The most important trend in software development is the slow realization that quality assurance (QA) testing may be the most meaningful step that companies can take to ensure a successful software rollout. That’s because QA testing allows businesses to identify frustrating errors, cybersecurity vulnerabilities, and user problems well in advance of its release.
As a result, companies of all sizes are investing heavily in their QA efforts, whether by hiring these experts in-house or working with a trusted software testing & outsourcing company.
Businesses can capitalize on this trend and improve their own software offerings by thoroughly integrating QA testing into every step of the development process, building multidisciplinary development teams, and combining trusted QA testing approaches.
How Does QA Testing Improve Software Quality?
QA testing is a mandatory part of the software development process for companies that are interested in building high-quality software destined for the consumer market. That’s because modern consumers have come to expect that their software will work flawlessly right out-of-the-box. Plus, it must be free of errors, bugs, and data privacy vulnerabilities.
Companies pursuing software development should invest heavily in QA testing in order to meet end-user demands and ensure that their software is free of embarrassing bugs that may turn away customers and negatively impact the return on investment for the project.
QA Is No Longer An Afterthought
QA testing as a discipline is still in its infancy. Even today, many companies view the QA testing process as an afterthought. It’s a task that developers try to rush through as quickly as possible once the “real work” is done.
However, poor software rollouts, spiralling software development costs, and the rising number of cyberattacks mean that QA testing is more important today than it ever has–and the consequences from a poor software rollout are more severe than ever.
Typically, there are 2 ways to approach QA testing:
1) Traditional QA
Traditionally, QA testing took place in the final stages of a software development process after the software itself had been built and all features added. This approach was typical of the linear approach to software development which advocates completing each step of the development lifecycle in sequential order.
This method of software development is financially efficient. It forces developers to tackle problems in order and allows them to create software without distracting input from testers and end-users. But it also prevents engineers from soliciting crucial feedback from testers, end-users, and other stakeholders while there is still room for a great improvement in the final product.
2) Integrated QA
Modern, flexible software development methodologies like Agile have transformed the software development process completely. Rather than look at each step of the development lifecycle as a separate task, these methods ask developers to constantly test their software for defects and solicit feedback from the intended end-users.
One of the most popular integrated QA approaches is continuous integration, continuous delivery (CI/CD). Software engineers who use this approach are required to write small sections of code and immediately integrate and test that code in the larger software architecture. This form of continuous QA testing is very popular with tech companies and QA testing services alike.
Alternatively, many companies are turning to multidisciplinary development teams in order to build high-quality software that is thoroughly tested for bugs and defects. Companies who choose this approach build teams that consist of developers, QA testers, cybersecurity experts, user design specialists, and more.
These comprehensive teams ensure that every important consideration, like QA testing, is integrated into every step of the development lifecycle. This results in higher quality products, less coding errors, and software that meets end-user needs.
Combine Testing Strategies
The best way to conduct thorough QA testing and ensure that the software is free of major errors is to use multiple QA testing strategies throughout the project. This includes traditional manual, automated, and cybersecurity testing.
Manual QA testing is the most common type of testing used in software development projects, used widely by major companies and specialized QA outsourcing firms. It involves gathering a group of people, who do not need any particular skill set, in order to test the software as simulated end users.
One of the most popular types of manual testing is called “hallway testing.” It involves selecting a random group of people from the office hallway to use the software in the same manner they would if they had just purchased it.
This type of QA testing is extremely important. It ensures that the software works intuitively and does not require special skills from end-users. In addition, manual testing is the best approach to look for broken pathways and links, frustrating instructions, and other issues that customers are likely to encounter.
One of the newest trends in QA testing is automated testing. This is performed by a specialized worker called a software developer engineer in test. These experts are capable of writing programs that can automate the testing process, searching for errors and proactively offering solutions.
These experts save companies countless time and money. That’s because they can quickly identify issues that would take manual testers hours or even days to find. They’re also key assets during multilingual development projects since they can write programs that can search for errors in multiple programming languages.
The final piece of the QA testing puzzle is the security testers. These specialists are in very high demand today because of the dangerous cybersecurity climate.
Today, cybercriminals are constantly trying to break into computers and steal sensitive information, like social security numbers, banking information, and passwords. The number of data breaches continues to increase, which is a major reason why experts believe the annual cost of cybercrimes will reach “$6 trillion annually by 2021.”
Businesses should integrate security testing into each stage of the software development lifecycle in order to identify data privacy vulnerabilities, improve protections, and to conduct much-needed security analyses.
Some of the most common security attacks they should protect against are spoofing, fishing, and SQL injections.
The software development industry is finally recognizing just how important QA testing is for successful software development–and the results are impressive. QA testing is helping companies find bugs and defects, avoid embarrassing software rollouts, and protect their customer’s private information from cybercriminals.
Companies can increase the quality and breadth of their QA testing efforts by integrating testing into each step of the development lifecycle. This results in a better product, fewer errors, and software that better meets customer needs.
Finally, businesses should integrate each of the most important testing methods into the QA approach. They can accomplish this by using a combination of manual testers, automated engineers, and security experts.