In an ideal world, developers are better suited to test their codes since they are familiar with their scripts and can easily debug their code. In the real sense, however, there are many reasons why developers testing their code might be ineffective.

Some challenges developers experience with software testing are productivity drawbacks, time constraints, and a superficial understanding of QA testing. Additionally, self-confidence and inattentiveness on the part of the developer can also cause issues with QA testing.

This post explores why developers shouldn’t test their features in a software development cycle. Also, we recommended effective alternatives for code testing instead of your software developers. Read on!

Why Is QA Testing Essential in Software Development?

Building software is intricate, requiring meticulous attentiveness to detail in every stage of the development process. Therefore, QA testing consists of procedures to help software teams deploy solutions and applications that are highly functional and helpful for an end user. 

When developers write a program, they might make mistakes that affect an application’s function and performance. By simulating a user’s journey, QA professionals can unveil any lapses in the user experience that may negatively impact overall satisfaction.

Aside from user satisfaction, QA testing helps identify issues early that could otherwise lead to significant rework later in the development cycle. It also helps software teams save time and money if managed correctly.

What Is the Role of a QA Tester in Software Development?

A QA tester plays a crucial role in software development. Below is a breakdown of their primary functions:

1. Ensuring Quality

QA testers have the technical skills required to guarantee the quality of software deployments. First, the QA tester identifies bugs by performing various types of testing – unit, integration, system, acceptance, etc. Then, they report the bugs to developers.

Also, QA testers ensure the developed software meets all functional and non-functional requirements by assessing usability, accessibility, and performance from a user’s perspective.

2. Preventing Issues

A QA tester helps to prevent issues by planning and designing comprehensive testing approaches for different project phases. Also, they use automation tools and scripts for repetitive testing procedures, which can improve efficiency and coverage.

Scalability is another metric in developing software products, so QA testers typically test an application’s performance under increased loads and conditions to identify performance bottlenecks. Additionally, they help to identify and mitigate potential security vulnerabilities.

3. Contributing to Continuous Improvement

Aside from ensuring high-quality software deployments and preventing issues, QA testers contribute to continuous improvement throughout a software development cycle. With data analytics skillsets, they can analyze test data and recommend improvements for future releases.

QA testers also establish clear metrics to measure software quality and give constructive feedback to developers and CTOs on improvements and usability. Moreover, they try to stay informed about the latest testing tools, methodologies, and industry standards.

Why Is It Ineffective for Software Developers to Test Their Code?

Developer testing is relatively ineffective. Below are some reasons why developers should not test their features:

1. Limited Scope of QA Testing

Unlike QA teams trained to test applications and ensure they’re functional and of high quality, developers only focus on writing the program to make a product run successfully.

To ascertain the quality of a software product, it’s essential to carry out comprehensive testing, including the following:

  • Functional Tests: Unit testing, integration testing, system testing, acceptance testing, usability testing, accessibility testing
  • Non-Functional Tests: Performance testing, security testing, compatibility testing, localization testing    

The training for software developers does not include the testing framework (functional and non-functional tests). More often than not, developers are only familiar with unit testing. As a result, the chances that a developer can provide comprehensive testing for a software product are fewer. 

Additionally, software developers may lack the technical skills, training, and mindset to see their code from a user’s perspective. While developers can run codes to test software, their limited scope of software testing can affect the product quality and user experience.

2. Time Constraints

According to Radix Web, a software development project typically takes approximately 4.5 months to finish. Given this brief period to build a product, software developers may not have sufficient time to test the features they create.

Instead, you should find other means to test software while developers focus on what they do best – creating outstanding features through coding. 

Some companies ask their developers to create code to automate the testing process. This method might be effective; however, creating code to automate software testing is as time-consuming as developers performing the tests themselves.

As a result, most developers shun writing code to automate testing. What works better is performing unit tests for functions and classes. Although performing unit tests still eats into developers’ productive time, it’s better than writing a program to automate testing.

3. Productivity and Cost Concerns

Testing can be time-consuming, especially for complex software development projects. This can take away from the productive time developers spend on other vital tasks like writing codes, designing, and creating documentation. Moreover, constantly switching between coding and testing can be mentally fatiguing and reduce overall productivity

Also, in most software development projects, companies usually hire more than one developer to work on different aspects of a project. So, it can drain your team’s productivity if developers have to set aside core tasks to debug the codes they write.

Besides, asking your developers to perform testing can be cost-intensive. Since multiple developers have to work on different aspects of a software development project, it’s expected that you’ll compensate each developer for their additional QA testing roles. This method can increase your product development costs.

4. Inadequate Testing Skills and Tools

QA experts use specific tools and have skills tailored to comprehensive software testing. As for developers, they have to rely on code to catch bugs and fix them. While using code to catch bugs may be effective, the results may be less impressive compared to when a QA tester performs the testing.

5. Human Errors and Developer Self-Confidence

Developers are quite familiar with the coding language they use in software development. As a result, there’s the possibility of missing some bugs that may require considerable reworking later in the development cycle.

If your developers are fatigued or need motivation, which is typical of humans, they might make mistakes during testing. These mistakes can pose a challenge later in the application development cycle.

In another vein, many developers are confident about their skills and hardly agree they could make a mistake. You’ll experience challenges getting a developer with this mindset to test their feature.

Even if such a developer agrees to test their code, they’d likely be less critical and attentive while performing the tests. With little attention paid, they may miss errors and bugs that can affect the quality of the software product.

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Proven Alternatives for QA Testing Instead of Using Software Developers

Follow our recommendations below to find other ways to perform QA testing while freeing your developers to focus on codes and designs.

1. Get a QA Tester (or QA Team)

Collaborating with a QA tester has proven effective for many product teams. Test Rail’s 2023 Software Testing and Quality Report suggests that QA engineers and testers handle about 93% of software testing responsibilities in companies. The same report showed a decline in developers’ involvement in testing from 38% in 2021 to 30% in 2022.

In the same report, Puppet showed that high-performing apps have 200x more frequent code deployments. Amazon, for instance, deploys code thousands of times daily. Guess how these top-performing apps make this incredible number of deployments? By having a dedicated QA team identifying and reporting bugs early.

2. Leverage AI-driven QA Testing

While skilled developers provide valuable insights during testing, their inherent biases and time constraints can limit the scope and effectiveness of their efforts. This is where AI-powered QA tools step in, offering exciting possibilities for surpassing human capabilities and optimizing the testing process.

With AI-enabled QA software, you can

  • Automate repetitive tasks: AI handles tedious test case creation, execution, and regression testing, freeing up developers for more strategic tasks.
  • Uncover hidden patterns: Advanced algorithms analyze vast amounts of data, identifying subtle bugs and performance issues that might easily slip through human eyes.
  • Learn and adapt: AI-powered tools continuously learn from past testing data, refining their techniques and improving their efficiency over time.
  • Provide real-time feedback: Developers receive instant notifications about potential issues, enabling them to fix problems promptly and iterate quickly.

QA Tech is an AI-driven QA Testing Tool for Software Development Teams

Developer testing is effective but has multiple drawbacks. It would help to hire a dedicated QA team or to leverage AI, which is cheaper, faster, and more reliable. Companies launching highly successful applications with faster market times already leverage AI-driven automation in their software development cycles.

Does your company need to outsource QA testing for your vital product development projects? QA Tech is an AI-driven platform for autonomous QA testing, helping your development team to be more productive and focused on their core tasks, with fewer bugs to worry about and instant feedback. Contact us today to discover how we can help you.