Should “QA” be used as a verb?

May 09, 2014

I’ve heard the term “QA” used as a verb repeatedly and I’ve never really agreed with that usage of the term:

  • How long will it take you to “QA” that?
  • Go “QA” the latest release

I’ve always thought people should be using the word “testing” in that context. The problem I have with using QA as a verb is that QA is so much more than testing… it is a set of actions to analyze the product, develop/execute test cases, document issues and ideally improve the development process to prevent bugs in the future.

While researching some blogs to make this post I ran across a post from a software developer that makes a good argument about QA being used as a verb. The argument is:

“When I “QA” my code, I am not just testing it to make sure it works. I mean the damn thing compiled so it works in some way right? No, what I am doing is making sure that my code does what is expected in the way it is expected. Currently that also means to ensure that the User Experience (UX) is what is expected and acceptable and that the User Interface (UI) is correct and follows our standards and guidelines.

A Quality Assurance Specialist does oh so much more in my opinion. If all they did was test, I could write some kind of AI (Artificial Intelligence) code that would step through a test. Oh wait, our QA department already does that. Companies have created whole suites of tools to do the stuff that can be defined and automated. ie; click this button and this value should appear given these parameters…every time.

To me, a Quality Assurance Specialist’s main focus should be, assuring quality. Quality of layout and design. Quality of user experience. Quality of consistent coding and calculations. Quality of the product as a whole package, not just the one issue on the one page that you are testing.” Read the whole post here.

Maybe I should change my stance?