QA Testing Is Required for Apps, Websites, and Software

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QA, or Quality Assurance, is a term used by virtually all industries to refer to the process by which companies assure that the products they release into the marketplace meet the level of quality that they have established for their brand and product identities. Software, website, and mobile app development are no different. A good developer will establish specifications and a proven process for testing the software product and making final adjustments and improvements before deploying it. Here's how QA testing works.

Using the Agile Development Model

In software, website, and app development, the Agile development methodology is a process and strategy for development that places emphasis on empowering the development team to collaborate and make decisions as a group. It also involves continual planning, testing, and integration. When you elect to undertake a development project with Agile development, you should continue to use that model throughout the testing and deployment phases. That's why Testfort is such a vital part of QArea. Agile development borrows heavily from the techniques developed and refined within the manufacturing industry. These theories of production have been redefined to fit the realm of software development.

When Scrum Agile Development is Preferable

Within the arena of Agile development is a popular approach known as Scrum. The Scrum process allows for a great deal of flexibility in the development, encouraging developers to organize themselves and stay on track by utilizing strong communication and collaboration. The goal of Scrum is to achieve fast and effective response to any changes that occur during the development and testing phases. This method breaks down the development processes into sprints, which are fixed time periods in which a particular portion of the development needs to be completed. This can take anywhere from one to four weeks (the length of time is set before the period begins). At the end of the sprint, a completed section of the product is developed and made available to the customer. When the size and scope of a project is difficult to pin down before the process starts, Scrum makes an excellent approach.

When the Waterfall Model is Preferable

For larger projects in which sophisticated documentation is necessary, the Waterfall model is the best route for development. It involves five phases, which can be altered and adjusted as changes are made and identified in the development process. But, you can only proceed to the next phase after the current one is completed successfully. The stages of the Waterfall model of development and QA testing are:

Without solid and rigorous testing, no software development project will produce the quality you want and need. Testing helps find and fix bugs, but it's also a lot about improving the user interface, user experience, and the look and feel of the product.
1. Requirements analysis
2. Design
3. Implementation
4. Verification
5. Maintenance

The Four Phases of Agile Development & QA Testing

Here are the four phases of achieving a fully-tested, highly functional, truly beautiful product:

1. Inception

The inception phase includes examining all of the documentation and relative terms and creating a set of basic project plans to determine the feasibility, cost of the project, and its scope. During this phase, testers must determine the specifications relative to the project to be tested. They must also determine the project's security and safety requirements, which could significantly impact the time it takes to develop and fully test a quality product. The customer needs to be deeply involved with this phase of the QA testing process.

2. Elaboration

Once everything is planned in clear detail, this phase can begin. The plan for the QA testing process is developed, and more documentation is created to let the customer know what can be expected in terms of the work to be done and the eventual quality of the software to be delivered. In this instance, when developers speak of the term, "implementation," they are referring to the development of test cases, the matrix and checks for the testing procedures, and any checklists that are necessary to take the testing process into the next stage. At this point, testers must work with carefully-planned and well-defined use cases and identify any blindness that may not have been realized during the development process.

3. Construction

This phase of the QA testing process takes the most time and comprises the most testing. It involves the direct testing of a live software product, and is the phase at which most of the iterations occur. Ideally, the product being developed is tested at an early stage, when minimal functionality exists, yet core systems are intact. Integration testing needs to be repeated as often as possible and it needs to be combined with system testing to achieve a comprehensive test of the product as a whole. The driving principles behind this phase are "execute and evaluate".

4. Transition

This stage doesn't actually involve any software testing. It primarily consists of quality control for the product and going over the documentation to make sure it is thorough and accurate. The QA department works together with marketing at this point so that the app, software, or similar product can be well promoted. In some instances, this is the point at which beta testing would occur.

The Three Must-Haves for QA Testing

What are the things that you absolutely have to have to assemble a great QA testing team?

  • The testing team needs to have the right skills and the tools to make the best use of those skills.

  • The team needs to have particular knowledge of the kind of development project you are undertaking. For example, teams that solely work with software might not be able to fully test a mobile app or website.

  • The team needs the right experience. How many other projects like yours have they undertaken? (Note: look for a number in the hundreds, not just dozens.)

Still want to learn more about how this process works and how your QA testing can deliver what you want and need? Request a pilot project today to see how it works.