There are a lot of things that can decide a software’s success but, regardless of platform, one of the most important is the quality. In spite of the increasingly competitive and saturated market, the quality of work put into software is still one of the biggest factors that customers think of.
Products with seamless user experiences and practically no errors, bugs, or glitches are the ones most likely to rake in cash. Of course, a high-quality piece of software doesn’t just happen out of nowhere; not only does it require a solid development process, but thorough testing.
Whether it’s via in-house teams or outsourced software testing services, QA is an important part of software development, one that sadly gets rushed or overlooked due to time constraints.
First off, what is QA?
QA (Quality Assurance) is the proactive process that’s centered on preventing errors from popping up during the development process. It’s not something that just happens at the end of the development process, but is there every step of the way, starting from project planning all the way to post-release support.
QA vs. QC vs. Testing
QA often gets mistaken for QC, which is somewhat understandable given that they’re closely intertwined.
QC (Quality Control) is the reactive process that involves the identification and rectification of defects and issues to ensure that the project’s defined quality standards are met.
In simple terms, QA is all about the methods and standards that need to be followed to meet the needs of customers, while QC is ensuring that these standards are actually met while the product is being worked on.
QA is done throughout the entire development cycle, while QC covers the software testing period.
Speaking of which, testing is a part of QC. It’s all about evaluating the system and its parts to see if there are bugs and fixing them.
These three ideas, put together and into practice, are all about removing and preventing errors in software that can compromise its quality.
Why is QA important?
- It saves time and money. With the market being so cutthroat, it’s not surprising that products need to be released as soon as possible. Moreover, longer development times mean bigger costs, which is not something any project wants. Preventing errors is better than fixing them, as there’s more work needed in dealing with issues on an in-progress software than a completed one.
- Reputation. Even the smallest bugs can lead to huge losses for business, not just in terms of time and money, but also in reputation (which can then lead to further financial losses). News of errors in big platforms like Facebook spread like wildfire, so bugs need to be squashed as soon as possible. Of course, the reality of the matter is that there’s no such thing as a bugless software, but good QA and proper software testing services can still cut that down to a minimum, possibly borderline negligible, risk.
- User security. Faults in a product can also lead to weaknesses in security, jeopardizing the privacy of users that choose it. In an age where user privacy and security are becoming more important than ever, that is simply unacceptable.