Summary – This article shares the crucial role of software testing and quality assurance (QA) in software development and the best practices, tools and techniques to ensure success.
Strategies for Implementing Effective Software Testing and Quality Assurance
In every industry imaginable, software drives business today, and companies have many options for procuring it. That’s why in a competitive marketplace, nearshore software developers must get it right the first time, and deliver software that hits the mark, without any problems.
For this reason, software testing and quality assurance (QA), is no place to cut corners. In fact, it’s perhaps the most crucial step in software development. Continuously testing for bugs, and improving software to meet the strictest quality standards, need to always follow design and product development and become fully embedded into the product lifecycle.
One key way that testing occurs is through automatic testing.
The Key Tools of Automatic Testing
In software development, automatic testing is a technique to test and compare the actual outcome versus the expected outcome of a component or process without human intervention. Here at Wovenware, we employ all of the key automation tests to ensure software quality. Two of the more commonly used types for developers include unit tests and integration tests.
A unit test, as the name implies, tests a part (unit) of a set. It allows you to detect specific failures on individual components early in the process. Yet, many software developers assume that only integration tests are necessary. The thinking is that if the set works, it implies that the units work, but that simply is not true, after all, anything that can go wrong, often will go wrong.
A unit test can reveal component-specific errors that may be overshadowed during an integration test. In software development, this happens frequently and it’s the software developer’s responsibility to prevent those things from happening.
Integration testing is a type of software testing in which the different units, modules or components of software are tested as a combined entity. – even if code was developed by different software programmers.
The goal of integration testing is to check the interfaces between the various modules and expose any defects that may arise when these components are integrated. When conducting integration testing, developers use test drivers that act as substitutes for any missing modules and “simulate data communications between modules for testing purposes.”
Both unit and integration tests are very important. The lack of doing one or the other, for whatever reason, will always carry high risks.
Companies should also consider all the other key types of software testing: system testing, UI/UX testing and agile testing, as well as all the more granular types as a key component of a QA strategy.
System testing. This type of testing validates the end-to-end system specifications – not only the specific software being developed. System testing includes a series of several tests that assesses the success of the complete computer-based system.
UX/UI testing. Critical to ensuring that actual users will have a good experience with the software, UX/UI testing examines the user interface to make sure it is intuitive and easy to use. UX testing is all about the overall experience and how usable and relevant the solution is. There are a number of UX/UI testing tools that can be employed to ensure a quality UX testing process.
Agile testing. As a core component of the Agile software development process, Agile testing features continuous and rapid, automated testing of new code as it is completed, so that any issues can be fixed right away. Adopting an agile methodology requires that software developers and testers work closely together from the outset of a project so that they’re able to find and fix issues early, before too much time and effort has gone into the solution.
The Role of QA in Defect-Free Software
The QA specialist’s primary responsibility is to improve the software development process by detecting issues in an application and preventing it from occurring again.
Regardless of the testing tools utilized, the QA team must become fully integrated with software design, development and operations – and all activities across the full product lifecycle. Key responsibilities include checking to make sure the software addresses all original requirements, managing risk, developing strategy and processes to improve quality, scheduling testing and the tools to be utilized, analyzing test results and documenting activities.
As the complexity and shortened delivery cycles of software increase, along with increasing user expectations of what users want from their software, testing and QA and their related tools and methodologies, are growing in importance. Testing and QA ensure that quality remains paramount and become embedded in company culture – across the full product lifecycle.
Interested in learning more about how Wovenware deploys rigorous testing and QA processes in the software it designs and develops for customers in a variety of regulated industries? Please reach out here.