qa vs qe

Published: 14 Nov 2023

Quality Assurance vs. Quality Engineering – What your Business Needs

Last Updated: 10 Jul 2024

Table of Contents
  1. Quality Assurance vs Quality Engineering
  2. Making a Move from Quality Assurance to Quality Engineering
  3. The Limitations of Traditional Quality Assurance Practices
  4. Why is this Change Important?
  5. Conclusion
  6. How can TestingXperts help you with Quality Engineering Services?

As per a survey, organizations with a strong focus on Quality Engineering experience up to a 40% reduction in post-release defects compared to those relying solely on Quality Assurance practices.

Another survey of software development teams depicts, “68% of project failures were attributed to a lack of clarity and understanding regarding the distinction between Quality Engineering and Quality Assurance.”

These numbers clearly underscore the impact of quality engineering and how important it is to know the difference to understand project objectives better, run efficient processes, and ultimately aim for product quality.

Quality Assurance vs Quality Engineering

Quality Assurance vs Quality Engineering

“While ‘Quality Assurance’ focuses on ensuring the quality of the final product, ‘Quality Engineering’ takes a proactive role in shaping the development of high-quality products and efficient processes. In simple words, QA primarily identifies defects in the software that has already been developed, while QE represents a technical evolution, shifting from predominantly manual processes to predominantly automated ones. Moreover, QE adheres to a ‘shift-left’ methodology and starts test automation early in the software development life cycle to catch and address issues in the beginning.”

Here’s the major difference between Quality Assurance and Quality Engineering:

Aspect  Quality Assurance (QA)  Quality Engineering (QE) 
Focus  Ensures product quality through processes and methodologies.  Enhances product quality through a combination of processes, tools, and engineering practices. 
Role  Typically, a separate function or team is responsible for creating and maintaining QA processes and standards.  Often integrated within the development team, with engineers taking responsibility for quality throughout the SDLC. 
Responsibilities  Setting quality standards, creating test plans, and performing manual testing.  Developing and maintaining automated testing, continuous integration, and continuous delivery pipelines. 
Scope  Primarily concentrates on testing and validating the final product.  Broadens its scope to include the entire development process, emphasizing early defect prevention. 
Timing  QA activities typically occur after development is complete or during specific testing phases.  QE activities start from the project’s inception and continue throughout the development lifecycle. 
Feedback Loop  Feedback is mainly retrospective and used for process improvement.  Constant, real-time feedback is provided to developers to identify and fix issues as they arise. 
Tools  Relies on manual testing, test management tools, and test documentation.  Utilizes automation tools, DevOps practices, and CI/CD pipelines for testing and deployment. 
Objective  To ensure that the product meets quality standards and requirements.  To proactively build quality into the product and minimize defects early on. 
Skillset  Emphasizes domain knowledge, test planning, and execution.  Requires strong technical and automation skills, software development expertise, and a focus on preventive measures. 

Both Quality Assurance and Quality Engineering play crucial roles in delivering high-quality software, but they differ in their approach and scope. QE is a more proactive and integrated approach that aims to prevent defects, while QA focuses on post-development validation and compliance.

Making a Move from Quality Assurance to Quality Engineering

quality assurance to quality engineering

Moving from QA to QE is a manageable shift that demands a shift in mindset and processes rather than substantial financial resources. The encouraging aspect is that you don’t need the financial muscle of a tech giant to embrace robust Quality Engineering practices. This transformation can be accomplished by introducing adjustments to your current workflows, including:

QA engineering team transformation

Companies have the capability to retrain their current workforce to effectively navigate the shift from QA to QE. This entails a transformation of the organizational culture and the team’s perspective, along with the enhancement of skills and tools. Given that the existing QA engineers already possess a solid grasp of the product, their transition to QE is likely to be more seamless.

Shift-Left Approach

The ‘shift-left’ methodology incorporates Quality Assurance (QA) right from the inception of the development life cycle, enabling active involvement in software design sessions and the formulation of testing strategies. In a similar vein, Quality Engineering (QE) also engages from the early stages of the development life cycle. However, its primary emphasis lies in crafting a comprehensive test strategy geared towards achieving higher levels of test automation.

DevOps Implementation

Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Deployment (CD) pipelines offer substantial time and effort savings by replacing manual and error-prone deployment tasks. These pipelines complement the ‘shift-left’ testing approach, promoting quality right from the initiation of the software development lifecycle. Furthermore, it’s possible to include automated tests that are scheduled to be executed after each deployment.

