QA is a fundamental component of the software development process that focuses on ensuring proper operation and compliance with established quality standards. What makes it so critical to the success of a project?
In previous blogs, we have written about several topics related to software development. We highlighted the importance of investing correctly in a development and not failing in the attempt. We also talked about how software development, more than a solution, should be considered as a business opportunity and, last but not least, how software development generates scalability and high performance for companies.
This time, we will go even deeper, we will go straight to the impact that a development stage can have if there are no mechanisms in place to ensure quality in each cycle. It is at this point where QA or Quality Assurance takes control of the situation during the different steps and processes of the project. But first, let’s check at some background information.
Much of the world today runs on software. Most companies and people need it, they use it in their daily lives. Cell phones, vehicles, computers, printers, USB sticks, speakers, bar readers, the list is long, but they all depend on a code. Now, imagine how important quality is in these devices. Since their use is so frequent, if they fail, we will have a scenario of great chaos and disruption in many areas of our lives, and don’t even imagine the significant effects at the enterprise level. That’s why QA exists.
What is QA, Quality Assurance?
There are many definitions. Some say it is a continuous process that is integrated into the development cycle and helps to avoid costly bugs and problems after product release. Others say it is an important process in software development to ensure the quality of products and services. Well, they are right, but few talk about the 3 key assets that must mesh and work together to ensure that software and other products or services work reliably and effectively.
We have been implementing these 3 assets throughout our history and experience, working for more than 20 years with companies in Latin America and North America. By applying them rigorously, we have managed to prevent our customers and users from suffering recurring failures and losing confidence in our product. That is why we share them in detail in this blog, so that you or your company can start making the most of them.
Functional quality: alignment of quality perspectives vs. customer expectations
It is that aspect that determines the quality of software performance, mainly from the user’s side. In other words, it refers to the evaluation of the functionality of a product or system to ensure that it meets the specifications and requirements in accordance with user expectations and project objectives.
Functional quality focuses on verifying that the product’s features and capabilities work properly and effectively. The most important things to consider are:
· Performance: be sure to assess the product performance in terms of speed, data handling capacity, response times and other aspects relevant to the product’s functionality.
· Compliance with requirements: be sure that the product meets all the defined requirements and specifications. This involves validating that each expected functionality and feature is present and works as intended.
· Usability: be sure that the product is user friendly, that is easy to learn to use and keep in mind that the functions are accessible. Otherwise, it may negatively affect the user experience.
· Security: be sure to identify possible leaks, holes, or failures in the information. It is good to perform specific tests to verify that the product functions behave correctly, and weaknesses can be corrected.
Structural quality: structuring of the code, evaluation of the architecture, design and internal organization of the product.
Structural quality is crucial for the sustainability and long-term evolution of a product or system. Opposite to functional quality, structural quality leans more to the code level, in other words, how is the code of our system structured?
To understand it better, software with a quality structure is one that respects programming standards. It has a standard with an understandable logical structure, it is documented, maintainable and understandable. This means that it can be easily modified by another professional and most importantly, it is a code that can be tested and is secure. Some key points are:
· Architecture: be sure to evaluate the overall structure, including the order in the components, clarity of the interactions between them and the scalability of the architecture.
· Code design: be sure that the source code is clean, readable and has good programming practices. This is key for error detection and future necessary modifications.
· Maintainability: be sure that the product is easy to maintain and update. That it is possible to modify the code without affecting other parts of the system and that improvements can be implemented without difficulty.
· Security: be sure to analyze the structure well for security vulnerabilities such as weaknesses in authentication and authorization.
Quality process: planned activities that are applied to guarantee compliance with the established quality standards.
Quality in general is extremely important and therefore all aspects related to it as well. A properly executed quality process can ensure success because it is a way of guaranteeing that value can be added to the product. This process is essential to achieve a final product that is reliable, effective and complies with the requirements. To guarantee it, is important to keep in mind the following:
· Quality planning: be sure not to skip this initial phase because it is where quality objectives, acceptance criteria and control strategies are defined.
· Analysis of results: be sure to first complete the necessary tests and then analyze the results and identify defects. This way you can work on areas of improvement without rework.
· Quality report: be sure to record the results of the tests and improvements. Share the report with all stakeholders to align those involved and keep them aware of the overall status of the product.
· Continuous Improvement: be sure to implement continuous improvements in development processes and QA practices. This is the only way to ensure that there is quality improvement in future projects.
As mentioned, these assets have helped us at Interfaz to give continuity to our value proposition based on the quality of the services we offer and the assurance of good results. All the tests we do to validate the quality of the products we deliver, methods, methodologies and frameworks are carried out under these 3 assets.
Of course, there are other additional topics that we will see later on, but what is certain is that QA has been positioning itself as one of the most important needs in the software construction process.
And the lesson is simple: it will always be more profitable in terms of money and time, both for the developer and for those who are waiting for the solution, to detect defects in the early stages of development and correct them, and not when the solution is already available. And the best way to do it, for us, is the way we describe it in this blog.
If you want to learn more about our methodology or if you are looking for a software development company that goes beyond working on the solution to provide clarity throughout the process, rely on Interfaz. Years in the industry have shown us that sharing knowledge and providing valuable information is the best way to build trust and strengthen the relationship with our clients.
Source: UNED, Universidad Estatal a Distancia, QA Quality Systems | Gartner, Quality control modernization