QA vs. QE

There are two important approaches in software testing: Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Engineering (QE). If you’re a techie, you already know that QA and QE represent distinct approaches to ensuring quality of software products, each with its own set of principles, methodologies, and goals. In this blog, we delve into the key differences between QA and QE, helping you determine which approach best aligns with your project’s specific needs and objectives.  

Understanding Quality Assurance (QA)

Quality Assurance (QA) is a well-established approach in the realm of software testing. Its primary goal is to ensure that the development process follows established standards and best practices. QA often involves processes like code reviews, compliance checks, and documentation audits. Here are some key points to consider: 

Process-Centric Approach: QA focuses on improving the software development process itself. It ensures that the team adheres to predefined procedures and guidelines. 

Preventative in Nature: The QA approach emphasises early identification and mitigation of issues to prevent defects from reaching the end product. 

Standards and Compliance: QA teams often enforce industry and company standards, ensuring that the project complies with regulations and quality benchmarks. 

Manual Testing: Manual testing is a common practice in QA to verify that the software aligns with requirements and expectations. 

Role of QA Testers: QA testers primarily play the role of auditors, overseeing the development process to catch and correct issues. 

While QA is effective at ensuring processes run smoothly and according to standards, it’s important to note that it might not always catch all potential issues in the final product, which is where Quality Engineering (QE) comes into play. 

Exploring Quality Engineering (QE) 

Quality Engineering (QE) represents a more dynamic and comprehensive approach to achieving software quality. It goes beyond process-centric quality control to focus on the product itself, emphasising continuous improvement throughout the software development lifecycle. Here are the key aspects of Quality Engineering: 

Product-Centric Focus: QE centers on the end product’s quality, with a keen eye on its performance, reliability, and user experience. The emphasis is on delivering a flawless user experience. 

Automation and Continuous Testing: QE leverages automation tools and frameworks to enable continuous testing, allowing for faster feedback and quicker issue resolution. 

Shift Left Approach: QE advocates for testing early and often in the development cycle, addressing issues as they arise and preventing defects from propagating. 

Data-Driven Decisions: QE relies on data analysis and metrics to make informed decisions about the quality of the software, aiming to identify patterns and areas for improvement. 

Involvement Throughout the Lifecycle: QE professionals are actively engaged from the project’s initiation to deployment and even post-launch. Their role is more than just testing; it’s about engineering quality into the product. 

Quality Engineering’s holistic approach is especially effective in identifying potential issues at every stage of development and ensuring a high-quality end product. It aligns with the modern agile and DevOps methodologies, emphasising collaboration, automation, and rapid feedback loops to meet customer expectations. 

Contrasting QA and QE: Making the Right Choice 

Now that we’ve explored Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Engineering (QE) separately, let’s compare these two approaches to help you determine which one suits your project best. 


QA: QA aims to ensure that established processes and standards are followed. It focuses on compliance and adherence to defined procedures. 

QE: QE’s goal is to deliver a high-quality end product, emphasising user experience, reliability, and performance. 

Timing of Testing: 

QA: QA often conducts testing at the end of the development cycle, after most of the code is written. 

QE: QE follows a “shift left” approach, starting testing early in the development process to catch and address issues sooner. 


QA: QA may use some automation but is often more reliant on manual testing. 

QE: QE heavily relies on test automation to enable continuous testing and faster feedback. 

Role of Testers: 

QA: QA testers primarily act as process auditors, checking compliance and standards. 

QE: QE professionals are involved throughout the software development lifecycle, actively engineering quality into the product. 

Feedback Loop: 

QA: QA provides feedback after the development process, making it challenging to address certain issues quickly. 

QE: QE offers real-time feedback, allowing for immediate issue resolution and continuous improvement. 


QA: QA is process-driven, which can be rigid and less adaptable to changing project requirements. 

QE: QE is more adaptable and aligned with agile and DevOps methodologies, making it well-suited for dynamic projects. 

A Merit expert says, “When deciding between Quality Assurance (QA) and Quality Engineering (QE), consider your project’s specific needs. For instance, if you’re working on a government project with strict compliance requirements, QA is the way to go to ensure adherence to regulations. Conversely, if you’re in a dynamic, agile startup environment aiming for a top-notch user experience, QE is the better choice. It focuses on delivering a high-quality product with rapid feedback, making it suitable for projects where user satisfaction and adaptability are paramount.” 

Ultimately, the decision should align with your project’s priorities and development methodology. 

Merit’s Expertise in Software Testing 

Merit is a trusted QA and Test Automation services provider that enables quicker deployment of new software and upgrades. 

Reliable QA solutions and agile test automation are imperative for software development teams to enable quicker releases. We ensure compatibility and contention testing that covers all target devices, infrastructures, and networks. Merit’s innovative testing solutions help clients confidently deploy their solutions, guaranteeing the prevention of defects at a very early stage.  

To know more, visit:

Related Case Studies

  • 01 /

    Resolving Tech Staffing Challenges Through An Off-Shore Resourcing Model

    Part of a 7.5 billion conglomerate, the client is a global B2B digital business information and analytics company that provides information-based analytics, decision tools and data services to their client

  • 02 /

    Optimised End-to-End Test Coverage and Test Automations

    A global B2B digital business information and analytics company needed optimum test automation and best practices for all stages of the software delivery