Why are Software Quality Assurance Testers necessary for top development teams?
Like all major projects, software success depends on teamwork. IT squads are made up of Software Quality Assurance (SQA) testers, developers, and project leaders, who must all work together like clockwork in order to create satisfactory projects.
Excellent team members can be compared to the tools necessary to complete top-quality jobs. To build a chair, for example, you need wood, screws, a hammer, an instructions manual, an electric saw, paint, a measuring tape, and sandpaper. Of course, you may think that you can build a chair with fewer tools, and you’d be correct; but it wouldn’t be the best chair. It wouldn’t have great stability nor support, nor would it be aesthetically pleasing, and certainly not comfortable. We often end up with a less than optimal final product when we try to save on resources and cut corners.
The same happens when we want to develop software, applications, or web sites: it’s not enough to have just one developer. In this sense, software QA testers are essential for all software development teams, generating great added value to the final product.
What is Quality Assurance, and a Software Quality Assurance Tester?
Quality Assurance (QA) is the process of auditing the systems that make up a product, with the goal of improving quality. In addition, executing a diligent QA allows us to guarantee an application or program’s development and performance, with the objective of finding errors, or bugs, in the code.
Software Quality Assurance Testers (SQA) are those who do a number of activities to secure a software’s quality in all of its development phases. Contrary to popular belief, SQA testers are not limited to searching for bugs and defects: they are also responsible for ensuring an intuitive UI, and that the software meets all functional and non-functional requirements.
One of QA testers’ most important jobs is the design and execution of distinct software tests. Regression, unitary, and smoke tests are just some of those that an SQA carries out to guarantee the quality of the final product.
Importance of SQA
Software testing is fundamental, be it implemented as a supportive role for developers or as an independent entity. Various software tests must be done in order to detect errors, correct them, and turn over a high quality product.
It is necessary that SQA testers work in tandem with developers. This collaboration creates more effective communication and allows the team to find errors and make corrections throughout the entire process.
Software quality assurance testers save their companies money, identifying and correcting bugs during development phases. In comparison, if no quality control is done until after the product is finished, the errors found will cost more time– and, therefore, money– to correct.
Of the many benefits that SQAs contribute to projects, the most important is guaranteeing client satisfaction, which also maintains a business’s reputation. That’s why the best companies don’t skimp out on the salaries of software quality assurance testers.
Quality Control vs. Quality Assurance
Quality Control (QC) and Quality Assurance (QA) are two terms that are occasionally used interchangeably. However, they in fact refer to distinct aspects of quality administration.
Through Quality Control, the team verifies that the product completes all functional requirements. The International Software Testing Qualifications Board (ISTQB) defines it as a series of activities designed to evaluate quality.
On the other hand, Quality Assurance includes all processes that audit the results of Quality Control measurements, guaranteeing that quality standards are being fulfilled. These processes prevent errors and defects in the product.
How is QA done, and by whom?
Quality control is executed during all phases of the software development life cycle (SDLC). Doing continuous control during each stage avoids committing significant errors that cause project delays and increased expenses.
Software quality assurance testers are responsible for guaranteeing this quality control, and don’t necessarily have to be part of the team. There also exists the option of completing a development team with an SQA tester via a subcontract, or Software Staff Augmentation.
Staff Augmentation is a flexible alternative to temporarily fill out development teams with professional talent. This way, organizations save the cost of hiring infrastructure and training, when compared with contracting a full-time QA tester.
Software QA Testers’ Activities
The activities of a software QA tester during project execution can be summarized in the following steps.
The first step of SQA testers is to analyze project documentation in order to fully understand the client’s requirements. This is how they assure that the functional and non-functional aspects of the project fulfill these specifications.
Later, they plan the software testing strategy and scope, and establish a timeline. In addition, they define methodology, resources, all tools that will be used to pinpoint errors, and the responsibilities of the other SQA testers.
The next step is to design plans. Here, they create test cases and verification lists that include all software requirements. Each test case must have conditions, data, and the steps necessary to validate that software functionality– all in addition to the well-defined, anticipated result, which serves as the standard of comparison for the real results.
Test Execution and Defect Reporting
Here is where tests are carried out and defects are reported. Unit tests are carried out alongside the developers, and SQA testers perform trials at API and UI levels. The errors found are sent to a defect follow-up system. Once bugs are found and corrected, SQA testers again try out functionalities to assure that no other error has gone unnoticed. They also perform regression tests to verify that the corrections haven’t affected other functions.
Finally, once developers create a report with functionalities implemented and errors corrected, the SQA generates a final report, certifying that the product completes all development requirements, hits the highest quality standards, and is ready to be released to the public.
However, the work of a Software QA tester doesn’t end there, given that– even after deployment– post-production tests must be rendered to evaluate aspects excluded in the testing environment. One example is data differences, such as the number of users that the product supports at any given moment.
While developers may be the most talked-up members of the IT team (and are undoubtedly vital), software quality assurance testers are not to be underestimated. They work hand-in-hand with coders to prevent, trouble-shoot, document, and fix errors in the final product. Without their keen eyes, bug-riddled software may slide into deployment, causing big problems down the road.
So, if you’re thinking about putting together a software development team, make sure it’s complete. Staff Augmentation or Dedicated Teams services can help fill in any gaps in your current talent resources, making sure that your development process is efficient, effective, and above-par quality.