Software quality assurance is a process that certifies a software application for its QUALITY during the whole software application development phase. Last year, we comprehended the latest software testing trends, which has helped our software testing industry in revamping our current testing strategies.
Now, we are in 2017 and our industry is much hyped around Software Quality Assurance. Recently, according to the World Quality Report 2017 by Capgemini & Sogeti, we tried analyzing the top 5 recommendations for the Quality Assurance Experts. This implies that the year 2017 is going to be much more in software quality assurance rather than just script-based or script-less test automation – the other most trending scenarios.
Let’s churn out the best practices for software quality assurance for the year 2017 and beyond:
1. Measure the Importance of Quality
The software development team needs to be aware of the importance of the quality of the software application they are going to develop. The practice of measuring the importance of quality helps the developers to understand well about the application as per the business perspectives.
Planning for the development approach, high-quality design and code need the unequivocal involvement of the QA team. This can become an initial step to prevent the future programming errors or bugs.
2. Plan Your QA Process
What we are discussing here is that the software quality assurance is a part of the agile development process and not just a step that needs to be utilized at only a certain point. Software testing at each iteration will help the QA team to analyze the success and failure of the code. So, the input and output of our QA process need to be well planned, defined and documented as well to avoid the failure of the quality of the end product.
3. Analyze Quality Benchmarks
Requirements gathering is an important part of the development cycle as well as quality assurance. But, before we start documenting them, developers and business owners need to know everything about the application to be developed. Everything includes the application features, functionalities, design, reliability, scalability, usability, efficiency, etc. to check whether the application will meet the quality benchmarks.
Once, everything is appropriately analyzed and discussed, needs to be well documented. Following this practice can help the developers to rectify the errors on time if they find any.
4. Adopt ‘Test Early Test Often’ Principle
Nowadays, we are adopting agile development approach for faster quality application releases. We have seen many times while preparing QA processes, requirements itself consists of various errors or misconceptions of the applications compared to the real world scenario. Hence, it becomes highly important for the QA teams to ensure the development efforts are not dumped.
This brings in, the principle of “Test Early Test Often”. Following this principle will help the QA teams to find the bugs early and often to confirm continuous delivery.
5. Merge QA & Development Efforts with DevOps
Software Quality assurance is not just limited to one application development project. Thus, to ensure continuous improvement in the end application, it is highly recommended to merge development, operations and testing processes with DevOps.
After all, skills and expertise of a quality assurance team are measured in how well they coordinate between their tasks, processes, management and development team. It has been observed that there is huge demand of DevOps among the CIOs of the MNCs.
6. Engage in Continuous Testing
Continuous testing is a process of performing testing continuously on every minor release in order to check whether each build is successful. If not, we can easily identify them on time and make necessary changes and again take them into the testing process. This is a process which each and every QA teams across the globe needs to adopt for continuous delivery of the end product.
Continuous testing can be automated. Recently, in a webinar “Adopting Continuous Test Automation in Agile & DevOps way” by Cygnet Infotech, explained in detail about how an enterprise can jumpstart to end-to-end continuous test automation along with its challenges and solutions.
7. Utilize Ready-made Test Frameworks
Every time, it is not feasible to build a new testing framework. Rather, it is always advisable to utilize the ready-made testing frameworks. It can help the QA teams with appropriately managing end-to-end testing automation cycles and ensuring continuous integrations and deliveries.
8. Create a Robust Testing Environment
Software quality assurance also takes care of the test environment to be built as per the project requirements. Successful test environment lays under the combination of reliability, scalability, robustness, speed and budget.
How effective and robust the test environment is built comes under the skills and expertise of the testers and QAs.
9. Deploy Automated Testing
We are no longer unaware of the stupendous benefits of automated testing. Thus, it can really be considered as a wise recommendation to deploy automated testing in the whole of quality assurance process. If we consider the real world scenarios, testing software applications under specific manual test scripts will make it limited to a great extent.
According to the whole application development research and analysis, QA team can define the proportion of using manual testing and automated testing as per the complexities and real-world use of the application.
10. Choose the Right Test Automation Tool
Now that the automated testing is introduced, the most important task here comes is to finalize the top testing tools that can help you with your application testing requirements. One, you have the application features & functionalities on documents. Two, you have decided on the proportion to choose manual as well as automated testing. Lastly, QA team needs to finalize the best of all automated testing tools that perfectly fits your project testing needs.
