In the IT field you have probably met such terms as Quality Control, Quality Assurance and Testing. The difference between these terms can confuse many executives, not to speak of the clients. Almost each IT company has QA department that includes testers. Many people just use these terms as alternatives. Let’s figure out what’s the difference.
Testing is one of the ways of detecting bugs in the product. This process can be performed by the tester or dedicated team of testers. It also includes a process of testing planning before the executing of the system.
Quality control is an independent process of detecting issues before output the product to end-users. This process consists of product inspection. QC analyzes testing of the product in order to make the final evaluation of its quality and, in theory, can be completed with minimal testing. We want to say that testing is still the most important activity but not the only one. But the most efficient way of ensuring the quality of the product is Quality assurance.
Quality assurance is planned and systematic activity that intends to meet all the requirements for services or products quality and further improvement of the system. So QA includes engineering processes that assure quality in more efficient way than QC. Testing detects the most of bugs in the product but it doesn’t sure that these defects won’t occur again. The role of QA is to re-engineer the system in order to prevent further occurrence of these defects. So in fact QA may not include any testing at all.
So let’s put in simple words, QA is a widest concept that includes all the activities about ensuring the quality of the end-product and improving the system of delivery products to the clients. QC aims to check the product and detect all the bugs before the end customer gets it. And the testing process is the direct way of the detecting those bugs.