Quality assurance (QA) testers need to learn all the processes involved in solving technical issues in the source code of a software product. It’s a very important part of software development that also includes assessing product performance, usability, and compatibility. To do this, QA testers conduct tests and report issues to the software engineering team.
As a QA tester, there are some quality control processes you must follow to ensure that the software product meets global standards and achieves its aim when it is launched. In this guide, we will discuss the process of quality assurance as well as how to become a quality assurance manager or quality assurance tester.
What Is Quality Assurance?
Quality assurance is a procedure that ensures the quality of software services and products. The job focuses on enhancing software to make sure it meets the producer’s quality standards. Also known as QA testing, software quality assurance is not to be confused with quality control.
Aside from meeting the main requirements of a project, these professionals also test already released software to detect any issues. Regardless of how careful the software development team is, there will be mistakes, and testing helps identify and address them.
What Are the 5 Components of Quality Assurance?
Quality assurance can include several different components. However, in this guide we will highlight only the five main ones and their subcomponents. Let’s get into the details below.
These components make sure that the project has all the necessary resources to start. This includes the project budget and schedule of the software development project. It also encompasses development plans, risk evaluation, and project methodology.
Standardization and Certification
These two components are the starting point for upholding professional and international standards in quality assurance. The company you are working for will likely have a set of standards in place that they follow for all of their software projects. Some sub-components in this section include project process standards and quality management standards.
Quality management consists of software quality metrics, project progress control, and determining software quality costs. This helps control software development and maintenance activities.
Infrastructure Error Prevention
The goal here is to prevent software errors from reaching the launch stage. To do this, QA testers take preventive and corrective steps through, updating instructions, templates, and checklists, training staff, controlling documentation, and configuration management.
Project Life Cycle
The project life cycle comprises the software’s developmental stage and the operation and maintenance stage. In the former, the QA testers identify programming and design errors. In the operation and maintenance stage, QA testers improve maintenance on software that is already in circulation.
What Is a Quality Assurance Process?
A quality assurance process encompasses all of the activities that define the standards and procedures it takes to develop a software product. It is a way to create software that ensures that the end product satisfies quality requirements and meets the client’s quality expectations.
This quality assurance process mostly focuses on project audits, process improvement, and ensuring high product quality during software development procedures.
What Are Quality Assurance Processes Good For?
Quality assurance processes lead to an error-free, high-quality product and clear project documentation. However, the quality assurance process as a whole is more than that. By establishing a reputation for releasing products that achieve a consistently high level of quality, a business can build stronger relationships with its customers.
- Saving money. While the cost of quality assurance can be high, it is cheaper to use QA testing to detect errors than to have to correct errors after a product has been launched. If a software product is released to the client or customer with errors, it can also affect the software team’s reputation, resulting in a loss of business in the future. It’s so important that, over the past decade, companies have consistently spent between a quarter and a third of their IT budgets on QA testing, according to Statista.
- Security. This is an important benefit of the quality assurance process. Even if a software product meets every functional requirement, it can still have poor security. If they’re not caught early on, security vulnerabilities can compromise user data and the credibility of the software development team.
- Preventing arguments. Disagreement may ensue between a software developer and a QA tester if the tester does not follow the proper processes, resulting in poor-quality software. If this happens, it can result in a project being canceled, which is a huge waste of resources. So, it is key for the whole software team to stick to the processes in place.
What Are the 5 Steps of the Quality Assurance Process?
Quality assurance begins from the requirements analysis stage, and includes five steps before reaching the test closure stage. Throughout the entire process, the software development team follows the software quality assurance process to make sure the final product is error-free. Below, we’ll take a close look at how a successful QA approach works at each stage.
This quality assurance function involves analyzing the software project in terms of its opportunities and risks. This is also called the discovery stage because all the members of the team will meet with the client and stakeholders to fully understand the scope of the software and the business goals the software is meant to achieve.
The QA professionals find areas they think could be improved and make suggestions. At this point, it’s important to use the right tools and techniques for requirement analysis. At the end of this stage, the team will start working on the project if it’s feasible. Or, if it is an ongoing project, the QA team will analyze the performance of the software and identify where corrective action needs to be taken.
This stage is focused on understanding the current state of the software project. At this point, the QA team will lay out the project requirements. They then check whether the software is matching up to the client’s business objectives.
The QA team also engages in risk management, identifying potential risky areas and the related potential consequences. They use their risk management skills to come up with a quality management system that can handle the potential threats and then build a warning system.
The design stage is broken into five substeps, including analysis, clarification, outlining, identification, and evaluation. During the analysis stage, the team reviews the project constraints, human and tech resources, and requirements.
For the clarification step, QA testers define the software acceptance criteria, and in the outlining phase, the team prepares design documents and other documentation regarding software defect tracking. They also define other tests that will be carried out and the goals of those tests.
In the identification stage, the tester determines the most suitable software testing techniques, taking into consideration advice from the project manager and the quality assurance software that’s available.
At this stage, the QA team carries out the quality review tests they have designed and document the results. The stage includes exploratory testing, failure testing, manual testing, regression testing, functional testing, and unit testing.
Once the tests have been conducted, the QA team will measure the efficiency of the testing process based on whether the bug tracking tests produced the desired results. If not, the team documents the issues that have come up, and establishes a corrective process to address them.
In this final stage, the testers draw conclusions based on their findings. They estimate the time needed to fix the problems using metrics that show which quality improvement process will be the most efficient. They also check for escaped defects, which are technical problems that went unnoticed during the initial quality control process.
After the software product is released, the QA team will use a net promoter score to measure whether customers were satisfied with the final software product. This feedback from users will provide the team with clear insights into the usability and performance of the software. Finally, they will notify the testers of any further bugs that need to be fixed.
How Can I Learn Quality Assurance Processes in 2022?
There are several ways to learn quality assurance processes in 2022. One option is to find resources online to guide you through the various processes. This may be tough for people who prefer to have a teacher involved in their learning. If you are one of those people, you can consider joining an online coding bootcamp or enrolling in a live online course.
An online coding bootcamp is a particularly good way of learning everything you need to become a software engineer or quality assurance analyst. If you’re eager to learn some software engineering skills, a bootcamp is the best option. You will establish yourself as a QA tester and enjoy a fast-paced learning environment.
"Career Karma entered my life when I needed it most and quickly helped me match with a bootcamp. Two months after graduating, I found my dream job that aligned with my values and goals in life!"
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Quality Assurance Processes FAQ
Quality assurance processes are the activities that outline how to make sure a software project is of high quality before it’s released. The specific quality control activities may be slightly different depending on what the client is asking for.
Quality assurance methods help cut costs because they reduce the chance that a software product will still contain bugs after it’s released. They also help keep the developers and testers in line with the client’s requirements at all times, sharpening everyone’s communication skills along the way.
The requirement analysis phase is arguably the most important part of the quality assurance process because it lays the groundwork for what the team needs to do while creating the software. It often includes several meetings with the client to understand the ultimate goal of the software.
Yes, you can attend a coding bootcamp to get your quality assurance education. These programs are intensive and brief, so bootcamp students learn all about QA processes in a matter of months. If a fast-paced bootcamp doesn’t sound like your thing, consider enrolling in a quality assurance bachelor’s degree program instead.
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