Is There Bullying in QA: Why Have QA Engineers Missed This Bug?

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This topic is really interesting and making us think.

So first, let’s define what is QA.

If QA is only quality assurance, we should define who or what should assure this quality.

The first misunderstanding happens when some specialists understand QA as a synonym for software testing.

Software testing is not quality assurance but it can give data for such assurance.

Testing can’t assure software quality in the same way as a diagnosis can’t make someone healthy.

We’d like to mention once again that you should not consider testing as quality assurance exclusively.

Who said this? We think that someone who worked on this process in some way.

It will be great if testers stop putting such labels on themselves.

Widespread ignorance and blame-shifting will last until they stop calling themselves QA engineers only.

So who or what is responsible for software quality?

In some way, everyone who works on the task that includes implicit personal responsibility for quality during software development and software delivery — in the same way as everyone is responsible for his/her body health.

Assuring the quality with the help of someone’s work —  it’s, to some extent, expertise, diligence, self-discipline, and obligation to reach personal targets, the targets of someone’s future clients and massive social groups.

Every day we choose what our lifestyle should be like, what diet we should follow, and so on. Whether an adult person makes such a decision wisely or not — it’s his/her own responsibility.

When we work, our agency gives us either freedom or responsibility when we resist or ask for technical help when we have to do a task in such a way that it can affect our sense of quality.

And only our agency gives us the possibility to stand up and leave in case we need to behave in an unprofessional or unethical way.

An important part of supporting somebody’s health is a level of knowing it. In the same way, quality assurance of our work includes its evaluation, sometimes with the help of our environment.

This helps us understand its state and current problems, limitations.

Other workers of our project team can definitely help us but we, as direct authors of our activity, are the first people who are responsible for such evaluation and what it is based on.

Whether we will choose our health or prefer the quality of our work — it’s our own decision.

Therefore, in this way, “Why have QA engineers not found it?” should be interpreted as “Why were we not able to assure the quality of our work?” And right here, a notorious “I” is in the center of this “we”.

But if we look at this case from another point of view, we can see that a management department is exactly responsible for the quality of the tester’s work and workplace.

We are simply responsible for keeping our hands clean and a management department should provide us with the possibility to wash hands — and, of course, for not providing workers with such conditions when they can unintentionally risk themselves, their colleagues, and business tasks.

Only management is responsible for what is considered to be qualitative work and finalizes if a product has reached its tasks or not.

Management should decide if all software development tasks are completed in the way a client wishes and if such software can be finally released.

Sometimes managers can ask a testing department to thoroughly analyze a product for certain management tasks but only managers themselves are responsible for all risks and issues that can arise during software analysis.


So we can conclude that the question “Why have QA engineers not found it?” is relevant only in the case when it means “Why has nobody assured the quality of the work done?”

But don’t confuse testing with quality assurance and moreover, don’t understand questions as “Why have QA engineers verified software quality incompletely?”

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