The total cost of poor software quality in the U.S. is estimated to be 2.08 trillion USD, Consortium for Information & Software Quality’s (CISQ) The Cost of Poor Software Quality in the US: A 2020 Report reveals.
The challenges of producing high-quality software are endless. And when businesses make mistakes or oversights, the effects can be exorbitantly expensive, not to mention damaging to their brands and reputations.
A comprehensive software testing strategy is one critical measure organizations that produce technology can employ to curb problems before they escalate — and wreak havoc on their businesses.
The Benefits of QA Testing
Quality assurance (QA) testing is an important series of practices software development companies must undertake to ensure that their products are as free of defects and optimal as possible. While it is impossible to guarantee the absence of bugs entirely, with a strong QA team in place, you can minimize their presence and deliver exceptional software.
There are plenty of benefits to crafting a thorough QA strategy, such as:
- Ensuring that you get ahead of problems before they interfere with your product’s functionality, usability, and performance
- Improving the user experience
- Saving time and money later on, as fixing issues late in the development cycle is more expensive
- Cutting costs that creep in when the software fails later on
- Ramping up security and preventing threats and attacks
- Strengthening your brand and reputation as a business
Automation vs. Manual Testing
QA testing is divided into automated vs. manual. Each approach has its advantages and drawbacks, and usually, a balanced combination of the two methods is necessary. Automation, however, is becoming even more central to the testing process — according to the 2021 State of Testing Report, 97% of respondents say functional test automation is either important or very important.
Manual testing involves human professionals who execute tests through a hands-on approach. They must perform them one at a time, delving deep into the software to identify errors and bugs, as well as other issues like performance. This is a time-consuming process, but when experienced professionals are at the helm, they will be thorough.
Meanwhile, test automation requires scripting, before the professional sets the tests to run automatically, without interruption or intervention. This takes far less time to complete than a manual approach. Usually, however, it is more costly and demands strong coding skills to create the tests, along with additional tools and maintenance.
Different types of tests lend themselves to each of the two approaches, and that’s why both manual testing and automation are often implemented.
Types of Software Testing
Broadly, software testing can be categorized as either functional or non-functional. There are many different types of testing, and they include:
1. Unit Testing
Unit testing is a low-level approach typically completed by the software developer. It involves testing small components — units — during the development phase. After it is carried out, the engineer will address any problems or defects immediately, preventing the issue from escalating or interfering with the rest of the product.
Integration testing ensures that modules function well together. The test verifies that they are grouped together logically. As a bundle, they are assessed, so that the QA team can verify that there are no issues regarding the data flow, communication, routine, interface, interactions, or system as a whole.
3. End to End
This comprehensive series of tests assess the functionality and performance of the entire program. It involves replicating real conditions and expected user behavior to assess flows, responses, performance, and other features and qualities of the product. Essentially, the tester is completing the user journey as the consumer would.
Acceptance testing is similar to end to end in that it simulates real conditions, and aims to validate that all main requirements are met. It is carried out after the other tests in the QA process take place — and it is completed by actual end users, who are being closely observed by the QA and development team. That way, the team can see any issues with the software first-hand, noting any causes for concern as real potential users interact with the product prior to release.
Performance testing is a non-functional assessment that analyzes how the system behaves in a variety of circumstances, including extreme loads. The QA team must evaluate whether the program can accommodate stress to its system and how quickly it is able to act when faced with both anticipated and unexpected scenarios. Ultimately, it should be able to act normally and quickly in a variety of conditions, without its performance being affected.
Security testing is an important type of non-functional testing that assesses whether the software or program is safe from malicious threats and attacks. During the tests, professionals — sometimes white-hat hackers or ethical hackers — will attempt to hack the system to expose potential vulnerabilities, so that the developers can patch them prior to the product’s ultimate release.
Once the software developers have implemented changes to the program, they need to see whether the alterations — carried out to address previous defects or to add functionality— have affected the program’s existing functionality and features. Regression tests evaluate whether the system is continuing to behave as it should be after the implementation of fixes.
Through Smoke testing, the QA engineer assesses the most important aspects and features of the program or system to ensure that all the critical components are working correctly and running smoothly. Usually focused on covering the happy paths and main success scenarios. You can think of it as a precursor to more extensive and expensive testing, a check to assess whether the application requires further evaluation or if any issues are critical enough to interfere with the functionality of the product prior to release.
The Jalasoft Approach
At Jalasoft, half of our experienced engineers specialize in QA and test automation. They are authorities in the space, bringing their vast expertise to ensure that we meet your requirements and help you achieve your goals. We will work closely with you to craft a QA strategy that addresses your needs and supports your entire software development process.
Contact us to learn more about Jalasoft's approach and how we can help you reach your goals.