By Maciej Duraj
During development, problems sometimes arise. The team may fall behind schedule; bugs may appear in the code, the system requirements become overbearing, and other issues of this nature may occur. This is why having quality assurance (QA) testers along for the ride ensures a smooth journey from product inception to completion.
QA testers are engineers themselves and should be experienced in working with a variety of software and testing procedures to make sure development doesn’t stall. Sometimes, for startups or small companies, it makes more sense to consider QA outsourcing instead of hiring testers in-house. By outsourcing testing, the team can focus on its strengths rather than learning testing procedures or tools that the team may not have experience with.
How QA Testing Affects Companies of Various Industries and Sizes
As software is being developed, companies need failsafe methods to make sure development does not take a wrong turn. The quicker these are identified during development; the fewer work developers have in restarting, reverting changes, or relying on extensive updating after an application is released.
Smaller companies may totally dismiss the need for QA testers, and it could be their downfall. The software they are working on may stall into development hell, as some people call it, and never get released out the door due to a constant change of directions. QA testers will make sure project development flows on a smooth path with the procedures in place to make it happen without the need for lavish changes in development processes or directions.
QA testing engineers perform stress tests, for example, to make sure the software does not break no matter how long it is run, under what conditions and across a wide range of operating systems and devices. They will also make sure the development team follows the trajectory or timeline of development during different phases of the development process to meet deadlines.
These are just some of the things they do to make sure a project succeeds in the long run. Security analysis is another nice benefit of having QA testers on the team. They will find weaknesses within software security while running penetration tests, code analysis, and work with beta testers to find even hard to spot security flaws.
The C-suite of executives behind a project is not forgotten during the development process. Good QA testers will meet with them and communicate across teams to explain the aspects of development or the software’s code that needs revisions, or an overall change of methods going forward. They find these issues during the many tests they perform during development.
A Proactive Approach to Development
Bottlenecks appear in nearly every development project as do challenges like being able to reach more than one user base or operating system with the final product or service. The QA tester will communicate these challenges with the developers and management to make sure they are overcome. They also will find the early signs of them through the various testing procedures they undertake.
In a way, they predict changes before they occur or identify hot spots of development ahead of time. These hot spots could be certain features that will be updated or added to the software to meet client needs because of errors in previous versions. They could also be new features that need extensive testing that have yet to be implemented.
QA testers do a lot of estimation which is based on their experience with code and the rigorous testing done to identify these hotspots. If something worked in the last software update, for instance, there is no reason to change it. Developers tend to change too many aspects of the code during development. QA testers are there to keep developers focused on the aspects that actually need changes.
They will do rigorous testing even for things that already work only when the software environment itself changes. An example of such change is software being compatible across different browsers or operating systems. However, they focus on the hotspots and make estimates from their testing where things need work.
QA testing is much more than just debugging code that will be available in an upcoming update. They make sure entire processes are in place for the code to function well in the long run.
A Wide Range of Software Can Benefit from QA Testing
Any industry, from gaming to business software, can benefit from having good QA testing procedures and testers in place. Software as a Service (SaaS) can greatly benefit because it has to be compatible across operating systems, devices from mobile to desktops that get constantly updated with new features. However, even standalone mobile app development can benefit from QA testers.
If a company wants its software to be successful post-release, aspects like cross-compatibility and backward compatibility are important. This is where QA testing comes in and makes sure the software is backward compatible and works as intended for all users.
Besides identifying hot spots where development needs more work or bugs within the systems and compatibility issues, QA testers will even look at aspects of the user experience (UX). They will be the broker in making sure the software is not just functional and works as intended, but is enjoyable and seamless to use from the customer perspective.
If you are running a software development company or consider creating software for your company regardless of the industry your company focuses on, QA testing is paramount. It can be the difference-maker of you releasing software that succeeds in a crowded market with unique features and great compatibility with software that never leaves development or requires a huge update out of the gate due to being bug-ridden. QA testing is a secret weapon that drives development in the right direction.
It really does not matter what sort of software a company is creating, whether a product or service or the industry it is aiming at. QA testing can find weaknesses within the code or ways it can improve in a proactive way or ahead of time.