Quality Assurance Essentials
According to the Statista website, about 23 percent of an IT organization's annual budget is devoted to quality assurance and testing.
Investing in quality assurance and testing ensures that a company's IT products are delivered safely and without defects. The ever-increasing level of digitalization has given companies access to vast amounts of consumer data. The biggest problem with IT quality assurance and testing is often related to cost. Since the average organization spends more than a quarter of its IT budget on funding these functions, it's no wonder they're looking to keep these costs down.
The main goal of software development is to make it work the way the client needs it. And this means that it should not contain bugs and critical code errors. That's what quality assurance (QA) specialists are hired for. They ensure the product does exactly what the customer wants and can handle the workload.
Goals of Software Testing
Software Testing refers to all life cycle activities, static and dynamic, that involve planning, preparing, and evaluating a component or system and related work products to determine that they meet specified requirements, are fit for purpose, and are free from defects.
Compliance of the software with its functional and non-functional requirements is ensured throughout the product's entire life cycle and at different levels: single, integration, and end-to-end. In case of any inconsistencies, bugs are fixed by developers or QA engineers, and the check is re-run when the actual results match those stated in the specifications; that product version may be released.
As a result of the process described above, the business fully achieves its goals, and customers receive a thoughtful, convenient, secure, and high-performance solution that meets their needs.
What does Software Testing Provide?
Software testing includes:
- Thoroughly tests software performance to ensure it runs smoothly, scales, and handles stressful workloads, all to deliver a product that business customers can rely on and be happy with.
- Audit of software testing life cycle. It includes identifying customer requirements for software reliability.
- Automation of the testing process. This phase allows for a continuous testing flow, leading to faster releases and a better return on investment.
- Adapting the work of the test team to obtain precisely the results that the business needs.
Reasons Why Software Testing Is Necessary
It's no secret that for your product to be in demand by customers and the company's reputation not to deteriorate, it is necessary to produce only a quality product. Software testing:
1. Reduces project risks and optimizes development costs
Thorough quality checks speed up project launches and thus enable companies to reduce development costs. In addition, flawless software significantly reduces the burden on customer support and lowers product maintenance costs.
2. Creates product reliability
Various software failures can lead to substantial reputational costs, especially in areas where sensitive data is involved: finance or healthcare. QA software testing relieves companies of the reputational risks associated with data loss or leakage. It ensures that they comply with mandatory standards and regulations.
3. Adds high-quality software
When you use testing services, the company can be sure that the delivered software will be of excellent quality.
It is possible thanks to well-designed test plans that ensure quality is thoroughly checked for compliance with requirements. Experienced technicians won't miss anything by checking every aspect of your product, e.g., User interface friendliness, API integration reliability, etc. In addition, they have at their disposal various professional-level tools. They thus can ensure software compatibility with the required browsers, devices, and operating systems.
4. Leaves Satisfied Customers
Reliable quality speaks well for your product, which is critical in today's saturated market. A reliable QA testing company will ensure that your solution is well known for its reliability and that the positive first impression of your customers is not ruined.
Do You Always Need Your Own Test Team?
Maintaining a whole team of qualified testers can be expensive. The good news is that you can always hire an external, independent test team. It allows you to connect to quality control at peak moments for the company or supplement your in-house team.
An independent quality control team is needed when:
- You need additional skills and a fresh look.
- You need to reduce the time to market.
For example, if you don't have people who can write automated tests but need to see if your application can handle a heavy load, you should hire a third-party team.
If you are a startup and need to launch your product as soon as possible, you may not have enough time to select and hire your own QA team. In this case, hiring an independent group of testers is convenient to help you save money while bringing excellent quality to the product.
How to Choose a Good QA team?
Good specialists can make it much easier for you to produce high-quality software. But what to look for when choosing such a team? Here are our tips:
1. Choose a team with test management
Such specialists will provide an integrated approach to solving issues of any complexity, and you will be able to manage the project at a strategic level. At the same time, day-to-day planning and management will remain in the hands of your supplier's project manager.
2. Location of specialists
It will be more convenient for you if the test team is located approximately in your time zone. Pay attention to whether the company has distributed teams - this can significantly facilitate your communication.
3. Established processes
An experienced software testing company boasts well-established processes, reflected in everything from the documents they put together to the updates they deliver. Make sure your supplier has a well-established management process and reliable reporting practices. Does your partner ensure compliance with project objectives by signing an SLA? Do they provide vital protection for your data by giving a non-disclosure agreement? Confirm with the team that they will tailor the quality metrics to the unique needs of your project. Finally, the obligatory adherence of the quality testing company to the Agile methodology, as this provides them with increased flexibility and adaptability to changing requirements.
Can You Ensure Product Quality Without a Quality Guarantee?
From a budget standpoint, asking your software developers to test their code may seem reasonable. Why bother with a dedicated quality control team when you can cut costs and get your product to market faster? However, this practice is suitable for enterprises with a highly developed team culture and requires significant test automation.
By limiting testing activities or moving them lower on your priority list, you may miss out on ways to improve your application. In addition, bugs can not only ruin the user experience, but also seriously damage the reputation and stability of your product.
Software testing is a rather time-consuming process that requires professionals in their field. However, the result - obtaining high-quality software - is worth it. That is why you should not save on this factor and trust testing to those who understand this.
Behind every successful and quality product is a team of professionals who work to maintain and improve its quality standard and serve as a guard against errors and defects so that they avoid falling into the hands of users. The QA engineer questions the work of the developers to improve the software, looking for and fixing all sorts of flaws. By entrusting this to dedicated professionals, you can focus on the overall strategic development of your business and innovation.