In a competitive world of software development – there is only one thing that really matters. It is quality of the final product. Design and concept can’t justify structural flaws that could’ve been easily avoided. Thankfully there is a way to guarantee that everything will be alright and the name of the game is Quality Assurance.
It might seem funny but if that thing is not up to the snuff, rotten or otherwise a bit off – it doesn’t matter how innovative your concept is or how fancy your design choices are – your product will not be able to successfully compete in the market. Which is a long way of saying “you need to face the fact that your product is in dire need of significant and costly tweaking”.
Definition of Quality Assurance
In short, QA is an assorted collection of elaborate activities designed to ensure that every stage of the software development process is made as it should and the resulting product will work the way the customer expects it to work.
Reasons for implementing such precautions are relatively simple – errors cost money and credibility but you can’t escape from making a few along the way. The thing is - in the heat of the moment people tend to oversee minor issues, mistakes or missing pieces. Such things tend to pile up and go out of control. The job of QA specialist is to make them disappear before going gold.
What is Quality Assurance Specialist doing?
Basically, the work of QA specialist consists of whole lotta clickety-click-clack and evaluation of its consequences. It includes fun stuff like checking the maintenance of basic functions, testing capabilities of the workflow, analyzing the overall performance of the product under various circumstances and trying out every possible scenario while keeping in mind user’s experience.
This set of actions helps to scale the scope of the problems and keep them within reasonable constraints.
That sounds big, right? Let’s break it down into digestible bits.
Methods of Quality Assurance
From a formal standpoint the process of QA can be broken down into four key elements:
- Determining of the cause of the problem;
- Analyzing amount of effort and engagement needed to fix the problem;
- Defining the most effective way of fixing it;
- Considering possible backfires upon making changes;
These actions are applied to the following fields:
- Functionality - includes examination of suitability, correctness of implementation of the functional parts and overall interaction with other components of the system;
- Reliability – includes trying out crashing scenarios and possibilities of recovering to full operative potential;
- Usability – includes testing user interface and its understandability;
What are major gains from QA?
Quality Assurance is extremely beneficial for the company.
First of all - it is a way of securing smooth and tranquil end result of the development process. Quality is one of the key factors that keep users attached to applications. If it is exceptional - they keep on using your product and you keep on upgrading and perfecting it. If it is lacking - they go looking for something else.
Users don’t care about your feeling - they need to solve specific problems with a little help of this or that application. That’s why well-oiled, thoroughly tested product gets much more chances at surviving and thriving on the market than some odd unpolished turds.
Aside from that - quality products add credibility to the company which leads to increase of attention from the users. This enables further evolution of the product. In turn, this attracts potential investors which leads to the growing of the market share. This substantially increases the influence of the company and leads to expansion of the field of interest.
Sounds nice, huh?
And all that can be achieved with a little help of quality assurance.