What is Software Quality Assurance, and Why Is It Important?
Software quality assurance plays a vital role in the software development life cycle.
Enterprises are constantly churning out software applications left, right, and center to keep up with the increasing demand. While releasing software applications is one thing, it’s crucial to ensure that the product works the way you want it to.
People are not just looking for a wide selection of software choices; they also want quality products.
In this post, we’ll understand software quality assurance, why it’s important, the different approaches to software QA, and how it differs from software testing.
So, let’s dive in!
What is software quality assurance?
Software Quality Assurance (Software QA) is a methodology to ensure that the quality of the software product complies with a predetermined set of standards.
Software QA is not just a step in the development process; it functions in parallel with the software development life cycle.
Businesses must ascertain that every part of the software, internal and external, is up to the predefined standard. Software QA tests every block of this process individually to identify issues before they become a major problem.
Externally, businesses evaluate efficiency, reliability, and cost of maintenance.
Internal characteristics tested by software QA processes include structure, complexity, readability, flexibility, testability, and the coding practices developers have followed to develop the software.
Different software quality assurance approaches.
There are two different approaches to software QA:
- Software Quality Defect Management approach
- Software Quality Attributes approach
The Software Quality Defect Management approach focuses on counting and managing defects. The level of severity can generally categorize defects.
Software development teams use tools like defect leakage matrices and clear and concise control charts to measure and enhance the capability of their software development process.
The Software Quality Attributes approach works by helping software engineers analyze the performance of a software product. This approach focuses on directing the engineer’s attention to several quality factors.
While some of these attributes may overlap or fall under another, there are five essential quality characteristics that you should consider:
- Reliability. Reliability reflects the system’s ability to continue operating overtime under different working environments and conditions. The application should consistently return correct results.
- Usability. Software applications should be easy to learn and navigate. This user-friendliness and the effectiveness of utilizing the product is called usability.
- Efficiency. This software QA attribute indicates how well the system uses all the available resources. It is shown by the amount of time the system needs to finish any task.
- Maintainability. It shows how easy it is to maintain different system versions and support changes and upgrades cost-effectively.
- Portability. This software quality assurance attribute demonstrates the system’s ability to run effectively on various platforms — for example, data portability, viewing, hosting, and more.
You can use these attributes for software QA and quality control.
Why is software quality assurance important?
- It saves time and money. Software quality assurance ensures that the developers find bugs and errors at the early stages of software development. Therefore, they spend a lot less time and money fixing them.
- Stable and competitive software product. Software architects specifically vet each block in the software development process against industry standards. Granular testing for different requirements like reliability, functionality, usability, portability, etc., helps ensure that their product is high-quality.
- Protects your company’s reputation. Businesses need to ensure that their product works as intended before releasing into the market. If the customers notice the product’s errors before you do, it will significantly impact your brand image and reputation.
- Ensures security. Software quality assurance helps organizations ensure that their application is efficient, secure, and trustworthy.
- Customer satisfaction. Your software application has to fulfill all the needs to satisfy the customers. It has to work smoothly without any malfunctions. With software quality assurance processes in place, you can ensure that your product delivers everything that your audience expects.
Software quality assurance is an umbrella process employed throughout the software development pipeline.
It’s the best way for businesses to ensure that they have tested every part of their product to the highest standards before releasing it into the market.
But before software quality assurance, you need to hire talented developers who can build the product in the first place.
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