Nowadays, many companies create tons of quality tests to check their software. But, what do all these tests mean for the software, for the company, for the world? Our today's guest, Igor Goldshmidt, encourages everyone to start thinking about Quality Assurance first. And, he has serious arguments for this! Watch the interview:
Passionate testing geek and quality freak, QA researcher, innovator, architect of test solutions. International speaker and blogger. Also, he is a big activist in the test community with the global goal to improve quality assurance engineering.
Today, he is the Head of QA in a French-Israeli travel tech startup Sweet Inn.
Find Igor here: https://www.iggmaster.com
Any comments/questions/thoughts? We will be happy to discuss them - just leave a comment below.
Could you start with a short introduction for the SmartBear Community? Tell us about your background.
Actually, I have been working in the software quality assurance field for six years doing research and architecting test solutions in some companies. And, today, also I am an international speaker and the Head of QA in the Sweet Inn company. Sweet Inn is a French-Israeli travel tech startup founded in 2014. Active in Europe and in Israel, the company offers upscale vacation apartments with hotel services for tourists and business travelers. Also I am a big activist in the test community in Israel and globally. I have a really global goal to improve QA engineering.
What is the issue? Why should quality assurance be improved?
This actually started from the quality assurance course I finished. I got the certification of a test engineer. Back then, I didn't understand the connection between quality assurance and test engineers, and I found out that there’s a big issue with the definitions. You can often see how people are using ‘QA’ instead of ‘testing’. For me, it is really important to create some exact definitions and understand that software testing is not QA. Software testing actually is some process with the goal to provide the information to stakeholders. QC (quality control) is a method, it is part of testing whereas QA is a set of activities. Quality control is involved in product-oriented activities while quality assurance is involved in process-oriented activities. This is a big difference that we need to understand.
That's interesting. How should this testing process and quality assurance process work together?
In agile teams, every person matters. There are product owners, developers, designers working together during short iterations, like sprints. Each sprint carries a couple of features, and testers must test every feature. It starts to be a problem because, as a rule, you have one QA or test engineer and a couple of developers and a designer in a team. So, this quality guy turns into a bottleneck.
I think the solution for the bottleneck is - this quality guy must start to divide focus and be process-oriented, create actual activities for assuring the quality. So, then, quality control tests can be smarter and faster. Or, you can always give testing tasks to other team members. Like, the product owner can just do some kind of acceptance testing, or you can give developers some kind of a testing checklist, and they can do this too because we always need to remember that quality is important for the whole team. I think it's really important to be quality assurance, not just a tester or a test engineer.
I like that you said that quality is kind of an issue for the entire team, not only for testers. Everyone should pay attention to quality, that's for sure. I think that our testers are not used to such activities, right? Do they need to have some additional skills in order to kind of move in this direction?
Yeah, this is another problem we have today because we are talking about QA when it is actually testing. Today, we don't have things like ready tutorials for that activity. It is really hard to find some books about quality assurance, software quality assurance. One month ago, I found an Israel book that talks about software quality assurance, but it's not so relevant today because they talk about waterfall. We have some examples of what we need to do today for quality assurance in scrums maybe in a couple of companies, but no certifications, tutorials, or books about it. So, I think that people who really want to go forward and understand what quality assurance is need to start just learning how we can create a good quality assurance process and start learning development lifecycles, or what scrum is. Actually, in books on scrum, we can find parts about quality assurance in scrum.
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