Guide To Quality Assurance – SQA – Part 1
by Cesar Contreras
The concept of quality in the digital world is born from the need for quality products for the end user. Software QA serves as the last filter for the software development process as control of quality measure for your product or service.
Don’t mix up Software Quality Assurance and Engineering Quality Assurance.
Engineering Quality Assurance is all about maintaining a desired level of quality in a service or product that is part of the quality management department. In contrast, a Software Quality Assurance engineer is measured by its skill to break down a digital system and reassemble it to improve it.
“Testing is about defect detection. Quality Assurance is about defect prevention.” – Amir Ghahrai.
SQA stands for Software Quality Assurance, which has many different definitions and consists of processes and methods used to ensure quality software engineering.
Now imagine your new website design is ready. The content is great and the interface is working. However, it lacks mobile responsiveness, users can’t log in to the site, links lead to dead pages, and clients need to spend more than 10 minutes for the checkout/purchase process.
Does this sound familiar? These are some of the common issues in software development. This can happen for a variety of reasons and more importantly, you need to correct them before you launch your software project.
Besides correcting defects, there are 4 important reasons to do SQA
1. Remember that your clients are paying for your software.
No matter what business model you follow, quality must be a priority for any organization. Offering value is not a fickle task and it’s something that you need to prioritize. SQA will help your clients make use of your software with ease, giving them a reason to keep using it and expanding your product reach.
2. Put your money where your mouth is
You can be as proud as you want about how your software is working but remember when your product has hidden issues, a decrease in sales will be the first sign. Prepare for this and find a QA engineer that can help your software work seamlessly in your users’ favor.
3. It’s not all about the bad: look at the product through the customer’s eyes.
There is more to QA than just bugs. We create software to solve a necessity and develop it from the engineering standpoint. We tend to focus on great structure and clean programming and we often forget about customer behavior, the tiny things our users need to do things they want faster. It is not easy to get the fine details right the first time. This is the point where an experienced team of QA engineers will break down your system and correct it.
4. Nobody is perfect
There is no perfect code, even if it looks great in whatever language you’ve used to create your software. Ask an SQA engineer to look to utilize his or her testing methods and see how many issues pop up. Focus on the user side and you might be surprised at the number of issues.
Then, how is it done?
It can be done with the use of systematic tests that expose errors. Let’s take a look at some of them:
Test-based on functionality:
- Functional Testing. Its a type of black box testing. It tests a slice of functionality from the whole system and the basic process consists of feeding inputs and examining the outputs. By its nature, it does not take into consideration the internal structure of the whole system.
- Regression Testing. Inform your SQA engineers on the performance of a previously tested software after it is changed or interfaced with another software. These include changes like patches, enhancements, or different configurations.
Test-based on Execution
- Automation Test. Test cases are executed with the assistance of tools, scripts, and software.
- Manual Testing. In manual testing (as the name suggests), test cases are executed manually by a resource without any support from tools or scripts.
Never put your ego before your customer.
In the end, there are not many software development projects that don’t need to undergo a structured and systematic SQA process. To give value to the end user whether it’s an inbound or outbound endeavor, you need to take into consideration that something might be wrong with your project, take the time to test it, and great things will surely come.
Software testing needs to be a well-thought process with a structured set of quality requirements from your stakeholders. Your QA resources need to be ready for the constant evolution of the software industry with changes in best practices, frameworks, and languages alike.
Quality Assurance Lead at Advancio. Contact him for more information.