Dev – QA Relationship: Catalyst in turning the Good into Great!

Within the software development space, you may have come across a few Developer – Quality Assurance stereotypes such as – “Developers just throw the work over the wall” or “QA engineers intentionally try to block projects from getting deployed”.

The responsibility of QA is to deliver quality output as well as prevent defects in production. It’s not their fault for finding issues within a software release, and yes – no developer likes to hear faults in his/her own baby. This is the same concept within QA.

This purely comes down to trust – neither side is trusting that the other has good intentions in how they work and collaborate.

From my experience, teamwork and friendship are the best solutions. If you can be a good friend of the developer then you can challenge him or her to issues, and you can be assured that the individual will take it in a constructive manner.

As a QA engineer, you should also try to keep your reporting style positive, there should not be any intention to hurt someone’s feelings.

Creating a foundation of trust and communication is vital to team morale and a positive working environment. As a result, this enhances the team’s ability to produce work that you can have confidence in because it was a collaboration to ensure its quality.

When developers and QA engineers create a pattern of positive communication, it sets a platform for how they interact with each other. Frequent and mindful communication also creates an environment where it’s safe to raise concerns and give feedback, so communication can flow freely.

When trust and communication are lacking, QA engineers are often isolated within the development workflow. Add QA engineers into project discoveries, where they can make recommendations for test plans and architecting for easier testing down the line.

If you’re discussing a bug or some sort of blocker, loop them into the chat – not only does it increase their context and overall awareness, but also helps QA engineers contribute to finding causes and providing potential solutions.

Even though it may take some time for people to change their habits, remind them how being included benefits you and helps you do your job better. If this message is portrayed clearly, then instead of just wanting them to do the “extra work” of looping you in earlier – they’ll now be more motivated to do it.

Improved working relationships lead to happier people who then feel safe in their work and team environments. This way everyone can focus on the actual projects, instead of being blocked by poor communication and a lack of trust.

Frequent communication and empathy for the people you work with creates a strong foundation for a high-performing team. When there is collaboration between developers and QA engineers, there will be a shift in the quality of work produced as well as a smoother development workflow from start to finish.

It’s always good to share insight with the developers on your testing strategy.  This could assist the developers in improving their  tests before delivering the product. But this can work only if everyone is cooperative enough to look at the final target… to deliver quality!


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Lawrence Jugmohan

Software Quality Specialist at BET Software

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