Understanding The Quality Assurance Process In The Software Industry

Understanding The Quality Assurance Process In The Software Industry

If you’re in the software or technology industry, then you already know what quality assurance (QA) is. But for consumers, QA can be a difficult process to understand. It is a lengthy and technical process that occurs long before the software is available for purchase or download, making it a source of interest for the inquisitive buyer.

The easiest way to think of QA testing is to imagine writing an essay for school. You have a clear end goal, a rough draft, and QA testing would be the peer review portion of writing. In the peer review process spelling and grammar mistakes are uncovered, missing punctuations are added, and the thesis is adjusted for clarity. All of which turns your rough draft into the best possible piece for final submission. Finding these errors and fixing them is a lot like what happens in the QA process.

What is Quality Assurance In The Software Industry?

Female software developer with red hair looking at code on three monitors.

We’ve all used a software application that crashed while we were using it. Is there anything more frustrating than that? Sometimes you use something you’ve been working on for hours, other times bugs may prevent you from getting any work done at all. Overall, it’s safe to say that bugs are the bane of every consumer and developer’s existence.

To prevent bugs from ending up in the final released version of the software, there will be a quality assurance test before the product is sold to consumers. Quality assurance tests also occur before new updates are released as well. Think of QA as the TSA checkpoint at the airport, it is a preventative measure to keep bad things from happening.

Not only does quality assurance testing work to weed out bugs, but it also highlights clunky parts of the interface that makes client interaction with the product a hassle. If your task for the day is to update 200 labels from “active” to “inactive” it would be needlessly time-consuming to do it one by one. This design oversight is an example of something that can be discovered in the QA process and streamlined by adding a multi-select option, preventing client frustration.

The Four Steps To Quality Assurance

Each company will have its own process for QA but generally, there are four steps.

Step One: Plan. Planning includes gathering assets, setting expectations, and delegating tasks. This helps keep the QA as efficient as possible and prevents bugs from being missed by reviewers.

Step Two: Execute. The QA team will start running tests under a variety of conditions. This ensures that the software runs as expected on different operating systems like Windows, MacOS, and Linux and that it does not interfere with anti-virus programs during download, amongst other things.

Step Three: Evaluate. During the QA process, bugs, pain points, and other errors may be found. With a ticket tracking system like Gitlab, all issues found can be assigned to their own ticket, ensuring that each problem is addressed in a timely manner.

Step Four: Fix. The developers will make necessary changes to the software’s code to resolve issues and those fixes will be sent through the QA process to ensure that no problem remains.

After the QA process is complete, then the software is ready for release. Post-release if any major issues are found by developers or clients, updates known as hotfixes or patches will be published to resolve them.

Are There Different Approaches To QA?

Yes! There are multiple approaches that companies can take to complete the QA process. How quality assurance testing is approached is the result of multiple variables including team size, budget, and time remaining before the release date to list a few.

Some companies have in-house QA teams that work to find bugs for the developers to fix. They are trained in quality assurance and their sole responsibility is to improve the quality of the software. At other companies, an outside QA team is hired at the end of the software development process. While both of these options are well-established in the industry, they are not the only models for quality assurance testing.

Why QA At CaseGuard Is Different

At CaseGuard, we take a holistic approach to quality assurance. Known as the DevOps model, it is a way of quality assurance testing that includes both the developers and the operations team.

Every part of the CaseGuard team is involved in QA, including sales and marketing, IT support, and the developers. Even the CEO and CTO get in on the action! Why do we choose to do it this way? Because no one understands our clients like the people who interact with them the most.

While a UX developer may know how users typically interact with the software, a sales team member who meets with clients every day has a greater understanding of what end users need. Members of the IT department know of recent bugs and common pain points and are the most adept at spotting places where clients may become confused or frustrated with the software. The approach to QA taken by the CaseGuard team allows for well-rounded software development and an end product that clients will be happy with. But you don’t have to take our word for it, you can read testimonials from satisfied clients here.

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