How To Ensure Software Quality in an Age of Accelerated Development

How to ensure software quality at jet speed

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The 2022-23 World Quality Report from Sogeti provides a useful assessment of the current state of quality engineering practices in the software industry. In the face of accelerated application development, the report highlights the challenges faced by QA teams. It emphasizes the changing role of modern-day QA practices in the age of accelerated development.

But what do the quality experts think of the challenge and solutions?

Our own Shaju Balakrishnan, Head of Quality Assurance and Testing at Forgeahead, has spoken of how our software testing teams can ensure software quality even with the increasing pace of development. He says, “QA will have to transform into a quality engineering role and embed systems that allow quality checks at every stage of the process of software creation.”

Essentially, enhanced software quality is not possible until QA testing is integrated with application designing and development from the early stage. 

In a 2020 survey of application developers, 21% of the respondents mentioned they are building applications faster than competitors. Another 21% and 19% were confident of delivering mobile and web applications faster in a couple of months.

In the face of accelerated development, how do product companies ensure the quality of their applications? Let’s discuss this.

5 Ways to Accelerate Software Testing

QA is a crucial component for ensuring that every software application performs as expected. Today, software companies continue to adopt the DevOps and Agile approaches to increase their development speed. In the “new reality” of weekly (or daily) product releases, QA requires a new approach to maximize the effectiveness of software testing.

To that end, here are five ways that product companies can adopt to accelerate the pace of their testing:

1. Quality Engineering (QE)

Traditionally, the Quality Assurance (QA) process was the final step in the application development process before deploying the application into production. Today, the basic definition of quality has changed. To make sure that any application works as expected, QA involves multiple forms of testing, including end-to-end testing and API testing.

With the implementation of Agile and DevOps, software testing has adopted the Shift-left approach, where testing executes in parallel to the development process. Quality Engineering (QE) is now the “new” approach to incorporating the best QA practices into the customer experience (CX). Essentially, the QE has shifted the QA approach from “does the feature work” to “does it work for our customers.” The QE approach empowers the entire development team to meet QA-related objectives. 

2. Automated Testing

On average, automated testing can save around 15% (or more) of software testing time. In essence, automated testing uses tools and solutions to perform application testing (instead of human testers).

Once deployed, automated testing requires no human intervention and can eliminate manual & repetitive tasks (previously performed by QA engineers). Automation testing in Agile environments is crucial for improving the go-to-market time without compromising on quality metrics. It can speed up and simplify software testing. 

However, QA teams need to automate the right test cases, which can otherwise hamper the progress. Here are some of the best practices to adopt in automation testing:

  • Use the right automation tool and framework
  • Customize the testing environment to create a replica of the production environment
  • Execute test automation early and frequently in the SDLC

3. Continuous Testing

The global market for continuous testing tools is projected to grow to $2.41 billion by 2023. Continuous testing is a form of automation testing that executes whenever the developers add (or update) the software code. This means that the application code is automatically tested for bugs as soon it is written and integrated into the main codebase.

Apart from reducing testing time and effort, continuous testing also benefits application developers. With continuous testing, developers no longer need to wait for QA teams to complete their testing before fixing code-related issues. Effectively, this can save both development time and costs, thus ensuring faster software releases.

Here are a few benefits of continuous testing:

  • Faster and early detection of software bugs, thus accelerating the testing process
  • Improved quality of the application code
  • Seamless integration into the DevOps process
  • Easily adaptable to changing customer requirements

4. Parallel Testing

Be it manual or automated testing, most software testing methods are sequential, meaning test cases are executed one after the other. With parallel testing, QA teams can perform multiple tests at the same time. For example, they can test a new product feature across browsers, devices, and operating systems in parallel, thus saving valuable time and effort.

Similarly, with parallel testing, product companies can run both manual and automated test cases at the same time to provide immediate feedback. Here are some benefits of parallel testing:

  • Increases test coverage
  • Reduces testing time and improves its efficiency
  • Does not require any additional effort after creating the accurate test cases

When combined with automation testing, parallel testing can lead to a shorter testing cycle, thus enabling faster product releases.

Conclusion 

To meet the need for faster software testing, product companies may need to hire and train more QA engineers and testers. However, Shaju explains that this can “present some logistical challenges.” Companies must find a ‘happy balance between their QA and QE” to make this work.

With its QA focus and experience,  Forgeahead can help you identify any inefficiencies, roadblocks, and gaps that could impact the pace of your product releases. Our QA team has over 22 years of industry experience and can help you maximize your test coverage. 

We can deliver a free estimate for your next project in under 24 hours. Talk to our expert consultants now.

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