Quality Engineering Vs. Quality Assurance_ Everything You Need To Know-1

Quality Engineering Vs. Quality Assurance: Everything You Need To Know

The way we make and deliver things has changed a lot because of new technologies and the easy access to information.


Nowadays, instead of just checking the quality of a product at the end of making it, we’re finding better ways to make sure it’s good from the start. This is especially true in manufacturing and software development. They’re moving from something called Quality Assurance (QA) to something called Quality Engineering (QE). But what’s the difference, and why are people leaning towards quality engineering?


Quality engineering is a newer way of making sure products are good by checking them at every step of the way. It’s based on the idea that everyone involved in making the product is responsible for its quality at their specific stage of the process. This way, problems can be fixed right away, making the overall product better.


Under the quality engineering model, making sure the product is good doesn’t stop when it’s finished. It keeps going in a cycle, using information from each stage to make the next round even better.


Quality engineering doesn’t just focus on the product itself. It also looks at the processes used to make the product, aiming to reduce waste. Waste, in this case, means the extra costs that come from fixing mistakes at the end of the process. The goal is to catch and fix issues earlier, making the whole process more efficient and cost-effective.


QA and QE play vital roles in ensuring top-notch software quality during development. Though often used interchangeably, they have distinct functions.

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QA vs QE - Simplified

Both QA and QE seamlessly fit into Agile and DevOps frameworks, emphasizing continuous integration and delivery. They incorporate quality checks and test automation into the development pipeline, catching defects early for more stable releases.

5 key Difference Between Quality Engineering And Quality Assurance

Although both QA and QE aim to deliver high-quality software, they differ in approach and scope. QA centers on creating processes and guidelines, while QE extends its influence throughout the development lifecycle, utilizing data and advanced practices.


QA entails activities ensuring the final product meets customer requirements. It includes defining quality standards, crafting testing plans, conducting tests, and addressing issues before product release.


5 key differences between quality engineering and quality assurance are as follow


  1. QA focuses on maintaining the quality of the finished product, while QE establishes systems for the product to meet quality standards at various stages.
  2. QE involves all teams in the product development process in paying attention to quality, whereas QA typically relies on a separate quality assurance team that intervenes when the product is complete.
  3. QE sees quality as a combined effort from both top-down and bottom-up perspectives, on the other hand QA views quality primarily as a top-down effort.
  4. QE emphasizes using the right testing tools for each development stage, whereas QA adopts a more standardized “one-size-fits-all” approach.
  5. QE aims to stay agile and flexible, while QA takes a broader view of the overall picture.
5 key Difference Between Quality Engineering And Quality Assurance

What is Quality Assurance?

QA is a systematic approach to monitor and enhance the development process, ensuring the final product meets set quality standards. It involves defining processes, setting guidelines, and adopting practices to prevent bugs and maintain consistency.

QA's Focus

QA aims to create and uphold a framework that encourages following established quality standards throughout development. By implementing procedures and protocols, it minimizes risks, boosts efficiency, and delivers a dependable end product.

QA Goals

  • Ensure consistent quality across products or services by establishing and adhering to defined processes and standards.
  • Minimize variations in quality due to human error or process deviations.
  • Enhance customer satisfaction, build trust, and foster long-term relationships with clients.
  • Ensure adherence to industry standards, regulations, and guidelines, crucial in regulated industries like healthcare and finance.

Quality Assurance for APIs

QA teams execute tests to verify API functionality, ensuring accurate performance and expected results across various scenarios.


Key performance indicators (KPIs) like defect density, test coverage, and customer satisfaction ratings provide insights into product quality.


QA professionals use automated testing software, version control systems, and bug tracking systems for efficient collaboration and thorough testing.

QA Skills

  • Strong understanding of software development methodologies, testing techniques, and best practices.


  • Effective communication, attention to detail, and analytical thinking for identifying and communicating potential issues.

