Quality Assurance (QA) in Software Engineering

The perceived quality of a service or product has a direct correlation with the success of a business. Quality Assurance and Quality Control is important to ensure that the software code and product are performing as expected. The ability to apply quality checks throughout the software development process is a definite advantage.

Quite alarmingly, according to a report by Testlio, only 29% of mobile developers do exploratory testing prior to launch.

The key to having a well-functioning and competitive application is Quality Assurance. It's a part of the software testing process that consists of Quality Assurance, Quality Control as a part of QA, and Testing as a part of QC. Quality-focused companies use QA as a powerful tool to stay competitive in a crowded marketplace. Even when there are continual testing phases built into the system as with GitOps and DevOps, Quality Assurance is top of the agenda.

In this article, we will explore the quality assurance and quality control processes and how a software development company ensures that a product is ready for the market.

What is quality assurance?

A brief look at the processes within Quality Assurance (QA) in Software Development..

Quality Assurance is a system of methods and practices that control and guarantee the exceptional quality of a product. Quality control helps to provide user-friendly and profitable products or services. The software development industry also set up quality standards and QA aims to achieve them. 

To understand what exactly QA is, we should determine the difference between QA, QC, and testing. While Quality assurance focuses on improving the software development process and making it efficient and effective as per the quality standards defined for software products, Quality Control is a part of quality assurance focused on fulfilling quality requirements. So, the QA team works on preventing bugs, and QC should identify them. 

The appearance of unrecognised little issues at any stage of the software development cycle can cause a more significant and unsolvable problem in the future. For business, it means a loss of money invested into development and losing the attention of possible customers and users.

Types of Software Testing

There are many types of quality assurance and control testing. The process of testing is broken down into many aspects depending on the project.

Since the QA must ensure the quality of many aspects of the software, stability, and compliance with standards according to many requirements, there are many types of QA.

Depending on who and how conducts the test, the process of Quality Assurance and testing can be manual or automatic.

Requirements reviewing

This step of software quality assurance focuses on the preparation stage of software development. Requirements review needs constant interaction with the main stakeholders of both the project team and user groups. The goal of the process is to test every detail of project documentation. 

Unit testing

The smallest parts of an application that can be tested are called units in software testing. In unit testing, software developers examine separately those parts independently.

Integration testing

Integration testing is defined as a type of testing where software modules are integrated logically and tested as a group.

System testing

The next level of software testing is system testing. During system integration testing, a QA team inspects how different components and parts of the application interact with each other in an integrated system or application.

Acceptance testing

The acceptance testing test is measuring the software responsiveness, speed, and stability under a workload. We test networks, software programs, and devices during acceptance testing to find any performance-related bottlenecks. The main purpose of AT is to validate end-to-end business flow. It does not focus on cosmetic errors, spelling mistakes, or system testing. User Acceptance Testing is carried out in a separate testing environment with a production-like data setup.

When does the QA process start?

It is important to follow scheduled stages and actions. Standard operational procedures and activities are the secret to a successful QA process.

According to one of the principles of testing, which is "Early Testing", the QA team should be involved in the project in the early stages of the software development process. The best moment for inviting QA specialists to the discussion table is when the requirements are set and documentation is in progress. The entire team will navigate it; work with the project documentation,  so any mistake it may contain should be found before developers start their work. 

In a company that correctly and competently organised the work process, QA and other aspects of software creation run parallel to each other.

Why is maintaining software quality so important?

Quality control and Quality Assurance is a key to customer loyalty. For business, it means meeting its primary goal of turning a profit. Naturally, well-functioning products or services make the customer experience smoother and meet their expectations. So, providing a proper QA process in your company opens the door to a higher number of benefits. 

Let's have a glance at the main and most important pros of maintaining software quality assurance. 

Reduce the cost of the development and save time

Despite the business's desire to finish and launch a product as quickly as possible, rushing will only lead to ignoring malfunctions and bugs in the software work. After releasing a defective or low-quality software product to the market, the company will suffer reputational, financial, and sometimes even legal losses.

The company has two options to fix the problems. A product should be recalled and closed or should go through a cycle of finding and fixing defects throughout the application. In both cases, this is a tremendous waste of money and time. Therefore, the involvement of the QA in the early stages of the development process will be an excellent decision.

Ensure safety

Today's software cybersecurity requirements and needs are constantly changing and becoming more complex. This is a consequence of the constant effort for a high level of data security.

Data, whether personal or corporate, must be protected from data leaks and theft. As product owners or software developers, you will need to provide users with a level of security that meets the quality standards of your region. At Go Wombat, you can find out more information about how to make your software products safe to use.

How do QA teams determine software quality?

The process of ensuring the quality of a software product requires specific criteria to follow. Discover some them here.

Set the proper goal for the final product or service

The goals of the software product should be clear, achievable, and meet the customer's needs. Metrics of the quality should be measurable and easy to understand. 

Set the success criteria 

What should the final product look like to consider it successful? Is it achieving all the goals considered in the first stage?

Determine all-important quality metrics 

It’s important to achieve the best result, but you may pay a high price for perfectionism. Therefore, set the most important metrics the team of software quality assurance specialists and software developers should achieve. 

Set one testing metric that is easy to analyse 

Testing metrics in a test process is a quantitative measure that should help to check the progress of the test cycle. This metric defines a certain degree to which components or/and systems have a specific attribute.

Create a system for proper data collecting on a chosen test metric

Once set, test the metric data collecting system. We should regularly check metrics during product revising and testing, and then after its release for improving product quality. Test metrics also help to check the progress on target values after release.

SDLC and STLC

Both SDLC and STLC are used to provide the customer with a final product of high quality. Although seen as the same thing by many, there is a difference between these processes that are good to know before hiring a team of developers.

SDLC is a Development Life Cycle and takes part in product development by setting high and low-level design plans. During SDLC programmers write proper code according to the design document. 

STLC is a Testing Life Cycle that only takes part in the testing process. The goal of STLC is to improve product quality. This is a sequence of different activities performed by the testing team to ensure the quality of the software or the product.

Using QA Standards

Depending on the field of companies' work, obtaining quality standards could be mandatory or voluntary. Achieving the standards gives the business a new possibility of partnership and taking part in governmental programs.

How Does Go Wombat incorporate QA into Software Development?

As a service provider itself, here at Go Wombat, we know the importance of standing out among competitors. Well-composed, good-working and catchy applications lead your company to success among customers.

We set the rule to interact with clients at all stages of the QA process to prevent misunderstanding. It is easy not to understand each other in the stage of creating an idea and describing it in project documents, but the cost of misreading in the early stages is too big.

In Go Wombat, QA specialists are on the client's side when there is a need to stand for ideas that you want to implement. We always keep in mind that your ultimate goal of developing the application is our target.

A QA specialist is a zero user who will test the client's ideas to show which one of them is good enough to be implemented, and which one is unprofitable or unrecognisable.

Conclusion

Rapid improvement and an increase in software development have caused an unprecidented demand for high-quality applications among business owners.

The quality of the software has shown us how drastically it has improved our lives over the past decades. Seeing that, people have inadvertently accepted software applications into multiple aspects of life. Now, we use it in healthcare, space technologies, the energy industry, and many other significant sectors.

Any defects or errors in the software could lead to massive financial, material, or reputable losses. For this reason, QA is a must in any software development project and ensures that the product is safe and suitable for the client. Here in Go Wombat, we can provide your business with high-quality software that meets not only the customer requirements and needs but adheres to industry best practices and standards.

For a professional software development service with complete quality assurance, call Go Wombat for a no-obligation chat and estimate for your next project.

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