An intelligent device wakes us up, then we receive information about traffic on our way to work from an intelligent assistant. At work, we use enterprise software, and in our spare time – we shop online, use e-mobility solutions, make appointments online, book holidays in the app… Companies which provide all this software face challenges of ensuring the best possible quality of their solutions t—-o users. Apps should function smoothly and be available to users as well as user friendly. But is employing the software testers enough to achieve this goal? How to ensure quality and minimize the risk of failures? Read the article to find out!
- Technology is getting increasingly important
- The costs of bugs
- How to ensure quality? 10 good practices
- Have a Quality Assurance strategy in place
- Include tests at every level of a product development process
- Test as early as possible – get familiar with shift-left testing approach
- Discover Agile methodologies
- Hire right people
- Test your testing process
- Do not save money on tests
- Learn from the mistakes of others
- Don’t stop learning
- Involve an external company
Technology is getting increasingly important
Technology accompanies us every day. From the moment of waking up, via our trip to work, daily shopping, and leisure activities. Today, users expect systems to keep up with their own pace. If something doesn’t work, e.g., the page doesn’t refresh, the app crashes, it causes irritation but also has a great impact on our entire daily schedule. In business, numerous industries, including manufacturing, finances, banking, and logistics, rely on technology, and malfunctioning software can lead to huge financial consequences. For this reason, IT companies don’t shy away from the costs of software testing. But tests alone are not enough.
The costs of bugs
Programs to monitor space missions, sophisticated FinTech systems for banking, programs that harness the potential of Artificial Intelligence to monitor patients’ health – a mistake here can cost millions of dollars… or even human lives. Companies that specialize in software development are aware of the consequences of malfunctioning software. There are some aspects that should be considered beyond conducting software tests.
How to ensure quality? 10 good practices
Have a Quality Assurance strategy in place
Ensuring quality is not limited to software tests performed by manual and automated testers. Quality Assurance means quality management throughout the entire software development process. According to ISO 9000, QA is an area of quality management aiming to ensure that the quality requirements of are met.
Include tests at every level of a product development process
Ensure tests throughout the software development cycle to minimize the risk of errors. When planning your tests, consider the test pyramid model. First, software developers can perform fast unit tests. During application development, ensure that test teams perform appropriate integration tests and E2E tests. And then – engage users to run UAT (acceptance tests).
Test as early as possible – get familiar with shift-left testing approach
Shift-left testing is a popular approach in IT projects. Get familiar with principles of this method to see if you can implement it in your project. Shift-left testing requires that the software is tested as early as possible. The testers should also be familiar with the principles of the Agile methodology.
Discover Agile methodologies
In the past, software development used to be developed with a traditional cascade approach, including the analysis, planning, implementation and testing. Nowadays, in various areas of life, people take advantage of the agile approach to parallel actions wherever possible. In a dynamic world, it is important to react to changes and act flexibly. For this reason, it is worth using the Agile methodologies and processes such as Scrum, Kanban or Extreme Programming. In software development, they come in handy when teams need to act quickly but do not want to compromise the quality of a product.
Hire right people
Recruiting software testers that know the latest testing tools and are ISTQB certified is not enough. What makes a really good tester, is the combination of technical skills with personal qualities such as inquisitiveness, assertiveness and self-confidence. When recruiting people for your project, it’s worth checking a candidate’s soft skills as well. After all, you need to hire someone who honestly says what it’s not working – not someone who’s afraid to mention the mistakes to developers.
Test your testing process
Do you have a testing process? Great! This means you know the importance of verification and thus – should allow others to check how your process works! Delegate audit and see if there is anything to improve or optimize, so that to have a high-quality testing process.
Do not save money on tests
At some point during the software development process, you may be tempted not to run tests anymore. Reasons might be different: you need to release a product urgently, a customer pressurizes you, or maybe you want to avoid additional costs and time for testing. Such thinking often leads to omitting non-functional tests (e.g., safety tests, performance tests). This, in turn, may result in paying enormous amounts of money for fixing the bugs after release (not to mention the impact on your PR).
Learn from the mistakes of others
Security gaps in toll systems, performance problems of government servers, unavailability of applications to users at key moments, such as Black Friday – each of us can recall at least one such situation. Performing appropriate tests could prevent such situations by improving accessibility and assuring the right UX.
Don’t stop learning
Software developers never stop learning and developing. This results from the fact that the technology is constantly evolving. Knowledge of tech innovations, new approaches, tools and working methods is the basis for ensuring the highest possible quality of the software. Make sure that your teams have access to know-how, participate in training and attend industry conferences to gain a substantial knowledge.
Involve an external company
Whether you’re looking for support for your Quality Assurance and Quality Control teams, or you’re interested in learning about new tools and frameworks, it’s worth hiring external specialists. They will be able to examine your solutions thoroughly thanks to their fresh, and sometimes also critical look. All of this, of course, will be beneficial for your organization.
Quality Assurance of software solutions is a difficult challenge in the context of constant deadlines. The dependence on technology forces providers to deliver proven solutions faster. Thus, planning software tests is not enough – a holistic approach to quality management is the key to success in the IT industry.