It’s not a secret that software is the essential key to the success of most businesses in the era of digital transformation as nowadays. Therefore, more and more organizations of different sizes and shapes invest time, money, and resources in software development projects with the expectation of a tangible return on that investment. However, what’s not always so clear is how best to ensure the quality of that software. In other words, the software product is not too hard to be developed, but securing the quality of the final outcome is on the other hand. So, it is essential to have a process in place to assure the quality of the software being developed. Here we are about to provide a comprehensive guide to all the key activities in software quality assurance. But first, you’d better understand the definition of software quality assurance or QA.
What is Software Quality Assurance?
Software quality assurance (SQA) is a process used to control the quality of software, and it is a collection of activities that aims to ensure the quality of software. SQA activities include identifying software quality requirements, creating plans and procedures for testing that the software meets those requirements, and then carrying out those tests. There are many different types of tests that can be carried out on software, but some common ones are functional testing, load testing, and security testing. Functional testing checks that the software performs its intended functions correctly. Load testing checks that the software can handle the expected amount of traffic or data. Security testing checks that the software is secure from attack.
SQA activities can be divided into two main categories: preventative and detective.
- Preventative SQA activities focus on avoiding defects in software before they occur. These activities typically involve designing quality into the software and ensuring that the software meets its requirements.
- Detective SQA activities focus on finding defects in software after it has been developed. These activities typically involve testing the software to see if it meets its requirements and identifying any defects that are found.
Both preventative and detective SQA activities are important for ensuring the quality of software. However, preventative SQA activities are generally more effective as finding and fixing defects before they cause problems is much better and easier to handle.
Why shouldn’t developers overlook software assurance?
There are many benefits to implementing software quality assurance activities. SQA can help to improve the quality of software, reduce the cost of development, and improve customer satisfaction.
As stated before, software quality assurance can help to improve the quality of software by finding and fixing defects before the software is released. This can save money by reducing the need for post-release patches and fixes. It can also improve customer satisfaction by ensuring that the software meets their expectations. Moreover, software quality assurance can also reduce the cost of development by preventing defects from occurring in the first place. This can save costs by reducing the need for rework and debugging. Additionally, it can improve productivity by ensuring that software developers are working on code that meets the quality standards. Last but not least, SQA can improve the morale of the development team by ensuring that they are working on a product that meets the quality standards.
What are some software assurance activities?
There is a wide range of activities that can be included in a software quality assurance plan. Accordingly, the activities included in the QA process will vary depending on the specific needs of the software development project. But if you are not able to decide or do not own a proper QA team to work on the activities, then you can reach out to QA consulting services for support. And now, let’s go through some of the most common activities often included in the software assurance procedure:
- Requirements gathering: This is the first and arguably most important step in the software development process. It involves identifying the needs of the end-users and then translating those needs into specific requirements for the software.
- Software design: In this process, the structure of the software is designed to meet the requirements gathered in the previous step. It involves deciding how the software will be organized and what functions it will perform.
- Coding: The next activity is coding or programming, which is the process of actually writing the code for the software. The code must be written in a way that meets the requirements and design specifications from the previous steps.
- Testing: This is an essential step in quality assurance and involves executing the software to see if it meets its requirements. Tests can be divided into two common categories: functional testing, which checks that the software performs its intended functions correctly, and non-functional testing, which checks things like performance, security, and usability.
- Documentation: This is the SQA of creating documents that describe the features and functionality of the software. Documentation is critical for both users and developers, as it can help users learn how to use the software and help developers understand how the software works.
- Maintenance: This is the process of making changes to the software after it has been released. Normally, maintenance can also be divided into two main types: corrective maintenance, which involves fixing defects, and adaptive maintenance, which involves making changes to the software to meet changing user needs.
- Training: It is crucial to provide users with the knowledge and skills they need to use the software effectively. Training can be provided in multiple forms, such as online tutorials, in-person classes, and printed manuals.
These are some most prevalent activities that can be included in a software quality assurance plan. The specific activities included will depend on the needs and requirements of each project. And if you are not sure about the SQA you are about to implement, you should consult with an expert to get guidance and advice. Now that you have a basic understanding of what software quality assurance is and some of the activities involved in the process, it is time to take action. So, we really hope you found this article helpful, and you can start working on ensuring the quality of your software products with the right SQA.