Avoiding costly mistakes: The importance of Quality Assurance in software development

12 Min Read • Jun 5, 2024

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Adina Vereș

QA Lead

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In the realm of software development, Quality Assurance is a fundamental component that ensures the integrity and reliability in the final product. Let’s explore the essence of proactive QA practices and how they form the foundation of software quality and cost reduction.

Why your software needs quality assurance

Neglecting to incorporate QA measures can prove detrimental for product initiatives. Undetected critical bugs surfacing in the production stage not only result in lengthy debugging cycles, but also pose a risk to brand reputation, potentially driving users away. 

Moreover, the absence of a proper QA strategy can extend development timelines and inflate costs, underscoring the indispensable role of QA professionals in the scene of software development.

The resource-saving influence of early bug detection

The International Software Testing Qualifications Board outlines seven fundamental principles of Software Testing, one of them being: ”Early Testing.” This principle emphasizes the importance of starting testing early in the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). 

Early bug detection significantly reduces costs. Addressing a bug post-release can surge in costs by up to 100-fold compared to resolving it during development. Where do the costs come from? Late bug discovery can have far-reaching ramifications and implications at numerous levels, potentially necessitating design modifications to accommodate the change, additional development times, or in some situations, even starting from scratch. This leads to duplicated work, increased expenses, and potentially the danger of downtime after release. Consider how the majority of them could be prevented in the early stages. The presence of QA professionals in the early phases allows for the identification of defects and inconsistencies, resulting in smoother development and lower maintenance costs. 

Proactive QA strategies and why they matter

Implementing strong QA practices such as comprehensive test plans and reusable test cases not only speeds up testing processes, but also ensures thorough coverage and a competitive advantage in a crowded market. QAs frequently have a thorough understanding of the project, providing a level of coverage unparalleled by people inexperienced with QA methods. 

For instance, while a non-QA individual may focus primarily on the happy flow, or solely the expected functionality, a QA professional, through rigorous documentation and preparation, can identify and execute numerous scenarios that may not occur to others. A non-QA personnel may not pay as much attention to installation and deployment process, performance, compatibility scenarios, database testing, and network protocols, resulting in crucial aspects being overlooked. 

Promoting team collaboration

By maintaining direct communication with the development team, QA professionals may ensure rapid issue resolution and prioritization. This proactive engagement enables the quick resolution of any issue that arises, as well as effective prioritization of tasks, which is especially important during tight releases or sprint closures. 

Comprehensive knowledge hubs

Quality Assurance (QA) professionals frequently serve as knowledge repositories, understanding the complexities of software systems intricacies. This broad view of the components, particularly in multiplatform products, and how they interact within the ecosystem, enables them to spot potential flaws and dependencies that may impact overall performance and user experience. 

Anticipating impact and risk analysis

The QA can foresee and mitigate potential impacts of code changes, maintaining product stability and reinforcing the product owner’s confidence. One real-life example, by anticipating and addressing important omissions in the feature definition or understanding user behavior before the entire implementation takes place, QA prevents redundant work and minimizes potential rework, as well as user dissatisfaction. Additionally, considering a minor change and its potential impact on other components, a QA professional adds value by foreseeing and addressing issues that might otherwise be overlooked.

Constructive user experience [UX] feedback loops

QA offers insightful comments at every stage of the development process, promoting constant enhancement and conformity to quality requirements. Drawing from extensive product experience, a QA not only verifies if the software meets defined requirements but also offers constructive feedback from an end user's perspective, aiming to improve the user experience as a whole. This feedback goes beyond mere ticket confirmation, encompassing insightful suggestions to optimise the end user's interaction with the product. 

For instance, finding and addressing a serious usability issue that made the feature navigation confusing for users early in the testing process improves the overall user experience and lowers the likelihood of receiving negative feedback. 

Conclusion

A strong commitment to QA not only improves software quality, but also cultivates user trust and loyalty. By establishing trust in a designated QA, software development teams can boost efficiency, reduce risks, and deliver exceptional products that engage deeply with end-users, resulting in a maximum return on investment.

Early defect detection and resolution significantly mitigates costs, highlighting the importance of proactive quality assurance throughout the software development cycle.

In implementing QA procedures, we encourage stakeholders to recognise the critical role of quality assurance services, fostering a sense of trust in the proactive strategies of the QA team. This not only demonstrates the importance of QA, but also inspires confidence in the reliability and expertise that QA professionals bring to the software development process.

Special thanks to Roxana Colceriu for co-authoring and bringing her valuable insights and contributions to this topic.

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Adina Vereș

Adina Vereș

QA Lead

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