Have you ever thought about the long way the Software passes before appearing in our computers or smartphones? How do companies make sure that they provide a high-qualified, a stable and totally safety product? All of this one can find out with the help of Quality Assurance (QA). This process is more complicated and more important than you have ever imagined.
What is Quality?
Quality is extremely hard to define, and it is simply stated: “Fit for use or purpose.” It is all about meeting the needs and expectations of customers with respect to functionality, design, reliability, durability, & price of the product.
What is Assurance?
Assurance is nothing but a positive declaration on a product or service, which gives confidence. It is a certainty of a product or a service, which will work well. It provides a guarantee that the product will work without any problems as per the expectations or requirements.
What is software quality assurance?
Software quality assurance (SQA) is a process which assures that all software engineering processes, methods, activities and work items are monitored and comply against the defined standards. These defined standards could be one or a combination of any like ISO 9000, CMMI model, ISO15504, etc.
SQA incorporates all software development processes starting from defining requirements to coding until release. Its prime goal is to ensure quality. So, this is very important for a software company or any other company to maintain the valued client base.
How to do Quality Assurance: Complete Process
Quality Assurance methodology has a defined cycle called PDCA cycle or Deming cycle. The phases of this cycle are:
- Plan – Recognize an opportunity and plan a change.
- Do – Test the change. Carry out a small-scale study.
- Check – Review the test, analyze the results, and identify what you’ve learned.
- Act – Take action based on what you learned in the study step. If the change did not work, go through the cycle again with a different plan. If you were successful, incorporate what you learned from the test into wider changes. Use what you learned to plan new improvements, beginning the cycle again.
Use the PDCA cycle when:
- Starting a new improvement project
- Developing a new or improved design of a process, product, or service
- Defining a repetitive work process
- Planning data collection and analysis in order to verify and prioritize problems or root causes
- Implementing any change
- Working toward continuous improvement
What is Quality Control?
Quality control popularly abbreviated as QC. It is a Software Engineering process used to ensure quality in a product or a service. It does not deal with the processes used to create a product; rather it examines the quality of the “end products” and the final outcome.
The main aim of Quality control is to check whether the products meet the specifications and requirements of the customer. If an issue or problem is identified, it needs to be fixed before delivery to the customer.
QC also evaluates people on their quality level skill sets and imparts training and certifications. This evaluation is required for the service-based organization and helps provide “perfect” service to the customers.
Sometimes, QC is confused with the QA. Quality control is to examine the product or service and check for the result. Quality Assurance in Software Engineering is to examine the processes and make changes to the processes which led to the end-product.
Let’s go Back to Software Quality Assurance
QA is a necessity because we all make mistakes. More often it is because of incomplete documentation or gaps in software architecture which lead to unexpected behaviour of the product. Some of them can be insignificant, as well as the others can be crucial! That’s why every product needs verification, quality assurance before it can be released and safely used.
Very few people think of that any program passes through QA Engineers. Even a giant like Microsoft has 10 to 20 errors per 1,000 lines of raw code. And only through the effective work of QA Departments, users get a quality product.
AM I TELLING THE TRUTH? Then here is an example
Do you know that in 2016 Facebook paid $15,000 to close a bug that could unlock any user’s account? A security researcher named Anand Prakash stumbled on a major flaw in Facebook’s account security. The bug was the result of a change deployed to the beta page a few days earlier and doesn’t seem to have been widely exploited before it was discovered by Prakash. This experience is a vivid example of the importance of QA Services! Here are some more
Saves Time and Money
The advantage of having systems and processes in place during development is that they anticipate and prevent most bugs and flaws from developing in the first place. As a result, the errors that do surface are relatively minor and can be fixed easily.
On the other hand, without QA, most bugs would potentially be bigger and may only be caught in the testing phase, or after the program was released. Fixing these bugs after the fact would require more time, which in turn could cost more.
Maintains Product Quality
QA processes are designed to ensure that the software product works reliably and is stable. In addition, there are Quality Control (QC) tests designed to test the functionality, performance, security, usability, and more.
Furthermore, these tests also consider the fact that the user might not use the program as it was intended. Part of this testing is to ‘idiot-proof’ the product so that improper use does cause failure. As a result, the final product has minimal defects and is guaranteed to work as intended.
Whilst a software program might perform all functions as intended, it may not necessarily be completely secure. If there is any weakness in its defences, the product and users’ data could be compromised.
One of the reasons QA is so important in software development is to ensure that your product is built with security in mind, and has been tested properly to ensure that the safeguards in place work.
Protects Your Reputation
The quality of your software can reflect on your company and brand. By releasing a high-quality product that offers excellent features with comprehensive security, you can build a positive reputation for your business.
This is where the importance of QA in software development is most evident. It ensures that your product serves as a fitting brand ambassador for your business.
In order to ensure satisfied customers, your product needs to fulfil their needs. It should have all the features required and work properly. The role of QA is exactly that – to make sure that the software gives your customers exactly what they expect.
The QA team would define the features of the deliverables and then work through each step of the development process to ensure that they are being delivered. They then check to see if the software works smoothly and without any problems. As a result, customers get a quality product that they are happy to use.