Modern software development is complex. With multiple teams of skilled professionals working in tandem to create effective software in the shortest time possible, QA testing is an integral part of this process. In this article, we’ll share with you an overview of the process and our 4 top tips for QA testing success.
Tech leaders who recognize the importance of QA regularly allocate up to a quarter of IT spending on QA testing alone. So, what exactly is QA testing and how can you get the most out of it?
What is QA testing in software?
Quality Assurance (QA) testing refers to the practices and procedures involved in ensuring a software end-product in the SDLC is in accordance with the agreed-upon scope and expectations.
Why is QA testing important?
Good QA improves software, reduces the need for bug fixes and maintenance efforts, and leads to better customer satisfaction. All of this can boost ROI and business impact. When your QA testing isn’t following best practices, however, it can hold your development efforts back.
Poor QA testing can result from under-testing or over-testing. When software is under-tested, it can be released with serious bugs, resulting in client dissatisfaction. Even worse, down the line, it costs precious time and makes it more difficult to address problems that arise as a result.
On the other hand, over-testing for every use-case or edge case can raise errors or expose bugs that have a low likelihood of impacting product functionality. The time spent testing, reporting errors, and having developers address these bugs adds up. This can cause production delays, project stagnation, and team frustration.
Popular QA testing Principles
To ensure that QA testing adds value to the development process, QA planning usually follows 7 key principles:
- Testing can only prove the presence of defects.
- Exhaustive testing is neither possible nor practical.
- Testing should begin as early as possible
- Defect clustering (Pareto Principle)
- Repetitive testing reduces effectiveness (Pesticide paradox)
- Context determines the degree of testing
- Low test rates don’t mean your software is error-free (Absence-of-error Fallacy)
Keeping these principles in mind keeps the QA process on track and minimizes the risk of under-testing or over-testing.
What are the types of QA testing?
There are 7 main QA testing types to ensure your software development is the best it can be.
- Unit testing: Completed at the start of any software build, and it consists of tests making sure on all the methods, functions, and procedures in your software work.
- Integration testing: Checks that the individual modules in your application work well together.
- Functional Testing: Validates changes in the code in the current development cycle against documentation.
- End-to-end testing: Ensures your application works from beginning to end of a specific user flow.
- Performance testing: Exposes potential performance bottlenecks by measuring the speed, stability, and scalability of your software under expected and unexpected workloads.
- Regression testing: Ensures any new code does not affect pre-exisiting code.
- Acceptance testing: Completed at the end of software build, carried out by end-users under close surveillance.
4 Tips for better QA testing
Software testing principles can only take you so far, though. With this in mind, here are our 4 tips to help improve your QA efforts.
Integrate your QA team
In some companies, QA teams are an afterthought. They come in at the end of development to find errors in the product before deployment. When QA teams are left out of the planning phase, they may be testing without a clear idea of what the product is or its intended uses.
Following DevOps or even QAOps frameworks can help better integrate QA into every step of the development process. This allows testing to be developed with client requirements in mind. By knowing what developers are building to meet the project goals, QA teams can plan their testing process to support team objectives throughout the sprint.
Start your QA testing A.S.A.P.
Exhaustive QA testing can kill ROI by slowing development and delaying product launches. On the other hand, under-testing can let bugs slip through. So, how can you balance time and sufficient testing? You can start by testing earlier on in the development process.
In the traditional “waterfall” framework, QA comes in after development and implementation or the “build” phase. In this model, testing can hold up releases, creating bottlenecks that choke development. Agile and DevOps-based frameworks can make QA testing more efficient by including it as part of development efforts from the beginning of the project.
Get ahead of Regression Testing
Regression Testing is one of the more time-consuming QA testing tools. It tests existing code to determine if any changes or new additions (e.g., new features, patches, or bug fixes) cause errors or break functionality.
Getting ahead of regression testing starts with identifying areas in software that will likely be affected by new features, configurations, or functionalities in the client requirements. Once these are logged, it becomes a matter of strategic planning to test them efficiently.
Embrace automation where it makes sense
Leading software companies have already begun automating their QA efforts. This makes QA testing more efficient by reducing the need for manual testing, which can cause its own share of challenges.
Not every situation needs to be automated, so, assessing the testing pipeline and implementing automation strategically is important. QA engineers manage the automation of testing using AI and Machine Learning tools. Experienced QA engineers can be a great investment for improving your QA testing efforts.
Better QA testing, Better Products
Remember, QA testing is an important part of software development. It’s the safeguard against buggy or otherwise flawed products. At its best, QA testing improves product quality, reduces technical debt, and delights your customers, resulting in better ROI. At its worst, it can slow down your development efforts and cripple productivity. Learn more about improving your QA and Development teams here.
Tracking software before QA testing
To ensure your QA testing runs as smoothly and quickly as possible, we suggest closely monitoring your software development from start to finish. To do so properly, KPIs are of utmost importance. Foreworth offer code quality and team productivity metrics to help ensure your software is its best going in and out of QA testing and into your client’s hands. Learn more about Foreworth here.