The transition from QA to QE is a pivotal step for organizations, empowering them to facilitate digital transformation and ensure a consistent, desired customer experience. Quality Engineering (QE) plays a crucial role in creating versatile platforms that integrate a wide range of tools, utilities, and advanced technologies like AI/ML with lifecycle automation encompassing business processes, functional UI, API, test data, and environments. Additionally, this transition provides superior and highly efficient coverage across both code and functionality, leading to a continuous enhancement of product quality.

Automation Testing with AI/ML capabilities

Equipping testers with automation testing expertise enables the utilization of intelligent test automation, resulting in expanded coverage and enhanced quality. The creation of a sturdy automation framework facilitates a seamless transition from traditional QA to more comprehensive Quality Engineering (QE) practices.

The Limitations of Traditional Quality Assurance Practices

qa practices

Recent shifts in software delivery have been significantly influenced by alterations in software assurance approaches. The surge of agile and iterative development methodologies is chiefly responsible for these transformations. This shift in paradigm has led to the adoption of more frequent, smaller software releases, departing from the lengthy timelines of the past. It encourages teams to embrace simplified approaches and nurtures a culture of adaptability.

The role of quality analysis has undergone significant evolution due to these dynamic methodologies. To align with sprint cycles, comprehensive system testing is now performed more frequently, typically every two or three weeks, in response to the evolving demands of quality analysis. This represents a departure from the previous, slower paradigm where testing was less frequent and more sporadic in nature.

Transitioning from the antiquated paradigm to these contemporary approaches poses certain challenges.

Continuous Demand for Maintaining Good Quality:

It is essential due to the shift towards agile and iterative development, which necessitates the integration of quality into every phase of the development lifecycle, as opposed to relegating it solely to the final stages.

Focus on Automation:

In this evolving context, automation plays a vital role, and there is a proactive pursuit of testing automation solutions to ensure that testing procedures are both effective and thorough.

Enhanced Functions for Quality assurance companies:

Organizations are gaining increased significance and prominence in response to the changing landscape, as they play a crucial role in ensuring that the ongoing adoption of agile and iterative methodologies consistently yields high-quality software products.

Why is this Change Important?

qa to qe change

The shift from Quality Assurance (QA) to Quality Engineering (QE) is primarily motivated by the evolution of service-oriented architectural models. In this contemporary mindset, development teams often conceptualize their business implementations as sets of services that collaborate while maintaining individual functionality, guided by rigorous contractual regulations. This transformation has given rise to a range of alterations and factors to be taken into account.

Challenges for QA Engineers:

Conventional QA engineers have faced notable hurdles, including the requirement to generate code prior to its actual existence, engaging in post-design stages to pinpoint critical tests and essential functionalities, and embracing frameworks that replicate dependencies. These adaptations are intended to streamline the workflow and minimize dependence on both upstream and downstream factors.

Shift in Testing Phases:

Unit testing has been moved to an earlier stage in the development process, and integration testing now demands the participation of QA teams at a much earlier point compared to previous practices. This reconfiguration of the testing stages guarantees a more comprehensive and tightly integrated approach to ensuring quality.

Holistic Software Quality:

The shift towards Quality Engineering (QE) represents a comprehensive perspective on software quality, in which quality is not solely the result of testing but is intrinsically woven into the entire development process. This transformation is rooted in the concept that quality engineering commences with the initial architectural choices and extends through development, risk mitigation, early issue identification, and ongoing enhancements.


The choice between Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Engineering (QE) is a critical consideration for any business. While QA has traditionally focused on testing at the later stages of development, QE embraces a holistic approach, embedding quality throughout the entire software development lifecycle.

In today’s dynamic and competitive landscape, businesses must prioritize not only the end product but also the processes that lead to it. QE, with its emphasis on proactive risk management, early issue detection, and continuous improvement, offers a strategic advantage. Ultimately, the decision between QA and QE hinges on the extent to which a business is willing to invest in engineering quality and ensuring that it is not just a goal, but an integral part of the software development journey. The choice between QA and QE is a critical one that can significantly impact a business’s ability to deliver high-quality software in a rapidly evolving digital world.

How can TestingXperts help you with Quality Engineering Services?

qa testing services

With a proven history of reducing the number of post-production defects by up to 50% and cutting testing costs by 30%, TestingXperts delivers tangible business value by enhancing software quality, reducing rework, and increasing the efficiency of your development processes. By harnessing advanced test automation techniques, our experts help increase test coverage and significantly reduce testing cycle times, thereby saving both time and resources. TestingXperts expertise in continuous testing ensures that quality is upheld throughout the development process, leading to faster time-to-market and improved customer satisfaction.

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