QA Certifications

Certifications like ISTQB validate expertise and demonstrate commitment to maintaining high-quality standards in software testing.

What Is Quality Engineering?

Quality Engineering goes beyond just checking the product itself. It emphasizes analyzing the processes involved in product development to reduce waste. Waste, in this context, refers to the extra costs incurred from fixing defects at the end of the process. The goal is to catch and fix issues earlier, making the entire process more efficient and cost-effective.


Quality Engineering (QE) extends beyond traditional QA by integrating quality practices throughout the development lifecycle, emphasizing prevention, collaboration, data-driven insights, and continuous improvement.


  • Prevent defects by implementing rigorous processes and best practices.
  • Minimize rework, reduce costs, and enhance overall product quality.
  • Foster collaboration across multidisciplinary teams for shared responsibility in delivering high-quality software.

Data-Driven Insights

  • Collect and analyze data to gain insights into development process performance and product quality.
  • Guide decision-making, identify improvement areas, and detect patterns impacting quality.

Continuous Improvement

  • Regularly assess processes, tools, and methodologies for enhancement and innovation.
  • Optimize workflows, refine practices, and adopt emerging technologies aligned with industry best practices.


  • Measure defect density, test coverage, mean time to detect/resolve defects, and customer satisfaction (e.g., NPS) for data-driven decision-making and continuous improvement.


  • Utilize advanced analytics, machine learning, and automation alongside traditional QA tools to predict defects, optimize testing, and enhance delivery.

QE Skills

  • Deep understanding of software architecture, design principles, and data analysis.
  • Strong leadership and collaboration skills to drive quality practices across cross-functional teams.

Quality Engineering in Software Development

In software development, Quality Engineering is closely tied to the test-driven development (TDD) methodology. TDD assumes that before developers write application code, they create a test that the code should pass. After writing the code, the test is executed to check if the code passes successfully.


Quality Engineering in software development is also connected to DevOps and agile processes. DevOps combines software development and IT operations, promoting collaboration and embedding security at every stage of development. Agile processes allow for quick issue resolution throughout the development process.


The goals of Quality Engineering in software development include identifying and solving issues as they occur, overseeing and controlling processes, establishing metrics and standards, collecting and analyzing data, developing suitable tests, brainstorming solutions, and ensuring that issues are resolved.

Quality Engineering Methodologies And Tools

Implementing Quality Engineering (QE) can be a challenging task that requires time, resources, and commitment. Having the right tools is essential for the job. Here are some standard methodologies and tools that can assist development teams in implementing QE:

Quality Management System (QMS)

QMS is a crucial tool for organizations focusing on both Quality Engineering (QE) and Quality Assurance (QA). It helps formalize documentation and processes to achieve and maintain quality standards. QMS outlines quality objectives and identifies responsible parties.


In both Quality Engineering (QE) and Quality Assurance (QA), ensuring product quality is crucial. That’s why a key tool for any organization aiming to manage quality is a Quality Management System (QMS). The QMS helps formalize documentation and processes to achieve and maintain quality standards. It outlines quality objectives and designates responsibility for meeting them.

Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP)

Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) is a tool that improves communication between supply chain management and customers, facilitating and managing changes in existing products and processes. Through this communication, developers gather information about customer requirements and how products can meet these needs. In the context of QE, APQP helps developers understand which parts of their products are working well and identifies areas for change or improvement. It can also be used to reduce costs by eliminating parts that users are not interested in.

Statistical Process Control (SPC)

Statistical Process Control (SPC) provides development teams with an industry-standard methodology to control and measure quality in the development or manufacturing process. This method utilizes quality data obtained from product measurement processes.

Problem Solving Tools

In Quality Engineering (QE) teams, solving problems at each development stage is crucial, and various tools can assist in this process. Kaoru Ishikawa, a Japanese organizational theorist, introduced the Classic Seven Quality Tools, and many sophisticated tools today still follow his basic model.


