Basics on Software Quality Assurance
The drive to digitization has being seen to grow exponentially almost in every sector from the last few decades, give rise to an increasing demand for applications and software products by companies, organizations and businesses. This growth in the use of software applications and products has created massive interests in software quality assurance due to concerns in aspects of security, efficiency, speed, and costs.
Quality can mean a lot of things for different situations, but when it comes to software development engineering, it simply means meeting the needs and expectations of customers with respect to functionality, design, reliability, durability, & price of the software product.
To ensure the quality of software applications and products to most people means software testing, however, software quality assurance goes beyond testing. Although testing is crucial to ensure quality, but it is just one of the many things that can be done to ensure software quality.
Invariably, in software development, there are other things that can be done to improve the quality of software product, aside testing – these are what we will discuss in this article, starting with answering the question, what is software quality assurance?
What is Software Quality Assurance?
Software Quality Assurance is a process which works parallel to software development lifecycle to ensure that all software engineering processes, methods, activities and work items are monitored and comply against the defined standards.
Since software quality assurance works parallel to software development process, it is therefore an ongoing activity applied throughout the software development lifecycle – necessitating the fact that instead of making quality checks after completion of an application, software quality assurance checks for quality issues in each development phases including Requirement analysis, Planning, Software design, Implementation or coding, Testing, Deployment and Maintenance.
These defined standards are a set of technical qualities on which the software development industry relies, and firmly making sure that these standards are met is what software quality assurance entails.
Approaches to Implementing Software Quality Assurance
There are basically two approaches to software quality assurance:
- Defect Management Approach: this relates to the way development team handles any identified errors or software bugs that can be a result of poor data handling or just not-so-good-enough code. This approach works best if there is a predefined, clear and concise control charts on ground, designed to measure and improve development process capability. Development team can then know which defects to assign to which category depending on the severity of the defect, likewise know the specific actions to take to address defects.
- Attributes Approach: this approach bring attention to some specific attributes or quality characteristics – these attributes are what qualifies a software as good. These qualities are used to assess software performance including Functionality, Reliability, Usability, Efficiency, Maintainability, Portability, etc.
Major Software Quality Assurance Activities
The following are the common activities to all software quality assurance processes:
- A well-defined quality management plan.
- Setting checkpoints that will help the process of evaluation of the performance of the project on the basis of collected data on different check points.
- Organizing formal technical reviews including audits, code inspections, design inspections, etc.
- Implementing a multi-testing strategy
- Using effective software engineering technology
- Enforcement of Process Adherence
- A measurement and reporting mechanism
Importance of Software Quality Assurance
- Save time and cost: bugs are costly, especially if discovered after software release. A flawed application will have to be followed by releasing fixes, patches, and sometimes even complete upgrades. Aside, the cost, a flawed software will take time to fix.
- Boost brand reputation: Releasing flawed software causes the owner to suffer from a bad brand reputation, which might prove difficult to recover from. Likewise, high-quality software puts a company in a stronger, more dominant market position.
- It improves security: Many applications rely on an Internet connection, and if your product leaves your customers vulnerable to data breaches, the results are catastrophic. Implementing quality control measures in software developmental stages will help expose system vulnerabilities on time.
Software Quality Assurance’s ultimate goal is to catch a product’s shortcomings and deficiencies before the market release of the product. This does not only means fewer headaches for the development team and a more satisfied customers, it will also bring about the design of a flawless software product.
Podtech is known for the delivery of a quality assured software products, one that can stand the test of time. While following industry-defined software testing strategies, processes, tools and techniques, our team of experts including quality assurance team, software developers and testers adopt professional approach throughout the software development lifecycle, to further enhance the product/project’s quality and development experience, producing a future-proof solutions, making optimal scaling and maintenance of business values achievable goals.