Sometimes, when starting an IT project, the composition of the development team seems pretty obvious. Usually, the team consists of designers, developers, and a product owner or a product manager. Designers are responsible for visualising a project's concept, developers – for bringing the idea into life, and a product owner or a project manager – for overseeing and coordinating the process and communication that comes with it. However, there is one more role that brings great value to the product, the team, and the client. The title of this role is software tester. Testers, unlike developers, are not essential members for creating A piece of software. But having a qualified tester on your project’s team will allow you to create software that is bug-free, reliable and secure. 

When in the development process software tester is required? 

To be blunt; the sooner the better. As earlier in the process a software tester is involved, as fewer bugs there will be. The sooner those bugs are identified, the lower the risks and impact on the project’s cost and timelines.

In optimal circumstances, it is quite beneficial to involve a tester immediately from the project’s planning and designing phase. The tester’s view on how user-friendly the product will be and recognising the potential bug-prone elements can save time and effort for the development team. But the moment when every development team should definitely include a software tester is when the first MVP is about to be deployed to the development environment. From this point, the quality, reliability, integrity, and security of a particular piece of software should be overseen and assured by the tester until the project’s completion.

The difference between software testing and quality assurance

Software testing and quality assurance are really not the same. Although these roles are closely connected, ultimately, they differ. 

Quality assurance is process-oriented. When a so-called software bug is found, the QA engineer’s role is to identify the process that led to its appearance, correct it, and ensure that the team follows the updated process. Such conduct helps the development team not to repeat mistakes of a similar origin in the future. 

software tester vs QA

On the contrary, software testing is product oriented. Its main concept is to execute a particular process on a tested piece of software to simulate the process' happy flow and edge cases to find software bugs. Software testing aims to verify the product’s quality and its compatibility with the client’s requirements. 

There are many kinds of software testing depending on the goal that is to be achieved. The most common ones are Functional and Non-Functional Testing, Unit Testing, Regression Testing, White and Black Box Testing etc. 

Whereas a QA engineer would definitely be an asset to the development team, a software tester is an absolute must-have when both completion and quality of a created piece of software are an objective.

The benefits of a team with a software tester 

Having a tester on a development team is beneficial for each of the stakeholders involved:

1. For the development team.

From the developer’s point of view, the tester serves the role of a safety buffer. A tester checks the work of a development team before it’s delivered to the customer. Smooth cooperation between a tester and developers can save both time and effort. As a result,  a better quality product can be built in a shorter period. 

2. For the Project manager.

Project managers often see the tester’s presence in the development process as a resource for optimisation. First of all, when everything is tested by professional, production deployments go calmly, without unpleasant surprises. Moreover, having a software tester gives a Project Manager assurance that developed functionalities meet customer requirements. Only a sufficient number of tests carried out provides compliance with the requirements. As a result, it gives confidence to the whole team. By delivering high-quality code, we’re creating value for users for increased customer satisfaction.

3. For the client.

From the client’s perspective introducing a tester to the development team may seem to be an extra cost at first. But in reality, it is often quite the opposite. Software testing makes sure errors are found earlier in the process and allows for correcting when their impact on the product is minimal. Therefore, the team avoids extra work, risks, and costs.

No matter what product you build, software quality should always be one of the main priorities in software development. The quality of the product defines the level of your end-users satisfaction, and it, circumstantially, determines the success of your business. Having a tester in your dedicated team assures the great quality of your software or application. 

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