  1. Cause-and-Effect Diagram: Identifies factors responsible for a given result, categorizing causes to pinpoint and classify sources of variation.
  2. Check Sheet: A real-time document where data is stored during collection.
  3. Control Chart: Monitors processes, ensuring they are under control with no need for immediate changes. Collected data can also predict future process performance.
  4. Histogram: Places data into intervals to categorize and understand its distribution, assisting in identifying areas needing attention.
  5. Pareto Chart: Combines a line graph and bars to identify the most critical factors in a given set. Often used in quality control to highlight leading causes of faults or customer concerns.
  6. Scatter Plot: Compares two variables, illustrating their relationship and influence on each other.
  7. Stratified Sampling: A sampling method that groups different population segments before studying them, ensuring all components related to a problem are fully considered.
Problem Solving Tools

Quality Engineering Certifications

If a career in Quality Engineering (QE) interests you, understanding QE certifications is essential. According to Study.com, experienced engineers seeking career advancement can pursue certified quality engineer credentials. Candidates must demonstrate a strong understanding of quality systems, mathematics, and the motivation to delve into the finer details of quality engineering.

Certification is based on educational qualifications and job experience, with the Certified Quality Engineer Body of Knowledge determining specific expertise areas. The American Society for Quality (ASQ) conducts quality engineer certification exams twice a year.

What Are The Driving Trends Towards QE Over QA?

The shift from Quality Assurance (QA) to Quality Engineering (QE) is more than just a change in approach – it represents a cultural shift within development teams. So, what trends are pushing this change?

According to a report from multinational professional services company Accenture Plc., titled “Quality Engineering in the New,” traditional software testing has been significantly impacted by the rise of DevOps, intelligent automation, and the increasing use of digital applications. The report highlights that testing has evolved into quality engineering, starting early in the application planning phase and creating a continuous feedback loop to address and anticipate unknown issues. Accenture suggests that it’s time to unlearn some traditional practices.


Nitin Mehra, an Engineering Director at job search engine. Indeed, points out that concepts like agile development have fundamentally changed the traditional model of quality assurance in terms of software development timelines and delivery. Agile development encourages smaller, more frequent releases, impacting how testing is approached.


From these perspectives, it’s evident that the adoption of technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) and automation is a significant driver in the shift from QA to QE. AI and automation enable teams to collect historical data, helping identify and address problems faster or even before they arise. These technologies empower a more proactive and efficient quality engineering approach.

Comparison and Contrast between Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Engineering (QE)

Comparison and Contrast between Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Engineering (QE)

Quality Assurance (QA) vs Quality Engineering (QE)

While Quality Assurance (QA) traditionally focused on final production on the other hand Quality Engineering (QE) takes on a broader role within the Quality Process.

Add Your Heading Text Here

In software development, both quality engineering and quality assurance are crucial for delivering reliable and high-performing products. Quality Engineering involves a broader range of practices, including prevention and continuous improvement, while Quality Assurance focuses more on verification and testing.


Both concepts are vital for achieving high-quality products, but Quality Engineering takes a more comprehensive and strategic approach to this goal.

Frequently Asked Questions

No, they differ in scope and approach. QA concentrates on processes, while QE integrates product quality.

Software Quality Assurance (SQA) is a subset of QA that specifically deals with ensuring the quality of the software development process.

Yes, QA engineers play a critical role in ensuring the quality and reliability of software products, making them real engineers.

While testing is part of quality software engineering, quality engineers focus on broader quality aspects and process improvements.

QA analysts primarily test, but they may also collaborate with developers to identify and resolve issues.

Yes, manual testing is often part of QA, but automated testing is crucial for efficiency.

No, QA involves more than testing; it includes process improvement, adherence to standards, and defect prevention.

The main types are functional testing (ensuring software meets specifications) and non-functional testing (verifying performance, security, etc.).

QA testers need skills in testing methodologies, technical understanding, communication, problem-solving, and attention to detail.