Quality assurance is a vital part of the software creation process. It's what ensures that the final product meets all requirements. Here at Unosquare, we work with across multiple software development lifecycle processes with our diverse client base around the world. What is consistent across each project is that quality assurance involved at each stage, from planning through support and maintenance.
Want to know more about the process? Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about quality assurance. We'll share more information about what quality assurance is, why it matters in software development, and what you must know to maintain software quality.
What is quality assurance?
Quality assurance (QA) is done to make sure that services or products provided by an organization to customers are high quality. It focuses on aligning the creation process with quality standards defined for these services and products.
What is QA in software development?
Quality assurance in software development (or software quality assurance) refers to identifying and maintaining requirements that have been set for developing software products. A well-developed quality assurance process improves workflow and leads to consistency.
How is Quality Assurance different from software testing?
QA and software testing often used interchangeably or confused. Some people in the QA role are actually called "testers." The reality, however, is that quality assurance differs from software testing in a handful of different ways. Software testing tends to be a reactive or corrective measure.
In contrast, software QA is proactive, preventive, and applies to all products that an organization creates. Both play an important role in software, but QA is something that you should be thinking about and implementing long before a product is complete.
What does a team need to know to make QA successful?
QA professionals understand that being on the same page is key to success. This means they should be clear on what their role is. They also must have clarity on goals and what they’re expected to accomplish. Additionally, they need working knowledge of necessary tools, team priorities, timelines, and the standards that their work must live up to.
Software Delivery Professionals focused on testing are a vital part to an Agile Team and a development cycle. Working well with Engineering counterparts is an important part to keeping a team productive. At times there can be conflict between those submitting the code and those testing and important to work as colleagues and avoid adversarial situations. Having good “soft skills" is an important skill-set for QA professionals to develop.
Quality assurance do's and dont's
Next, let's talk about QA best practices and pitfalls. These are situations that some teams and organizations face when managing QA. Here’s what you need to keep in mind whether you take QA in-house or outsource the process.
Don't: Place the blame for an issue on a single person or part of the process
When something breaks down, it can be tempting to locate the cause, place blame, and get the issue fixed as quickly as possible. However, it's important to remember that QA is a process that is designed to find problems and resolve them. Trying to pin the blame on a particular person or part of the process can often waste valuable time.
Do: Work to understand the whole picture
Of course, you should address issues when you find them and work to understand the origin. However, it's important to approach this from a place of striving for continuous improvement. Everyone wants to release the best product they possibly can. Gaining a holistic view of any issues and changes made is critical to making products and the QA process better.
Don't: Only consider bugs and errors
Often, when we think about QA, the conversation revolves around bugs and errors. We zero in on things that break and make software unusable. The problem with taking this approach is that whether something is working or not, while important, isn't the only factor to consider when determining quality.
Do: Think about the impact of user experience
Even if a feature works, your team must think about the process from the end-user perspective. Is it easy for them to use or is it difficult and too complex? Answering this question and focusing on improving the user experience results in a better quality product. After all, customer satisfaction should be top of mind throughout the development process.
Don't: Worry about cost and speed
We all have to deal with deadlines and budgets in our day-to-day work. Sometimes, this can lead us to cut corners or rush the process of QA. In reality, handling the process this way can lead to more time and money wasted down the road. While you may need to take these things into consideration, don't base your QA decisions solely on cost and speed.
Do: Focus on the value
Instead of costs and time, it's important to focus on the benefits of having these processes in place. Hiring the right talent or choosing a skilled outsourcing partner for QA pays off. In fact, high-performing organizations spend 22% less time on unplanned work and rework. That means that while on paper, solid QA processes could be more of a cost upfront, they actually provide a lot of value in the amount of money and time you save.
What is the difference between Manual QA and Automation?
Simply put, Manual QA testing is performed by a human, working through tasks step by step, without test scripts, to make sure that acceptance criteria are met. In Automation testing, testing is typically executed through automation frameworks and a combination of additional software and tools. Automation professionals, sometimes referred to Software Development Engineers in Test (SDET) have skills in coding and test maintenance. These processes are used to do more, in a shorter time frame, with the intention of speeding up productivity. Though it’s important to remember that manual testing may be more tedious, it still can be better suited to handle specific scenarios compared to automation.
One type of testing doesn’t necessarily replace the other, you need both to handle the complex and more rudimentary test cases. The combination of both approaches intends to improve the quality of the software delivered.
Why is it important to maintain software quality?
Maintaining software quality helps reduce problems and errors in the final product. It also allows a company to meet the expectations and requirements of customers. This makes it possible for companies to build high-quality products that, in turn, increase the trust and loyalty of consumers. By following the standards and procedures defined by a QA program, teams can uncover issues before they emerge.
Want software that meets quality standards every time?
Quality assurance is an essential part of the software development process that should never be overlooked. To succeed, companies must strive to deliver products that are functional, meet requirements and provide the best possible user experience. However, you can't deliver these products if you don't have an experienced quality assurance team in place.
Are you looking to outsource to a company with excellent Quality Assurance Delivery Professionals? Here at Unosqaure, we have over 2,000 successfully completed projects, over 600 engineers, and more than 120 distributed teams. We know what it takes to meet and exceed project needs. Want to learn more about what Unosquare can do for your company? You can go here to check out our blog.