4 Software QA Metrics To Enhance Dev Quality and Speed
In this article, we discuss how the demand for software is higher than ever. Lines of code govern almost everything we do in our day-to-day activities.
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Today, the demand for software is higher than ever. Lines of code govern almost everything we do in our day-to-day activities. The way we buy, the way we sell, even the way we communicate.
In 2019, according to Evans Data Corporation, there were 23.9 million developers worldwide. In an attempt to hold their place within the market, developers are having to speed their process up whilst delivering products of ever-increasing quality. This happening all across the board, even and especially at the 50 leading SaaS companies. Often speed and quality seem at odds with one another, but in reality, this isn’t the case. Improvement in both areas is obtainable. This is where QA can help.
What Is QA?
Much like any manufacturing industry, the presence of Quality Assurance in software development is to mitigate risks, ensuring a defective product doesn’t reach the consumer. The process should push to improve the product quality and establish more efficient practices.
Effectively executed throughout the dev process, QA should also drive your business goals and increase revenue. Faster production and a higher quality product, combined with various strategies for effective communication, will lead to happier consumers which, in turn, will lead to an increase in revenue. Sounds easy, right? Well, first you need a few tools to help you.
Applied throughout the dev process, QA metrics will monitor the whole production allowing you to focus on key areas for analysis and improvement. Along with metrics, Key Performance Indicators (KPI) can help you realize levels of performance in specific areas. Before the project begins you should always establish just what it is you need to learn from certain metrics and KPIs within those areas. So, here we go.
4 Software QA Metrics To Enhance Dev Quality and Speed
The caliber of code is fundamental to the quality of your product. Through frequent reviews you can assess the health of your software, thus detecting unreliable code and defects in the building blocks of your project. Identifying flaws is going to help you throughout the dev process and well into the future. Good quality code will allow you to reduce the risks of defects and avoid application and website crashes.
Today, much of this process can be automated, avoiding human error and diverting resources toward other tasks. But, there are a number of code quality analytics you can focus on. For example;
- Lines of code: Assessing the lines of code will give you a knowledge of how much code there is, and its complexity. Generally, simpler code and less of it will be better in the long run, however it can depend on the complexity of the application.
- Maintainability index: This can also feed into maintainability index, which will assess how easy it is to support and maintain your code. The easier it is to maintain the quicker issues can be resolved.
A good way to think of your code quality is:
If you don’t assess your code and consider these simple steps, then you could fall at the first hurdle.
Clarifying why testing is important seems strange, but it can be easy to forget how vital a robust testing process is. Through frequent testing, certain indicators can demonstrate the readiness of software.
There are a number of things you will want to keep track of during the testing process. These indicators not only keep track of the quality of the software but can also assess team productivity.
- The number of tests: Keeping track of the number of tests is vital. Typically, the more the better, as you test for good and bad cases and check it functions as expected.
- Defects per day and defects fixed per day: Keeping track of this not only tells you the status of the software but can also inform you of team productivity. The number of defects should steadily decrease. Increases could reveal issues within the team and working environment.
Flagging issues in the working process can draw attention to inefficiencies, allowing the opportunity to implement project management solutions. Once flaws are established, there’s a whole host of management software for small businesses and large businesses alike to improve efficiency.
Automation can also help you through the testing process. According to PractiTest, 78% of organizations currently use test automation for functional or regression tests. This automation will ultimately save time and money, eliminating human error and allowing resources to be redirected elsewhere in the dev process.
Although the testing process may seem easy enough, it is important to understand key indicators for your project and find a balance between human testing and automation. This is where you will find what works best for you, your team, and your process.
Crime has moved online, and security is a hot topic. If you aren’t watertight, there can and will be issues. If you do have issues, data can be leaked. Often this kind of error can lead to legal issues and more than likely, lawsuits and fines.
In 2018, Ponemin Institute’s 2018 Cost of a Data Breach 2018 study for IBM said the cost of the average data breach to companies worldwide was $3.86 Million USD. A year later, in 2019, the UK airline British Airways was given a £183m GBP ($239m USD) fine for data breaches after hackers harvested the details of nearly 500,000 customers.
What Can You Do About It?
The short answer is that rigorous testing is needed. Constant probes into the dev process may just keep you safe. Monitoring certain KPIs along the way can reduce risks, and help greatly with workforce optimization:
- The number of vulnerabilities found by regular penetration testing: This can expose issues in your product and direct attention towards it. This number should be decreasing with each test, allowing your product to be released with minimum vulnerabilities.
- The number of known vulnerabilities unresolved: Measuring this can keep track of how many security issues you may have, and allow you to plan for future updates or action.
- Number and severity of security incidents: This can help you prioritize incidents and lock into their severity.
These processes will allow you to measure the success of your security, but ultimately any data stored or transported should be protected. Masking and encryption are used as methods to protect data every day, from instant messaging to fax.
Reputable providers can also provide secure telephone communication using Voice Over Internet Protocol. What is a VoIP provider? A VoIP provider will allow the use of IP networks to perform telephony functions, such as making and receiving secure phone calls. These basic practices will ensure the safety of data in the event of a security breach.
User satisfaction is the lifeblood of all businesses. If you don’t know what consumers think about your product then there is no way of improving their experience. If users don't like it or need additional functionality, then the project can be worthless if these suggestions aren’t adopted. Prioritizing user satisfaction and consumer experience will drive your business growth.
Surveys can be a useful way of collecting feedback. Including them in the product may be possible, or direct contact with the consumer may be needed. Ratings on functionality, interface, and performance will tell you exactly what the consumers think and what action to take.
Alongside the traditional survey, it is important to allow the consumer to approach you directly. Human contact will improve trust. Used correctly, call centers and call center software can be a great way to provide this human contact and to allow direct product support.
To improve the call center experience, you can employ skills-based routing. What is skills-based routing? When a client calls reporting an issue with their software it will allow you to direct them to a member of the team who can directly deal with the consumer, and best resolve their issue. This is sure to aid in strong project management, which can, in turn, be conducted over Slack and the myriad of Slack alternatives out there.
Throughout the user satisfaction process, it can be useful for your business to highlight other key products you provide. Much like eCommerce firms use a cross-selling strategy, sharing similar or compatible products can boost revenue.
User satisfaction will inform your next move, so at this stage of the process it is best to pay attention to the people who know best, and that’s the consumers.
With each of these key QA metrics in mind—code quality, testing, security, and user satisfaction—it is possible to enhance the quality and speed of your development process.
However, not every project will rely on the same metrics and KPIs. It is important to remember to adapt your process to the specific needs of the project, establishing your aims early, and identifying how these tools can work for you to deliver results.
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