Should QA or Developers be Responsible for Automated Testing?

2 min. read

The importance of automated testing cannot be overstated. It's crucial in ensuring an application's reliability, functionality, and scalability. Yet, there's often a misconception that automated testing is primarily the responsibility of the Quality Assurance (QA) team. However, expecting QA to bear the brunt of automated testing can lead to inefficiencies and subpar results. In this blog post, we'll explore why managers should look to developers rather than QA to take the lead on building automated tests.

Complexity of Test Writing

Contrary to popular belief, writing effective automated tests can be just as challenging, if not more so, than writing the code being tested. Test automation requires careful consideration of edge cases, input variations, and system interactions to ensure comprehensive coverage. QA testers may struggle with the intricacies of test writing, leading to tests that are incomplete, ineffective, or difficult to maintain. On the other hand, developers have a deep understanding of the codebase and can more easily anticipate potential issues, resulting in higher-quality automated tests.

Time Constraints and Priorities

QA team members are typically tasked with manual testing, ensuring the software meets specified requirements and functions as intended. This manual testing is time-consuming and demands significant attention to detail. As a result, QA testers are often stretched thin, with little time to spare for developing and maintaining automated tests. Expecting them to juggle both manual testing and automated test development is unrealistic and can lead to compromised quality in both areas.

Programming Talent and Expertise

While QA testers excel at understanding software functionality and identifying potential issues, they may not always possess the same level of programming expertise as developers. Automated test development requires a deep understanding of programming languages, testing frameworks, and best practices. While some QA testers may possess these skills, many do not, and expecting them to acquire them quickly can be unreasonable. Conversely, developers are already well-versed in programming and are better equipped to create robust and efficient automated tests.

Ownership and Accountability

By entrusting developers with the responsibility of automated testing, managers foster a culture of ownership and accountability within the development team. Developers are more invested in the success of the software they build and are motivated to ensure its quality through comprehensive testing practices. When developers take ownership of automated testing, they are more likely to prioritize it alongside development tasks, leading to more reliable and maintainable test suites.

Final Thoughts

QA testers play a crucial role in ensuring software quality through manual testing and expecting them to lead automated testing efforts is impractical and inefficient. Developers are better positioned to be responsible for building and maintaining automated tests, given their programming expertise, understanding of the codebase, and motivation to ensure software quality. By recognizing the strengths and limitations of each team member and aligning responsibilities accordingly, managers can foster a more effective and collaborative approach to testing, ultimately resulting in higher-quality software products.

We'd love to hear your thoughts on who should be responsible for automated testing. Reach us via Twitter , Linkedin, or send us a message.

Keith Kikta

NestJS • C# • AWS • Azure • Integration • EPM • CPM