For software to be effective and reliable, it must be properly tested. This is where quality assurance specialists (or QAs) come in – they are the ones that identify potential issues and ensure that the software is ready for release. However, QAs can only do so much; they need to collaborate with developers to catch all potential problems in a project and reach the wanted result.
The clash between developers and QA engineers is often due to contrasting priorities. Developers are primarily concerned with crafting code for specific functions, which may cause an overlook in the user experience. On the other hand, QA focuses on general quality, prioritizing the user’s point of view.
Quality Over Quantity (Testing edition)
QA teams establish quality standards, set clear expectations, use automation tools, and provide feedback to help ensure the best quality. QA engineers fulfill the company’s demand for high-quality software by keeping up with the ever-increasing number of tests. Finding efficiency through pressure.
QA engineers need to ensure that they understand customers’ needs and can perform tests based on those needs. For example, an application with an error-reporting feature should clearly indicate where an identified problem is. Even if the look and feel of the application are ideal and have passed all functional tests. If there’s a chance for customers to complain, it fails to meet the needs.
Embracing and learning from mistakes
To error is human; even with the best technologies and automation, zero defects are nearly impossible. Flaws are an unfortunate reality of software development. No matter how experienced or careful a developer is, it’s almost impossible to create perfect code.
Nonetheless, that doesn’t mean that the work is not rigorous and committed.
Yet, when testing, it’s vital to be open to learning from defects discovered throughout the process. That’s why the testing process must be collaborative work between developers and QAs, to avoid the possibility of errors to the maximum.
Quality is everyone's job
Time is more precious than ever, and quality even more. That’s why it became a shared responsibility and not an exclusive task of the quality assurance team. By working together, developers and QAs can try to achieve code-quality perfection.
Their relationship is bound by feedback. The fastest the input comes through from QA, the better for developers. Because finding bugs before any QA info, makes the developer move back and forth between different projects, and it can significantly cut down their productivity.
Usually, the job of QA is to find issues and report them to the developers before anything is released. The timing of when those bugs are notified and how detailed those reports are is crucial.
Immediacy is everything.
Be proactive and open to change!
When it comes down to it, the goal of any collaboration is to ensure that users always have access to the best features possible.
As we define it in our blog post The Agile methodology and its benefits, Agile as a concept is:
“…a group of methodologies, or ways of work, that demonstrate commitment to continuous improvement. Agile is not a single methodology but an umbrella term for various techniques based on iterative development.
These methods emphasize communication over written documentation and promote participation between developers and customers throughout the software development process.”
The agile process is about being open to change; QA engineers must be flexible in their approach. If a developer suggests a change that will improve the quality of the product, QA should be open to it.
Agile teams benefit from increased visibility, and it’s no surprise that collaboration and trust are the two main benefits of these methodologies.
As a QA, You shouldn’t assume that the developer or other stakeholders know what you’re doing, how you’re testing, or your criteria for the project. Before you start, sit down with the developers and review what needs to be tested, so everything is as straightforward as possible for all parties involved.
Show them your test cases and tell them how you’ll execute them; the goal is to get everyone on the same page. This level of transparency will improve collaboration because there are no surprises.
Developers can trust you and your testing, and you can trust that the developers understand your process to excel on their own.
Ultimately, teamwork is the best work
QA identifies and tracks software bugs, writes and executes test plans, and analyzes test results. Developers take their code and make sure they write the relevant testing, and QA test the whole system.
After introducing new code or updates, regression testing ensures that previous functionality works as expected. To catch any breakages early before they cause more significant problems and consistently deliver the best possible experience to the user.
To improve collaboration, understanding what each other does is crucial. And that delivering quality is the objective. Because it avoids bottlenecks in the development process and ensures the best features for users, ergo, the best results for the business.
Improvement through communication has to be the ultimate goal, but even better if it’s close to result-perfection.