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QA vs. QC Testing

Here’s How to Tell the Difference Between Quality Assurance and Quality Control Testing

If you’re having software developed for your company, or even just undergoing a review of your current sites and processes, you’re likely to hear the terms “QA” (Quality Assurance) and “QC” (Quality Control) batted around. Aren’t they the same thing? Not exactly. When you’re trying to get to the bottom of QA vs QC debate, remember that they cover two different parts of the development process. Put simply, Quality assurance is for the setting of processes and standards, quality control is for the testing of those standards and processes.

QA vs. QC Testing: What is Quality Assurance (QA)?

Perhaps the best way to talk about QA is to talk about process. Because it’s all about getting your processes right, before you start the software/program development process. A good QA staffer will ask a lot of hard questions, such as:

  • What does this software need to do?
  • What kind of user experience does the user expect?
  • How will this interact with existing data repositories, programs, company security systems or network?
  • Will it adhere to cybersecurity and data handling regulations for the company’s industry vertical?
  • What will the development process be, and how will that interact with our existing quality control and quality assurance processes?

A QA developer will help ensure your project gets off to the right start.

QA vs. QC Testing: What is Quality Control?

When people think of the quality testing process, it’s the quality control process they tend to think of. But it can only be done once the QA process has concluded. It will always be “step two.”

The first step, of course, is the development of the processes and the development of the software. Once there’s a product to test, QC takes center stage. Quality control testers will work with the process, running through the program from a user experience perspective on the front end, and a code analysis perspective on the backend. They’ll strive to answer a number of questions, including:

  • Were the processes laid out during the quality assurance process adhered to?
  • Does this product have a good user experience, and adhere to user expectation?
  • Where are the system bugs?
  • Is data being handled properly
  • Is user information, payment data, etc. being cached properly
  • Is response time as quick as it should be?

This, of course, is just the beginning of the issues covered in quality control. A good QA and QC process could take you weeks or months to complete. Giving your team enough time to explore these questions is crucial to your software’s success.

QA vs. QC Testing: Understanding the Differences

For the purposes of comparison, we’ve created his handy chart which shows you the basic, structural differences between quality assurance and quality control.

Quality AssuranceQuality Control
Prevents defects before they are releasedCorrects defects in existing software/programs
Sets standards and procedures, based on user needs and experienceEnsures that standards and procedures are followed during product development and testing
Builds processesImplements processes
Done before or during product developmentDone during product testing or after release on existing products
A project development management toolA corrective management tool
Done by the development teamDone by the product testing team
Product verificationProduct validation
Prevents bugsFinds bugs
Before program is executedAfter program is executed
Human checking of documents or filesMay involve humans along with the assistance of AI or computer-based program execution

Want to Know More?

The first step to having a smart software development strategy is to have a good managed service IT provider, backing you up. If you’re looking for a vendor partner that can take your day to day IT management on, and you’re in one of our service areas, we’d love to help. With Iconic IT, you can get a dedicated customer support team, and get the IT support your company needs to grow. With IT service management covered, you’ll have more bandwidth to pursue software and platform development opportunities.

If you’re looking for an MSP partner at a price scaled to your small and medium sized business, Iconic IT get you the information you need to make a smart choice. Check out our whitepaper on 7 Ways to Save Money on IT Services. And if you’d like to schedule a free consultation, don’t hesitate to contact us!

7 Ways to Save Money on IT Services


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