Software delivery was once the objective of a technology project; however, it has become a continuous process. As software delivery becomes accelerated and continuous in nature, the role of Quality Assurance (QA) is more crucial than ever. QA helps get quality software into the market at an accelerated rate and gives a competitive edge to an organization.
7 Powerful Ways QA Helps in Faster Software Delivery
- Increases the ability for recurring software releases: A decade ago, most organizations were at the mercy of elaborate deployment built with a rigid structure. In addition, the elaborate deployment process meant the operations person would have to spend a considerable amount of time with manual scripting doing software production. In current times, however, due to continuous software testing, there is an exponential increase in the frequency of building and deploying releases. The release cycles are now far more recurring in nature, and as a result, the feedback cycle moves faster. Ultimately, within a short duration of time, prominent glitches are fixed.
- Encourages a collaborative work environment: Integrated product development involves collaboration amid the Information Technology teams and the business teams, even leading to new or redefined roles. Business analysts communicate the requirements for new software features and functionality in a way that employees in all departments would be able to comprehend, and often change the business requirements slightly if required, in order to speed up implementation. Engineers and product developers work across functions and among different product teams, often under a DevOps model. Informal collaboration and coordination among these business and IT co-workers actually become more important than formal reporting and approval processes. QA engineers collaborate with all the teams, retaining quality as a core requirement, and keeping the teams updated by providing immediate feedback on software performance.
- Lays emphasis on having quality built-in: Agile methodologies such as Extreme Programming (XP) and Scrum are great examples of lean thinking in action. These methods insist on interweaving quality into the entire SDLC. There are quality assurance processes that are specifically designed to avoid quality issues altogether, such as Test Driven Development (TDD) and Pair Programming. While Pair Programming aims to prevent quality issues by involving two developers with each task, TDD dodges quality concerns by writing tests even before writing the code. By developing quality assured software in small increments, through close collaboration, and over numerous iterations, these Agile methods help minimize the time between each stage of the SDLC, ensuring quality all the while.
- Helps advance the infrastructure of IT: The IT infrastructure is now cloud-based and therefore allows easy deployment and scalability. As devices continue to become more intelligent and innovative, the world is becoming more interconnected every day. QA, with emphasis on quality all through the SDLC, makes it possible for organizations to keep up with the changing pace. Continuous integration and continuous delivery directly contribute to the overall interconnectivity of electronic devices.
- Increases the promptness in bug-fixing: Although fixing bugs is an integral part of any new release, the bugs in the usage data are the ones to focus on more. Google Analytics can be useful in determining the way end-users network, without implementing load testing tools. Such measures can provide a wealth of crucial information. QA emphasizes a quick-fixing of bugs as they are encountered, taking their priority as a factor. In the same manner, feedback is also important and listening to customers is crucial. Through QA efforts, software bugs are immediately identified and promptly fixed, with the aid of quick delivery of the software. This keeps the users happy and ultimately helps improve brand value. If users discover bugs, those bugs in specific get priority for fixes in the next release.
- Increases scope for Security Testing: As part of QA measures, most applications are subjected to security testing before each release. Security vulnerabilities can quickly drive away customers, more so because, in the case of a few specific platforms, customers themselves can directly identify the issue. Dedicated testing teams can perform penetration testing lasting all week long on existing stable versions of soon-to-be-released products and updates. Prior to testing, the team is briefed about new features in upcoming releases and product environments. Using this information, they can test for security vulnerabilities that attempt to penetrate the system. It is important to perform security testing, especially when applications are updated to the cloud infrastructure and can be accessed by users all over the world.
- Increases scope for Performance Testing: QA gives scope for dedicated performance teams that run tests as soon as a product is stable. The team is briefed about new versions and features so that they can assess the performance risks. When the developers introduce a new feature that has no effect on performance, regression tests are adequate. However, if a feature might affect the overall performance, it is good practice to write and execute new performance tests. Testing for performance is crucial and can sometimes make all the difference between smooth operation and a resounding crash. QA engineers can be trained to do performance testing, in case there are no test teams.