Tips & Best Practices for Quality Assurance Testing in Software Development
Software quality assurance testing is a vital stage of the software development life cycle. According to Global Marketing Insights, the worldwide software testing services market passed $40 billion in 2020. Moreover, the industry is predicted to grow by 7 percent annually between 2021 and 2027, largely due to the increasing use of artificial intelligence and automation.
Despite the value of quality assurance testing in software development, too many businesses struggle to perform QA testing effectively. This article will discuss everything you need to know, including the benefits of quality assurance testing, the steps of software QA testing, and tips and best practices for the testing process.
What Is Quality Assurance Testing?
Before we define quality assurance testing, we need to clarify the difference between quality assurance and quality control:
- The goal of quality assurance (QA) is to ensure a high-quality final product. It includes both proactive QA activities (addressing potential issues before they occur) and reactive QA measures (dealing with issues as they arise).
- The goal of quality control (QC) is to ensure that a particular item or product meets the given set of quality standards. Both quality control and quality assurance are usually considered part of the larger field of quality management.
Testing is an essential component of quality assurance. It detects errors and verifies that the given system is functioning as expected. However, a solid test strategy is only part of the broader field of quality assurance, which involves other procedures. For example, QA also guarantees that the project stakeholders are satisfied with the product’s overall design.
There are many types of tests that can be classified under quality assurance testing. The list includes, but is not limited to:
- Automation testing is a technique where software tools are used to perform tests on a software application without human intervention. It involves the creation and execution of test scripts that simulate user interactions with the application, verifying whether it meets the desired behavior and requirements.
- Functional testing determines whether the product is operating in accordance with its predefined specifications.
- Integration tests verify that different modules or components of the software product can work together without defects.
- Performance tests assess the product’s ability to scale and remain efficient when under abnormally high or strenuous workloads.
- Security testing checks the product for security flaws and vulnerabilities that could lead to a cyberattack or data breach.
- Unit testing uses a small, individual test case (known as a unit test) to evaluate each piece of a software program (such as a function or class).
- Usability testing appraises the product’s ease of use by observing real users as they attempt to accomplish various tasks.
The Benefits of Quality Assurance in Software Testing
There are many advantages of the quality assurance testing software development phase. Below are just a few benefits of the QA testing process:
- Improving product quality: Quality assurance testing helps to ensure software quality control by detecting product errors and its biggest pitfalls. QA testing acts to fix these issues before the software is released, helping drive corrective actions to create the best possible product before it is released.
- Higher satisfaction rates: By producing a higher-quality final product, quality assurance keeps everyone happy: customers, stakeholders, and the business as a whole. Your customers can enjoy a quality product with an excellent user experience, while internal stakeholders are satisfied with the product’s design, functionality, and performance.
- Lower costs: Any errors that aren’t detected before the software’s release need to be resolved in future development cycles. Quality assurance testing detects errors earlier in the software development process, saving the expense of fixing things later during the maintenance phase.
4 Steps for Software Quality Assurance and Testing
The quality assurance and testing process in software development can generally be divided into four stages. In this section, we’ll explore each of the QA testing steps in greater detail.
1. Brainstorming and planning
During the initial phase of software QA testing, ask yourself questions such as:
- What resources, budget, and timeline will you require for a successful testing process? Which platforms and tools are necessary?
- Do you have skilled QA testers in-house? If not, will you hire for tester jobs internally, or work with an external partner?
2. Test design
Once you’ve defined the scope of the testing project, ask questions like the following during the test design phase:
- What are the functional and non-functional requirements (e.g. performance, security, usability) of the software?
- Which tests require manual intervention, and which can be automated?
- What are the various user scenarios, and what are the expected inputs and outputs for each?
3. Test execution
During the test execution phase, the various tests that make up the testing suite are run on the software application. QA testers evaluate any defects or issues discovered during the testing process, and tests are rerun if necessary.
4. Reporting and maintenance
The final stage of software QA and testing is reporting and analysis of the findings. Errors and problems identified during testing are passed to developers to resolve. The development and testing cycle repeats until the product is deemed ready to bring to market.
Best Practices for Software Testing and Quality Assurance
While it’s one thing to be familiar with the steps of QA software, it’s another to successfully put them into practice. Below are some tips and tricks for an excellent QA and testing process:
- Use the right testing tools: Before you get started, make sure you’re equipped with the right testing platforms and tools. For example, test management tools help you organize your test cases, while code coverage tools ensure that your test cases are sufficient to cover all parts of the program.
- Choose or develop a good team: Experienced QA testers are worth their weight in gold during the testing process. Having knowledgeable people on staff can help detect and resolve errors more quickly.
- Don’t be afraid of automation: Automated tests can be tricky to implement. Once they’re properly set up, however, you’ll save vast amounts of time and effort in the long run.
- Be realistic with your timeline: The testing process could catch more errors than you anticipated. It’s better to wait a little longer to bring a quality product to market, instead of rushing it out the door and disappointing customers.
How KMS Can Help with Quality Assurance Software Testing
QA software testing is an essential practice to verify that the final product is free of bugs and performs according to expectations. If your company is experiencing difficulties with effective QA testing, however, it’s wise to join forces with a skilled, accomplished QA testing partner like KMS Technology.
KMS is a software engineering and testing provider that has helped countless clients develop, test, release, and maintain high-quality software applications. We have a staff of expert QA engineers and consultants who have honed their knowledge of software testing through experience. In particular, we’ve created Katalon and Kobiton, two of the leading tools for software and mobile testing on the market — which means we know a thing or two about effective testing practices.
We can help by providing our services during the testing process or throughout the software development life cycle. Our extensive list of software testing services includes API testing, mobile testing, and test automation —ensuring we can fit your needs.
Ready to learn how KMS can help with your QA software testing KPIs and objectives? Get in touch with us today for a chat about your business goals and requirements.