Software Quality Assurance is a broad term, commonly referred to as QA. This process focuses on organizational aspects of quality management while maintaining and monitoring the consistency of the production process.
This kind of testing involves a different set of skills. To test and report bugs to a developer, a tester needs self-assurance and confidence. Furthermore, a QA tester should be capable of thinking creatively. Good testers are efficient and know the nuances of an entire application system.
What are QA and Testing? We’ll try to answer all of your questions below.
What is Testing?
Testing aims to detect and solve the technical issues associated with newly developed software. It helps to assess product performance, usability, compatibility, and security. Dedicated testers perform testing at a specified development stage.
Usually, structural quality of the software is hard to manage, as it depends largely on the engineering team. The performance of the software can be judged through analysis, code review, and refactoring. You can also ensure the functional aspects through Quality Assurance (QA), Quality Control (QC), and Testing.
These types of quality management aspects are based on a common goal of delivering the best possible quality, both functionally and structurally.
What is QA?
QA involves activities which ensure the implementation of procedures, processes, and standards while focusing on the development of any software. It focuses on actual procedures and processes rather than performing any kind of testing. In fact, QA is a subset of Software Test Life Cycle.
The types of activities monitored during QA include:
- Process-oriented activities
- Preventive activities
Planning the Testing and QA Processes
The whole process of testing should be done in a defined, well-planned and documented manner. Through good documentation, it is possible to develop efficient communication among the software team.
Below are most notable aspects of the testing process:
Quality management plan
A management plan is a specific document that helps to define an acceptable level of quality for a product. It also defines how a developer can achieve this. This is a mandatory document, allowing you to schedule the tasks that ensure the best possible quality of an end product.
This plan is created to support project managers. It must provide the quality requirements of software and the possible ways to assess them.
Here are the key components of every quality management plan:
- Quality objectives
- Quality tools and standards
- Quality assurance and control activities
- Quality responsibilities and roles
- Key project processes and deliverables
- Ways to respond to quality assurance and control issues
The test strategy is the high-level document, which is the responsibility of a project manager to create. An ideal test strategy should answer these essential questions:
- What is the product?
- What part/parts of it must be tested?
- How should these part/parts be tested?
- When to begin testing?
- What is the process to start or end the testing?
The test plan describes when, how, and who will conduct the tests. It involves the objectives of the tests and helps to minimize the risks. An experienced person like a QA manager should write a test plan.
The test plan must include the following aspects:
- References and test items
- Testing techniques, levels, and types
- List of features to be tested and not to be tested
- Deliverables and suspension criteria
- Must include a pass or fail criteria
- Assumptions and Dependencies
- Estimates, schedule, and test environment
Below are the most essential guidelines to create a more effective test plan:
- Keep the test plan as brief as you can. This involves avoiding any chances of irrelevance and repetition. Ensure that a test plan contains only the relevant information.
- Be specific. Don’t forget to include the essential details such as editions and versions of the programs.
- Frequently update a test plan, as it is a live document. The process of updating the test plan should be initiated on an on-demand basis.
- A test plan should be shared with all the stakeholders. It will notify them about testing processes.
One of the most integral parts of software testing is the preparation of effective test cases. It is referred to as one of the most essential instruments used by testers.
Every standard test case should include the following information:
- Test case description
- The test case ID
- Test steps and test data
- Expected result as well as the actual result
- Date of creation and name of the creator
- Date of execution and name of the executer
Best Principles to follow while Conducting a Test
The basic purpose of conducting a test is to identify and detect the defects within a piece of software. Testing is essential, as even after taking due care while developing software, you can’t be sure that it is100% free from defects. This is the area where testing plays a key role in locating and minimizing unidentified issues.
These are the best principles to follow while conducting a test:
- Testing should be handled by unbiased professionals
- Testing must be dealt with as an independent process
- Testing should involve identification of unexpected and invalid input values
- Testing should be performed on a static piece of software
- Testers must use comprehensive and exhaustive documentation while defining the expected test results
One could say that QA and Testing are the key factors to consider when developing software. Quality Assurance is part of quality management, which involves a set of planned organizational activities.
The basic purpose of these activities is to improve and document the software development process. By introducing quality standards, a developer can prevent the presence of errors and bugs in the software.
Additionally, testing is also a key process, helping to identify and detect the issues in the software. Furthermore, it also helps to assess the performance, compatibility, and usability of the particular software.
Both QA and Testing are integral parts of the software development process, which ensure flawless and bug-free software development.