Key Role of Quality Assurance in Software Development

The Role of QA in Software

The importance of QA in software development is unquestioned. It is where your project will be tested and analyzed to make sure the end user will get a top-notch product. But before it comes to QA, it must go through a full development cycle. If you need a company with proven expertise and hands-on experience, Purrweb is the one. It will help you build your app from scratch and test it for all possible bugs.

Now, let’s find out more about quality assurance in web development.

QA Process

The QA team runs through every operational stage. Yet the main focus for QA engineers isn’t the product itself. It’s the spectrum of processes enabling product formation and approval. Below is the list of QA tasks performed during software development:

  • Stakeholder case & requirements analysis;
  • Testing process planning;
  • Outlining of testing scenarios;
  • Testing execution;
  • Detection of flaws & risk forecasting;
  • Product modification;
  • Outcome evaluation;
  • Process optimization.

Product delivery is the ultimate goal. Still, the reasoning behind QA stretches beyond just “a successful launch.” Some of the key quality assurance concepts include:

  • Saving costs and time by decreasing testing cycles;
  • Maximizing software predictability;
  • Establishing performance consistency;
  • Ensuring product security by forecasting and mitigating bugs.

QA Impact on Development

Although QA lies at the core of software development, it’s commonly confused with QC. Quality control addresses particular stages of the development process. Quality assurance is present throughout the project. See this table for more distinctions between QA and QC.

QAQC
EmphasisProcesses surrounding product developmentThe product
GoalEstablish processes allowing QC to develop products that meet client requirementsEnsure that products fulfil the requirements before the launch
WhoThe team in cooperation with relevant stakeholdersThe QC team
WhenAll stages of the development processPrior to the product’s release
StrategyProactive strategy, preventive measuresReactive strategy, corrective measures
Defining FeatureMonitoring software quality based on obtained informationRepeated testing activities aimed at meeting quality requirements
ActionsAnalysis, planning, management, improvement implementationExamination, sampling, testing

In cooperation with the QC team, QA engineers extend their responsibilities to both explicit and implicit characteristics of software. Every component is examined by QA as per the issues arising during development.

Functional aspects include the software’s conformity with the initial demands and design requirements. They cover product features, usability, overall performance, and lack of faults. Non-functional aspects include inner structural elements: performance efficiency, code quality, clarity, and stability.

6 Ways to Evaluate Software Quality by QA

Each case is unique, and the definition of quality varies from product to product based on client demands and expectations. Still, software quality is inextricably linked to a set of essential metrics.

Functionality: How Well Does Software Perform?

Here’s a simple way to understand functionality: think about the difference between what the product is supposed to do and what it actually does. Of all the requirements, functionality forms the core of performance. It’s measured by examining if the product successfully completes the tasks it was intended for.

Reliability: Will Software Stand the Test of Failure?

During testing, emerging flaws define the software’s weak spots. Evaluating them not only shows how well it performs but also demonstrates its resistance and duration of work in case of crashing.

Some errors only affect user experience, whereas bigger defects may cause economic or physical damage. Predicting the software’s response to partial or full failure and the frequency of such instances decreases the amount of resources spent. It also provides security for the developers, clients, and users.

Usability: Is Software Easy to Use?

Usability is an element of user experience (UX) that ensures user retention and revenue. UX encompasses user navigation, layout, text readability, and technical bugs, whereas usability pertains to the overall impression from using the product. It can be measured by means of:

  • A/B Testing;
  • Assuring that the software satisfies the functional criteria.

Efficiency: Resource vs. Output

Efficiency in software development encompasses software size, used resources, and gained user satisfaction. In this case, resources involve software specialists, tools, time, project complexity and timeframe, and customer requirements.

Provided that the development team keeps to good coding practices and identifies the software’s state timely, the chances of high-grade product delivery tangibly increase. Measuring efficiency can be done with the help of defined metrics. Explore what they are below.

Efficiency MetricMeasurement
Meeting TimesIf the team’s actual meeting time regularly exceeds the planned, solutions to newfound issues require more time.
Lead TimeTime from proposal to launch of the product. It can be affected by team strength, project specifications, and available resources.
Code ChurnTime spent by the developers to add, edit, and delete code, showing the rate of code advancement.
MTTR (Mean Time to Repair), Mean Time To Failure (MTTF), MTBF (Mean Time Between Failures)MTTR measures time required to fix bugs and repair faults. MTTF denotes the time between two consecutive failures. MTBF displays time between multiple failures. This formula best explains how the three variables interact: MTBF = MTTF + MTTR.
ImpactThe degree to which code is affected by the alterations. This depends on the amount and complexity of code.

Maintainability: Fixing and Adapting Software

Maintainability indicates how easy it is to revive and enhance software in the long term. It comes into the picture after the product’s release. To deliver it, developers analyze feedback and modify the software to fit the ever-changing requirements of users.

To simplify maintainability adoption, sticking to quality coding practices is key: poor coding consumes more effort and expenses. Since maintainability is usually the most expensive stage of software development (due to its lasting nature), planning the measures beforehand cuts the repair cycles and prevents unnecessary spending.

Portability: Introducing Changes

Software portability displays how well the software can function in different environments or be transferred from one environment to another. Software is considered portable when the measures needed to introduce it to a new environment stay within the reasonable limits, which also brings such benefits as:

  • Extended audience reach;
  • Increased profits;
  • Stability of behavior on different platforms;
  • Less time spent on addressing low product flexibility.

Software Development Team Mistakes That Hinder QA

It takes joint effort to build a successful product. This often causes conflicts between those involved in teamwork. The most common slips that affect the development flow include:

  • Lack of clarity. Open communication allows team members to gather crucial feedback. Based on it, they can refine expectations, thus boosting efficiency.
  • Automation misuse. Applying automated testing requires much time to build and monitor activities. Excessive use is likely to cause waste of time and resources. Manual testing needs less investments, no programming skills, and enables human observation.
  • Interruption. All team members are tasked with specific responsibilities. Getting work done timely implies cutting distractions. With a detailed plan, being distracted by the need to look for more bugs than there are is minimized.
  • Disorganized documentation. Documents are the basis of software development. From client requirements to testing scenarios — disorder hampers workflow.
  • Disrupted learning. This sphere is changing so rapidly. Refusing to update knowledge and discover the latest trends can end in losing qualifications and relevance among experts.

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