What is the importance of QA Testing in Software Development?
It’s commonly accepted that QA testing should form part of a software development project, but some companies might be taking a limiting approach to it.
Bugs in digital systems and apps are becoming increasingly harmful
to both individuals and organisations, therefore a more serious approach to QA Testing is needed.
How QA normally works
Let’s start by observing what happens in most cases:
Startups: Suggestions for improvements and bug spotting are functions that tend to belong to everybody in the team (both developers, the PM and designers) and not to someone who is specialised in it.
Growing companies: the QA Testing teams tend to be isolated and expected to focus mostly on identifying bugs.
Yes, mistakenly QA Testing tends to be regarded mostly as a bug-centred task.
But we need to start understanding the important role that QA testers have in defining the overall quality of the project and in assuring that all the requirements are met.
If you break it down, there are two main functions.
The two main functions of QA Testing
a) QA (Quality Assurance):
QA has an important role in the management of the product lifecycle. It guarantees the quality of the software product to all the stakeholders (and above all, the end-user).
The goals of the QA are to ensure that:
All software quality standards are met;
The client’s requirements are accomplished.
The Testing part of the formula is focused more on the technical side.
The professionals undertake the breakdown of the code in order to identify bugs and improve processes. The mindset here is always to believe that there are surely bugs to be found.
As mentioned before, most companies expect the QA Testing team to focus solely on this part — but we believe that the combination of QA plus testing is what creates a richer project and allows the company to be less reactive to bugs.
The benefits of good QA Testing
Bug-centred companies can be at risk of creating even more bugs when correcting the existent ones.
By being less reactive, companies with the right approach to QA Testing allow a better resource management, since as the project evolves, the more costly it becomes to make changes.
More than that, if the client needs to add features or create changes to the product, there will be more flexibility and the costs minimised.
Should QA testing be outsourced?
As you have probably gathered, I’m a big supporter of an in-house QA Team, more product-centered than bug-centered, so you might already be expecting what I’ll say about this.
While there are specific situations where certain projects need a hand from a specialised company in identifying bugs and issues, I’m still of the opinion that even if this is the case, there should be an in-house team.
Essentially, my view is that it is a risk to leave these tasks to an outsourced company as it can be detrimental for the project. QA testers should work together with the developers and designers for quality purposes and it might be hard for an outsourced company to get control of the project.
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