When you think “testing”, “quality assurance” and “software quality” – do you yawn? Do you imagine a tiresome process of clicking, checking, and searching in vain? Does “testing” make you imagine that your project will last forever?
Sadly, software quality assurance is underrated and I feel that it is important to mention how assuring quality, when it comes to software, is an important matter to discuss. Today, I would like to answer these questions:
What should software QA include? Why do we need testing and why do IT developers need it the most? Does testing bring value to any software development process?
What does QA often ensure?
Thanks to quality assurance, you gain the peace of mind of knowing that your developers are working on software that meets the requirements and specifications. QA, metaphorically, is a shield that together with a tester of team of testers ensures the proper development of software.
For developers QA ensures:
- requirements for a software are met
- bugs and errors are reduced/fixed
- logic flow is ensured
- any unexpected flaws are found
- UX or UI problems are detected and can be solved
Software quality assurance as the part of SDLC
Testing is in fact a part of so-called SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) and is directed toward supporting developers in swift malfunction detection. The effect of such bug elimination will be improved quality and the final product will be similar to the initial draft.
Fortunately, today more clients understand the need and importance of software quality assurance in product development. QA in fact will be beneficial for every stage in the Software Development Life Cycle – beginning with the requirements for a QA engineer, by analysis of functionalities that are at risk, detecting bugs, through the assurance that all requirements are clear enough and understood by the whole dev team.
Quality assurance will also be at hand in specifying user stories. Later, when testing starts, it is not about the final test but it means the functionalities before the production phase and UX-oriented works.
The cost of quality
The cost of quality in software development (CoQ in short) means the point where capacity/competence meet with costs, where reducing reworking and fixing bugs have to be balanced, adding cost reduction while delivering quality at the same time.
Typically, the initial process of testing looks like this:
- QA professionals read requirements
- they reject the software with bugs that doesn’t meet the required part
- the damaged, low-quality software is then returned to the developers in order to be reworked, checked and tested again.
Does it look somewhat futile to you? Personally, I can say that the CoQ is about efficient business – and that is what every CTO has to focus on nowadays. CoQ is really worth considering: investment in necessary product features together with building and ensuring quality can be the essence of CoQ – and these are the vital parts of web and mobile app development process.
Why you should never skip QA testing
Sometimes, when clients value time more than quality, they tend to put pressure and push developers to work faster and deliver the software earlier. “Testing” or “QA” do not bother them, as this is treated as additional process, not the standard one. Also, testing and quality assurance seems to be the part that is rejected far too often by clients. They say: “we will have some things to adjust or eliminate technical debts, etc., right? Let’s focus on real development.”
We can ask: what about the effectiveness of detecting bugs – can they all be found and eliminated? Generally, the sets of principles in QA exist to eliminate the most crucial defects to ensure that the final users of an app will not find any error themselves.
Every malfunction may mean serious consequences – sometimes errors in the app translate into financial loses. According to the authors of Software Defect Reduction Top 10 List, detecting and fixing a bug in software after delivering is 100 x more expensive than finding and fixing it during the requirements and design phase (see: SDLC chart). Statistically, it takes 40 – 50 % of software developers’ effort to do the reworks that could be avoided by software quality assurance.
5 main benefits of investing in quality assurance
Testing helps in bug identification and deletion before the operational phase of a software. The earlier an error is detected in a development process, the lower the correction spendings (and the risk of failure lowers significantly, too). Also, when the product’s quality is high, the higher the satisfaction with the product and development company.
If someone thinks that they can save money on omitting quality assurance – they are wrong. Testing exists to save on expenses, time and effort and avoid broken software and the need to repair errors after deployment.
User experience is crucial for applications and issues related to UX should not be ignored or skipped over by the development team. Testing helps to ensure that the app is: innovative, easy-to-use, intuitive, and error-free.
#4 Customer loyalty and satisfaction
When customers are satisfied with the app, they will share and recommend it further – staying loyal to the one who deployed it. When the software proves to be defectless, valuable to the users, and reliable – customer satisfaction grows.
Applying software QA in the beginning of the development process helps you to control it from the very beginning, at every step as it is created. Such supervision lets you avoids bigger mistakes and difficult fixing in the latest phase.
Summing up, when your aim is to release a profitable and satisfying software – invest in quality assurance. It may only seem to be something of a minor influence upon the final result. The fact is that software QA will always be the crucial part in the process of development and in fact helps to earn money by bringing real value to every digital product.