David Chappell


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Redefining Quality Assurance: An ALM Perspective  
# Friday, July 20, 2012
What is QA? To most people, it's synonymous with testing. But this can't be right--we all know that quality can't be tested in. The truth is that creating high-quality software means paying attention to every aspect of application lifecycle management (ALM). Testing alone isn't sufficent, and so equating QA with testing is deeply misleading.

Why is this important? It's important because the words we use define how we think about a topic, and how we think determines our actions. Equating quality assurance with testing helps us avoid thinking about quality in other parts of the ALM process.

I've written a short paper that makes this argument in a bit more detail. Please join my crusade: We need to stop saying "QA" when we're really talking about testing.

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I join the crusade! As you brilliantly explain in the referenced paper, testing is just a part of the application development life cycle. With functional, performance and load testing you can get to measure three different aspects of a quality product as defined, for example, by the ISO/IEC 9126, functionality, efficiency and reliability. For other important -because of the cost involved- aspects like maintainability, you have to take the ALM approach and tackle the quality of requirements in the design phase and throw in some code analysis in the coding phase to assure the code you develop is changeable, testable and understandable. Today's applications are in constant change, so making sure they are maintainable is key for their success. Of course they have to deliver their functional promise -and you make sure they do with testing-, but that is just part of the whole story.

Congratulations for the article and the paper, and as I said count me in for the crusade.

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