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We all like to receive goods and services in tip-top condition. But, that does not always happen. Somewhere in the process, a certain object might become defective and we receive it as such. Sometimes, the object becomes defective over a longer period of time because of an error that was made in the process of production.

This is where good Quality Assurance comes into play. There are multiple names for it, depending on the type of industry one is in, but QA mostly refers to Quality Assurance when it comes to software and code. Let us explore QA and see what it means for the product, the developers, as well as the consumers.

Understanding Quality Assurance – The Basics

The first part of understanding QA is to understand what the words stand for.

Quality is a bit hard to define but in most cases it means that an object is fit to do the thing it was intended to do. This refers to both physical objects, such as cars, or car parts, as well as code or software. Quality also takes into account the customer needs, practicality and functional use of the product, longevity, and in the end, price. 

Assurance refers to the process of making sure that a product does what it needs to do and that it meets some predefined standards. It means testing a product, whether physical or digital, and assuring the customers that it will do what it needs to.

Quality Assurance in Practice – What Does it Mean?

QA in practice differs a lot from Quality Control, or QC. QA happens as a product is designed, or rather, before it is actually made, with the goal of preventing mistakes, while also focusing on how to make the process of manufacture better, as well as on how to ensure that the proper standards are set before a product is created.

Compared to QA, QC does everything after a product was created. In QC, the end result is tested, such as the product’s defects. QC is a reactive process, meaning that one aims to improve the product after it was already created. In QA, the process is proactive, with the aim of making a great product, while also anticipating problems and trying to avoid them.

QA in Software – How Does That Work?

Software QA is similar to any other type of QA, but it is done with different tools. Different processes need to be defined ahead of making the product, to make sure that they can test the corresponding parts of the products. Each of those processes needs to have some time allocated to it. If some processes can be automatized, that would save money and time, not to mention effort.

Software QA is applied to all the processes that include making any other products by the company. It is not tied to a specific product, albeit specific products will have their own details that need working out.

Quality Assurance, or QA, means preventing issues before a product is released, as well as developing strategies and processes of making the manufacturing process as best as possible.