What is the difference between a tester and a QA engineer?

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    So if you had to break it down. If you say you are a QA engineer, what makes you different from a tester and vice-versa


    Came across an article that talks about the differences in the two…


    Software testing really falls into the quality control category.  There just isn’t a physical product to assess when it comes to software. While testing team members contribute to quality goals it is not our responsibility to dictate quality across the board. Quality is everyone’s responsibility.

    I specifically re-branded my team to Software Testing rather than Quality Assurance for the very reasons outlined in the article @Archana linked.  We provided feedback to leadership on changes in requirements and development processes that would help us test more effectively/efficiently but we did not (and could not) assure quality.  Given the scope of the team, the label of quality assurance simply did not fit.  Quality assurance encompasses quality control but not vice versa.

    A QA engineer consults with and has influence over the activities of all project stakeholders in the name of quality.  In some cases, I do believe “testing” professionals have that level of authority/involvement but it isn’t commonplace.  It’s more like QA is a potential career path for QC professionals.

    ~Marcia Buzzella


    In the context of large traditional companies, pharma especially (GxP, GAMP5) QA (quality assurrance) is much more about following the process the right way and getting the proper approvals and gates along the way. QA asks the test & QC team of work products and signs it, to pass the gates.

    In some orgs QA (CMMI) refer directly to management, but also have a larger go/no-go power than management. Due to regulatory compliance following the process and doing dilligent documentation is in the business primary interest.


    For me QA is a broader discipline which does not have to be related with software or IT at all. QA is concerned with making sure that companies are compliant with standards such as ISO 9001 and the likes. There will be a requirement for Quality Assurance in the different industries like manufacturing, distribution, transportation and so on. Software testing can be part of a company’s Quality Assurance policy depending on the role sw plays in that company and how much the business depends on it (which is typically a lot). Part of the tester’s role can be to test that a sw product complies with the company’s Quality policy but a tester wouldn’t, for example, be defining the company’s QA policy or verifying that manual form XYZ has been filled in compliance with some international standard the company needs to adhere to.


    A Test Engineer designs test methods and conducts evaluations to determine product performance. This can occur during either the design or production stage. When he is given the task to test a certain product, a test engineer would test various aspects of the products so as to gauge which technique gives the best output.
    The QA Engineer would make an entry when the product has reached the production stage to be rest assured that the  product is being devised as per the specifications mentioned by the client. A QA Engineer often works closer to the production end of the business, and writes inspection procedures and audits the process on the production floor, rather than being directly involved with the testing.
    [MOD: warning]

    vipin jain

    We expect people here should answer based on their knowledge and not copy pasting from other sites.

    Bharat just copy pasted from “www.360logica.com/blog/qa-engineer-test-engineer-whats-pick/” which we all can do.


    Noted. Thank you Vipin for pointing this out.


    Isn’t it just a terminology people are using ? My title is officially QA engineer and it is considered to be the go-to-person when it comes to product quality, with respect to development. In ISTQB phrases it would probably map to Technical Test analyst – I’m not a tester, I dont have test education or experience. I see myself closer to code and actual development, than ensuring that user scenarios and/or workflows are functional..

    maybe more focusing on the verification step instead of validation.

    BUT, from reading job positions etc, it seems that there is a big mix of titles, and they are more or less interchangeable.


    You’re right that there is no end-all job description for that title or any other title. Companies will call their job roles whatever they want so this whole discussion is a bit pointless :-). In some companies they’ll say a QA Engineer is what everybody else calls a tester, in other cases it’ll be someone with your responsibilities and in others it will be the person responsible for designing the quality procedures for the manufacturing process.


    Role of QA engineer is to ensure that all quality goals are met according to the laid standers e.g. ISO 900.1 etc.

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