintain the desired quality standards, prevent errors and propose improvements. **

While QC (Quality Control) involves quality control on a finished product, looking for defects that have been generated during development. Its mission is not to prevent, but only to report existing errors.

What do QA analysts do?

QA analysts perform functional tests: i.e. exploratory tests, regression tests, smoke testing; and non-functional tests such as performance, load, stress, accessibility.

They are also in charge of bug tracking. That is, they report bugs to the development and/or UX UI design area and keep track of them.

They are in charge of designing their own detection and reporting strategies. They create test cases, generate documentation to make it easier to replicate the error and its solution in order to anticipate and save time in future projects. At the same time, they get involved in the decision-making process to ensure a good product performance and a rewarding experience for the users.

How is the QA area organized?

There are different QA testing methodologies, and there is no single way to organize a QA area. Many companies divide it into sub-areas depending on the type of testing to be performed. Although they share criteria and complement each other, the most usual division is: manual testing and automated testing. Both take into account the product as a whole, or they can test APIs, isolating only the logics in order to evaluate the flows.

This division is due to the fact that each type of testing requires particular and specific knowledge, and is applied in different kinds of scenarios.

In QA manual testing, tests are performed by humans. Each tester creates test cases and performs actions on the digital product pretending to be a user, in order to detect and/or prevent failures and report them. They are used for both functional and non-functional, usability and/or exploratory testing.

Automated testing allows us to perform tests automatically and repetitively to detect errors in digital products before launching them to the market. It prioritizes repeatable accuracy, that is, reiterating an action without losing attention. This type of testing is often used on fixed and stable sections, which will not be modified in the short term.

Finally, API testing aims to validate and verify that the logic of a software's functionalities respond correctly, in isolation from the user interface. These tests can be performed either manually or automatically. The most popular tool for this type of testing is Postman.

How to become a QA tester?

To be a QA tester it is necessary to be trained in the field of IT, to know basic notions of programming and coding, as well as to understand the workflows of digital products.

It is useful to have knowledge in web development, HTML syntax, front-end and back-end development.

At the same time, in order to perform QA testing it is important to be perfectionist, paying close attention to detail, and analyzing everything meticulously. It can also be helpful to have experience in some similar profession.

What are the stages of the QA testing process?

Although it is not a mathematical formula because it always depends on each project, we can differentiate 5 stages in the testing process: planning, test design, test execution, evaluation of obtained results and its consequent report.

  1. Planning or test plan stage. The first thing to do is to analyze all the information regarding the digital product: its engineering, flows, specifications, design, how it is going to be used, who the users are, etc. 

Then, we generate a document where the testing objectives are established, detailing the functionalities to be tested, the deliverables, the coverage, the QA  testing types and the resources that will be available. 

  1. Test design. Once the requirements have been analyzed in depth, together with the acceptance criteria for each feature, QAs determine the specific cases to be tested, taking into account valid and invalid interactions, in order to ensure the greatest possible coverage.

  2. Test execution. Whether manual or automatic, the third instance is to run all test cases, and to document the results obtained.

  3. Evaluation. At the same time as the tests are performed, the results are evaluated and compared with the desired results to look for differences.

If no discrepancies are found, the test result is considered successful. In these cases, it is possible to suggest improvements to these functionalities. On the other hand, if any difference is found, the test result is considered failed.

  1. Reports. Finally, these results are turned into reports that will be sent to the corresponding areas, either to correct errors or to optimize functionalities. 

These reports may include bugs, that is, undesired differences between the obtained results and the expected results; or enhancements, which are suggestions for improvement to add value to the product and enrich the user experience.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of being a QA?

Being a QA tester has pros and cons. Those people who are very perfectionist will feel rewarded with this type of work, since they will be continuously looking for excellence in the performance of the applications.

Those who are dedicated to testing will have to follow up and make sure that all the features of an application work correctly.

The hardest aspect of this field is related to the fact that it is based on pointing out mistakes to other areas, and if you do not mind your manners or establish a good bond, friction may arise. But if there is a positive attitude, willingness to work, and people do not take the remarks as something personal, there should be no problems. 

If you have any questions about how XOOR's QA area works, or you want to be part of this team, you can send us your question to hola@xoor.io and we will answer you as soon as possible. You can also follow us on Linkedin and Twitter!