To many, quality assurance testing (or QA testing for short) may seem like a waste of time in the fast-paced world of technology. After all, why can’t experienced developers just double-check their work? The time spent clicking away may seem like it doesn’t actually provide any value while increasing overall development costs and extending timelines, but this could not be further from the truth.

What is Quality Assurance?

Quality assurance testing is the process of ensuring that a company is delivering the best possible service or product to their customers through the use of the right processes during development. With the objective being the improvement of the software development and maintenance processes, quality assurance helps not only align the business goals with the product but also ensure the enforcement of required specifications and compliance of any applicable standards.

Quality assurance helps find the weaknesses or problems that have arisen during development and mitigates them before an end-user ever sees the product. Although initial developers do check their work, the hiring of a trained testing individual or software QA company is necessary to act as a fresh set of eyes on the project.

The Evolution of Software QA

In reality, quality assurance is an incredibly undervalued and underrated aspect of the overall software development process. The need for thorough testing has existed for as long as software development itself. The early days of computers meant the process was much shorter. However, as PCs, hardware, and software have advanced, QA testing has unquestionably become an absolutely necessary process.

The commercialization of software and the demand for an increase in the frequency of releases to keep end-users appeased are also reasons for this continual need for QA in the industry. Many businesses in today’s tech field actually categorize themselves as a software QA company to help keep up with the demand for testing as a third-party resource.

A new process known as test-driven development has even become a norm in the world of software development. A shortened development cycle allows developers to produce small amounts of code which are then turned into specific test cases. These test cases are only advanced once they pass testing. Where traditional software development may allow for the addition of code that is not proven to meet requirements, this test-driven method eliminates these errors.

Today’s users crave and expect nothing less than a seamless experience when using a product - and are arguably much less forgiving with errors than in the past as the world undergoes rapid technological advancements. Without a solid QA plan in place, a company could lose its one shot at making a good first impression on its target market.

Why Is QA a Necessity?

Quality assurance during the software development process is incredibly important. Below are just a few of the key points to explain why every software product must go through a testing process:

Security - Security is one of, if not the most sensitive and vulnerable part of software development. Businesses all around the world have encountered enormous problems due to the smallest of security issues, such as instances where hackers have accessed private information and used it for their benefit. As cybersecurity continues to be an ever-increasing priority in today’s digital world, end-users are looking for trustworthy and reliable products from brands with esteemed levels of security. This trust also helps end-users feel confident in their choice to give access to their personal data to said products. Additionally, the new General Data Protection Regulation (or GDPR) has many specific mandates on how companies must handle the personal information of their users - and monetarily penalizes companies who do not comply with the new regulations.

Quality - All products, including software, serve the user in one way or another. This means that it is obviously very important that the product actually delivers on its promises. The only way to ensure that all software functions are working correctly and living up to expectations is through a stringent quality assurance process. From mobile apps to complex software systems, small changes on the developers’ end can wreak havoc for the end-user, which is why all versions and changes must go through QA before a user can get their hands on it. Checking for device compatibility is also an important aspect of QA that helps eliminate problems.

Money - Whether using an in-house team or choosing QA outsourcing, quality assurance testing saves companies money in the long-run. Companies develop software in multiple stages and it is much more cost-effective to correct an error in the earlier of said stages. By embedding QA into the software development process, organizations are able to exponentially decrease the number of risks associated with software failure. Testing professionals at QA companies or in-house teams comprised of teams who are technically educated can save organizations both money and time.

User Experience - The number one goal for software companies is to put out a product that ultimately satisfies the needs of the end-users. Through thorough testing, software companies can take the time to help guarantee that their product offers the best user experience possible and also builds a database of clients who trust in their brand. Customers who experience glitches, bugs, and errors within a program are not going to trust a company nor will they spread the word about it in a positive light.

Companies Cannot Afford to Skip QA
The primary goal of building any kind of software product is the generation of profit while offering a quality user experience to customers. To put it simply, if a software development company wants to succeed and see any profit in the modern business world, it must have a solid quality assurance process in place at the onset of the development process. Without this rushed and overlooked aspect of development, a product that is not up to par with the rest of the field may have catastrophic results for the company and the product itself.

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Author's Bio: 

Malcom is a tech expert at BairesDev specializing in the software outsourcing industry. He has access to the latest market news and has a keen eye for innovation and what's next for technology businesses.