Selecting the right automation testing tool will help you save a lot of time, money & manual efforts resulting in focusing more on other areas.
11. Report Bugs Effectively
Bug reporting skills differ from person to person. Clear bug reports are likely to help developers understand the areas of loopholes. But, bug reports created roughly or un-organized, can lead to serious misgivings. Today, most QAs have already introduced bug tracking tools to help the defects logged correctly and in detail.
Earlier in 2016, bug reporting tools like JIRA, MANTIS, etc. were used separately. But in 2017, we see that the latest automated testing tools have built-in integration with the various bug tracking tools which easily reports the bugs and track their status as well. So, this is a bonus point for using testing tools.
12. Become a QA Detective
When deeply involved in QA processes, there might be instances where despite rigorous testing efforts, defects are likely to be missed. Sometimes, smaller applications, when tested, hardly have any functionality issues, and we believe that our application is ready to go LIVE. But, here is when, QA experts needs to intervene.
By the way, sometimes, QAs also need to watch a few movies of Sherlock Holmes. After all, QA experts always need to be on their toes to make sure that no defects mean there is something that requires more attention.
13. Check for the Available Resources
Quality assurance process is once defined; QA team needs to check the available resources to execute the whole software development and testing part. After all, resources like software developers, technical support teams, software & hardware engineers, smart software testers, etc. play an important role in order to maintain the quality of the software application being developed.
14. Allocate Time Appropriately
Just the way we discussed that we cannot underestimate the bugs if they don’t appear before our eyes. From becoming a QA detective to finding defects, understanding the level of defects, risks involved, etc. needs time for evaluation, reporting, resolution and re-testing those scenarios.
While planning the application release dates, Quality assurance team has to allocate appropriate time for such unexpected circumstances. Here, time is certainly invaluable.
15. Ensure Management Transparency
Being transparent to the management of the organization is a prime responsibility of the software quality assurance team. Top managers are the decision influencers for the company’s policies. So, analyzing the previous QA processes with its large figures and metrics and introducing changes in those processes (if required) becomes vital.
16. Update Yourself with Market Trends
Our software testing and quality assurance industry is ever-changing one as its simplicity and complexity will differ on the basis of changing technology. This requires constant upgradations to changing market trends. We have seen many changes in our industry from script-based testing to script-less/code-less end-to-end test automation. Thus, peeping into the latest trends and implementing them in the right place at the right time is what is expected to be the best practice which can help us in the coming years.
17. Share Knowledge Extensively
All knowledge acquired are useless until and unless shared with the relevant people around you. This implies to software quality assurance team as well. QA experts need to share knowledge with their team, development team and management about the latest software testing market trends that can not only strengthen their bond but, improve their company policies, processes and revenue as well.
18. Always Offer Feedback
Sometimes, feedback might get avoided to prevent the conflicts in the development teams as they have dedicated their priceless efforts & time. But, that should not be the case.
This point of offering the feedback is the most crucial practice of the quality assurance part. QA teams are bound to find faults on the applications being developed. That’s their responsibility to save company’s reputation in order to deliver an error-free application. This practice is always being followed.
19. Get Prepared for the Challenges
Quality assurance has 2 things to take care of:
1. Deliver quality applications on time
2. Deliver error-free quality applications on time
Now, there is hardly any major difference in the above 2 things, but, all the above best practices will be followed just to achieve the above 2 things. Hence, in doing so, software quality assurance teams might face various challenges from the development teams, management teams, industry trends, etc. Thus, needless to say, QA teams has to be prepared for the unforeseen challenges.
20. Hire Dedicated QA teams
Why are we focusing on investing separately into testing? Because developers are the creators of the applications and they hardly see any defects in their baby application.
Same is the case with the software quality assurance. Dedicated quality assurance team will help your company deliver immutable quality certified applications. This will not only boost the reputation of your company but, will also boost your organization before your competitors.
In the year 2016, we saw a lot of fluctuations in the software testing & QA industry. This gives us a clear-cut vision that 2017 and coming years are going to be really challenging in terms of quality assurance processes. Let’s adopt the above QA best practices to prepare ourselves for the rock-solid techy year.
What are the software quality assurance practices that best fits your organization?