The Worth of a QA team

Why have a QA team? Developers can run unit tests, project managers can approve the look of the site, and clients can have ask for enhancements or updates.  So why do you need a whole group of people dedicated to checking other people’s work? Sure, a good QA can reduce bugs in production, but they can also review requirements early and reduce the appearance of bugs at all.  A good QA can shine a light on problem areas, can reveal missing functionality or irrational features. A good QA can save the team the time and money of post launch bug fixes, not to mention the direct cost of some bugs, if illegal configurations are allowed or something incorrect is ordered or purchase processes are not secure enough.

But when it comes down to it, a QA is the only person on the team responsible to the user. The Business unit imagines new features and requirements and the design team works to make that a reality, the engineers create it and project managers make sure the company’s and the clients deadlines are met but at the end, no one is watching out for the users. Sure, you may do it for your bug count, because you get personal enjoyment out of filing bugs on a certain developer, or perhaps because you need to prove your tests were worthwhile- but really, it is the users you are watching out for. There is one team on the project whose job it is to make sure that everyone elses’ work is actually going to work for the end user.  If they have a bad time with the product, it comes back to you. Of course, if they love it, it probably comes back to the other teams. But somewhere you sit, reviewing that list of issues they would have encountered, and you know that you made in impact, that your team has worth that not only affects your company, but trickles down to other business and other users who are unknowingly happy that you are doing your job. And that is a great feeling- and really, a great job to have.

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