Quality Assurance vs Quality Control vs Software Testing
The most common question that most of the QA job seekers search in the internet might be a difference between Quality Assurance and Quality Control. Actually, they are the techniques used in various industries including software development.
There are different terms that are being used to refer to different approaches for software testing under quality engineering. Quality Engineering is one of the subsets of Software Engineering.
Well, let’s start with what is software testing and Quality Control. You may have seen a tag in some product written “QC passed”, OR “Tested under a …”. When any product is under development or it is developed, the testing is performed and it is the process of examining the software for the possible flaws. The basic idea involves executing the program or software and observing the behavior or outcome. If any failure is observed, the exact cause or point of failure is identified. From the testing, we can gain some level of confidence that the software product under the development or testing is most likely to fulfill designated functions.
Now let’s discuss what is quality control then? Well, as shown in the diagram, Testing is a subset of Quality Control. Basically, the Quality Control is a product-oriented method which ensures that the end result is the expected result or final product works expectedly. Not only the development or testing team but different stakeholders might check the final product to verify that the software product meets all the requirements of clients or customers. Quality control is actually a validation process that starts when a product is built. In terms of the software development process; QC generally comes at the last stage.
The Quality Control(QC) comes into effect at the end of the software development cycle however, Quality Assurance takes place with every software development stages i.e. from requirement gathering to the release of the product. Quality Assurance is the process-oriented method and focuses on defect prevention. It is an activity that ensures that we are providing the best quality product or service to the customer.
Let’s understand the difference between QC and QA by taking some examples. Let’s take an example of a manufacturing company called shoemaker. When shoes are made, the process of checking whether there are any faults in the shoes is quality control activity. Whereas, the quality assurance process applies in every step of the shoemaking process so that error or chances of manufacturing faulty shoes could be minimized.
The QA, QC, and Testing all come under Quality Engineering. It is a discipline of software engineering concerned with the principles and practice of product and service quality.
Also learn What makes a good Quality Assurance(QA) Engineer.