Evolution of quality assurance – from an independent function to an inclusive function
For the longest time, Software Quality Assurance teams have worked independently from the software development lifecycle. QA worked as the last gatekeeper for quality parameters, software bugs, and defects before the code were released into production.
Being an independent function, QA seldom achieved the priority and prominence that it deserves at the table. But today, as end-users grew more demanding, the outlook towards quality assurance has grown tremendously.
A few years back, QA began to shift to the left in the SDLC – starting earlier to discover defects earlier. From having QA as an independent function, companies began to integrate it within the SDLC to take care of quality right from the start. This shift in the QA practice emerged from the requirement of achieving both quality and speed in the code releases.
Today, it is not only about gaining quality at speed. Rather, consumers now expect both quality AND value at speed. This trend can very much be connected to the rapid acceleration of digital transformation and the progress toward a digital-first world. Consequently, QA requires to move deeper into the software development process. This means a change to being an inclusive function, which entails greater responsibilities for QA teams than solely discovering and reporting defects in the code.
With the growing adoption of DevOps and Agile practices, developing digital transformation curves, and the introduction of state-of-the-art methods like Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, the role of QA is also growing to satisfying organizational quality objectives and instilling better engineering practices.
Certainly, QA now has a much bigger and more significant role to play than ever before. Let us investigate further into the scope of this evolution and learn how the picture of software quality assurance is going to seem like in the coming future.
Objectives of QA and software testing in an organization
The primary objective of having a formal QA practice would be to achieve the highest quality in the end products at high speed. The indications of this objective are much deeper though.
Being the keeper of quality, QA shoulders the maximum responsibility to discover defects before a code goes live into production. By assuring maximum defection detection and minimum defect leakage, QA has the onus toward giving excellent consumer experience and end-user satisfaction.
As the quality, value, and speed become the tri-factor requirement of the end-users, companies are focusing their QA functions to build a standard quality practice across the tiers. This would allow a culture of quality throughout an organization, such that the QA function will give support to uphold the desired quality standards.
The shortage of the right testing methodologies is one of the main difficulties in achieving the right levels of quality amidst the speeding up development cycles. By streamlining QA, companies can not only fulfill their needs for quality and value at speed but also encourage their business growth and enhance their brand’s overall perception among the customers.
Key trends in software quality assurance
With the development of organizational purposes for QA and software testing, some key trends are also rising in the quality assurance space to meet those objectives.
1. The growing popularity of chaos testing
Instead of following the traditional approach of waiting for errors to occur, chaos testing takes a proactive way. Through the intentional introduction of software crashes, the chaos testing method estimates the software’s ability to tackle the glitches and assess their impact on its availability and durability.
This strategy helps companies to deliver a software solution that is resilient and is prepared to manage minor glitches and outages. The finished result is better quality and value for the end-users.
2. Exploratory testing gaining momentum
Acknowledging the possibility that the test requirements may miss some significant scenarios and may point to compromised quality in the end product, exploratory testing is becoming a common practice.
While companies try to establish standardized QA methods, going a little gorilla with exploratory testing can help them uncover defects and high-risk vulnerabilities that can prove deadly in the future. And, as agile and DevOps become a more general practice, exploratory testing enables developers to actively contribute to the defect detection process.
3. Test Data Management (TDM) and Test Environment Management (TEM)
Test Data Management (TDM) and Test Environment Management (TEM) have traditionally been amongst the most expensive and challenging features of a QA practice. Provisioning and maintenance of the relevant test environment and the essential test data require time, skills, and resources, which companies often have a scarcity of.
However, the migration toward the cloud has turned down the costs for TEM. And, it is assumed that companies will be employing smart technologies like AI and ML for TDM and TEM.
To sum up
From being an independent function to an integrated function, to now gradually becoming inclusive to software development, QA has experienced a complete evolution.
TestUnity allows independent quality engineering and a broad range of software testing services and solutions for the next generation of companies and ISVs across the globe. Our trained and deep-skilled quality assurance professionals have hands-on, end-to-end knowledge of the challenges faced by companies while on the path of digital transformation.
TestUnity achieves the best possible software testing methodologies and applications, a Testing Center of Excellence, and world-class software testing Labs to perform on our promise of Quality Assurance, Quality Engineering, and Digital Assurance.
Whether you have desktop, mobile, or next-gen-based applications, our software testing specialists work with a focused method to help you get more out of your testing efforts and enhance time to market, and thus, your ROI.
Let’s have a discussion regarding your QA requirements and how we can help fulfill them.