The quality of the product plays a vital role in winning businesses and customers. In order to do so, IT firms need to have a rigorous testing of the product to ensure they deliver only the best. Quality Assurance (QA), a part of quality management refers to the method of ensuring quality of a product before it gets delivered to the customer.
Though widely used, QA falls short of certain features like ensuring best quality products, lower probability of defects, and shorter time to market. One of the most important reasons for this deficiency is the testing process that takes place at the end of development phase. The delay in testing the product then and there results in time lags to fix the defects and longer time to market. Quality Engineering (QE), an advanced level of QA, can be called the game changer since the lag using the old methods of testing is replaced with better and faster testing process.
Challenges in Existing Quality Assurance Practices
The quality of the product is often compromised while using QA testing since it is an old method to check the quality of a product derived by the manufacturing industry which is inappropriate for today’s digital software engineering needs. As a result, many minor defects are not rectified even during release, consuming more time to reach the market, and at times losing the customers as well. The challenges faced by traditional QA practices in the development of software products with outdated techniques are listed below:
- Lack of testing expertise to handle programming with test cases and automation to improve the standards of the product
- Less knowledge on latest technologies in the market to implement them into their process
- Lack of scalable testing to ensure the withstanding range of the software which requires a lot of trial and error test methods
- Lack of end-to-end testing to ensure Omni-channel delivery and compatibility to all mediums and platforms
- Lack of frequent testing which results in late defect identification and high time to market
- Lack of implementation of new techniques to handle addition of technologies such as Internet of Things and Voice UI
- Trouble in handling customer issues with the available updated tools
- Lack of upgraded tools and software which can end up in losing the business
Quality Engineering in lieu of Quality Assurance
Quality Engineering, unlike the old testing process, is the advanced level of rigorous end-to-end Testing as a practice that can ensure less breakage in code performance and reduction in the production, troubleshooting time and in turn the time to market. Quality Engineering involves multiple levels of test cases and automation scripts to handle many layers of cases. It also exhibits its ability to handle the addition of a new range of programming that could embrace latest features and technologies in the software. The testing process involves the developers and the operations to address the errors then and there to avoid last minute difficulties as in old testing methods. About 45% – 60% of the major defects are brought to light in the Requirements, Architecture and Design phases while the levels from Design through operations are maneuvered with automation scripts that can be handled by the DevOps Engineers as well.
The main solution QE provides is that it helps to pull data regularly while developing software and analyzes the product and its capacity in every stage. By doing this, the software is effectively built and the proximity of error rectification is more. Some software development processes require blind testing, as they can be newly invented techniques or a tool or a technology which needs careful scrutiny and execution of commands. These could be instances where the engineers do not know the right amount of requirements and execution methods.
Trends in Quality Engineering
Quality Engineering can be carried out by identifying and executing the right development methods by identifying the right test tools for the appropriate practice. The different kinds of new development practices are:
- Test Driven Development (TTD) – This incremental method focuses mainly on modules & units and aims to write unit level tests right before the development phase resulting in an early feedback
- Acceptance Test Driven Development (ATDD) – This incremental method focuses on the overall product and aims to write Acceptance test before the development phase resulting in satisfying the acceptance criteria
- Behavior Driven Development (BDD) – This method focuses on the behavior of the software and aims to enhance its transparency by better collaboration of the team. Being a more effective testing effort, it automates the right set of tests and conducts tests in English and/or native languages.
Other trends coming up in the near future are truly a step towards accepting the challenges the Quality Engineering teams might face. Crowd Source Testing, Internet of Things (IoT), and Intelligent QA are expected to take the internet by storm to make the testing experience more effective.
- Crowd Source Testing ensures that short turnaround time is withheld and it performs tests over real world multiplatform testing. This brings out higher test coverage and achieves higher sync with real time business scenarios.
- IoT is the technology that is used to connect any piece of hardware and appliances such as T.V, Washing Machine, speakers, Air Controllers, etc. to the internet. In this method, the testing will involve both the hardware and the software.
- Intelligent QA is a context based testing practice. The quality inference is improved much better with the help of machine learning and artificial intelligence. Its aim is to shift from defect detection to defect prediction.
Quality Engineering leaps at a great speed with its advanced frameworks, tools, technologies, and testing parameters. An integral part of Quality Engineering is Complete Test Automation to make the workflow easier for the Developers, QA and Production due to the shorter timelines to take a product to market with better quality. Quality Engineering affects all facets of a holistic customer experience and would be the key brand differentiator in the near future.