Let’s begin by defining what quality assurance in software development means:
‘Software Quality Assurance (SQA) is a set of activities for ensuring quality in software engineering processes. It ensures that developed software meets and complies with the defined or standardised quality specifications. … SQA incorporates and implements software testing methodologies to test the software.’
Mistakes happen, it’s normal and no human is ever 100% accurate all the time, but a small mistake or oversight can prove to be extremely costly and it’s no different when it comes to software development. Flaws in software product design and coding due to human error can compromise the quality of the software and result in expensive, unwanted consequences – having quality assurance in software development is extremely valuable for any business.
What is the role of a quality assurance team in software development?
A Quality Assurance team (QA) will work with a Solutions Architect to analyse a piece of software, making sure it meets certain parameters to determine that the product meets the needs of the business, they also create a set of test cases and scripts that are then used to ensure the client is getting exactly what they want.
The QA team will carry out the test cases and scripts and will perform manual testing to make sure everything works as it should without any complications or bugs in the system. They are also responsible for testing the final product before it is handed over to the client as part of quality control.
What is testing?
This is a hugely important part of the QA process, testing is designed to check for and detect errors and flaws that may have been missed by the human eye. There are many different types of testing procedures, you may hear one of the following terms, which all related to testing; grey box, black box and white box, these can be automated or conducted manually by the QA team to check the software code and design. Testing can be carried out throughout the testing phase of the software development lifecycle or throughout the development process.
Is carried out on completed or near-completed software to ensure all the features work perfectly together and is the process of validating the developed software corresponds with the requirements and specifications.
Testing focuses on errors in code and design, quality control focuses on verifying the quality of the product as a whole.
Is a broad term that encompasses testing and quality control and focuses on the quality of the overall process of software development. Quality assurance is involved at every stage of the software development process – it ensures that each stage is performed correctly so that quality is maintained throughout the whole project lifecycle.
Why is QA in software development necessary?
Maintains product quality
By testing and checking functionality performance, security and usability to ensure the quality of the product is reliable and stable and is ready for ‘proper’ use with all potential performance failures thoroughly checked. Product quality is designed to ensure that the client gets a fully functioning, tested piece of software that delivers fully and effectively.
Money and time saving
Having the correct systems and processes in place during development means most bugs, big and small, can be prevented and any flaws can be quickly fixed – this means that if any errors do occur they are usually small and easily fixed.
Protects Your Reputation
Reputation is everything – the quality of the software you release will have a huge impact on your reputation, by releasing a high-quality product that offers outstanding features and comprehensive security will build a positive reputation for your business – releasing a sub-standard, clunky and messy product could be the end of your business!
This is where the importance of QA in software development becomes beneficial. It is there to ensure that your product is the brand ambassador for your business.
One of the most important factors during software development is to ensure that the software is completely secure. Potential weaknesses in its defences could result in compromised data. This is why QA is so important, the testing process will ensure any security issues are resolved.
Happy, satisfied customers.
Not only is your business to design and create awesome, but high-performing software, it is also imperative that you keep your customers happy! The role of QA makes sure ALL the boxes are ticked, that all the processes have been conducted properly and effectively and that the software being released is everything it should be and is a great product that you should be proud of and that your customers will be happy to use.
Without software development, any project you take on could potentially be quite unreliable, if flaws or issues are found the software could potentially need a complete re-code if the issues are proved to be too widespread.