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The term Quality in the physical world or offline world is generally understood by the consumer as: any given product that works properly as intended and has an acceptable lifecycle. Measuring the quality of a physical item is simple because we can distinguish tangible aspects such as color, weight, dimensions, texture, taste, smell and hear or see it in operation; that is, our five senses in action can review the product quality.
However, for digital products -example: writing software or a mobile application- measuring quality requires another methodology for which software engineers, also known as software developers, intervene. We will address the issue of Quality Assurance (QA) to help business owners, entrepreneurs, CEO, CTO or CIO; our goal is that they can appreciate the value of QA that goes beyond doing simple tests to verify that an app or software does what is expected of it.
To begin with, it is convenient to differentiate QA from what is known in manufacturing facilities as Quality Control (QC), which focuses on the final production quality of a product in order to compare it with the standard set by the company for appearance, presentation or performance.
QA focuses on the processes that the software or digital product must perform; To do this, it performs a systematic measurement, continuous monitoring of processes and the detection of errors. This task can be done manually by an employee, known as a Tester; or through qa automation tools.
Thanks to tests, QA can detect errors, from the smallest to the most serious; detect possible security vulnerabilities or difficulties that affect the user experience.
Ensuring the quality of a digital product implies doing the necessary and sufficient tests to determine if the product (program or App) performs its function fully, for example: regardless of whether it is installed on a laptop, a desktop computer or a telephone. smart brand X or brand Y.
Another simple example to show what quality assurance does could be the case of a website or “mobile web”, which had to be tested in different browsers to verify that it works equally well in each of them.
QA ensures the software quality is up to par. A bad experience that could probably be due, among other things, to a lack of QA, is what happened in December 2020 with the video game Cyberpunk 2077, which delayed its launch date due to problems with the platforms where it should work: PS4 and Xbox One; However, the video game was launched on the market and in less than 10 days, SONY was forced to withdraw it from its playstation store, offering to return the money to users for performance failures and poor graphics quality. It is estimated that the economic impact for the manufacturer can exceed $ 1 billion in losses; apart from the moral cost that it can mean in the long term, in loss of reputation for the manufacturer.
The Software Industry Authority has established that QA activities are essential for companies that want to launch and maintain software products of outstanding quality on the market; it is not enough to settle for delivering the quality expected by the user; true success is setting quality standards that exceed customer expectations.
Undoubtedly, the owner of the digital product is in charge of the tests in the first instance to verify that the initial idea of it has already been converted into a satisfactory product for the entire team that has worked in software development.
There are different QA methodologies available depending on the objective you want to test; Also, you can find various software quality assurance tools; However, the question often asked by the manufacturer or owner of a website, an app or software is what is more convenient for QA: a manual or automated testing?
Although automated quality assurance testing will always be necessary due to the advantages it offers, manual testing cannot be completely ruled out, since this is carried out by the internal development team with tests from scratch, since they know a lot about the product and what it is. what it is expected to do.
On the other hand, outsourcing the QA tests to a nearshore outsourcing company is productive because they provide a different point of view to test the product, detecting new failures. Here experience is important; In the case of ArkusNexus, all its engineers and leadership teams have experience in the DevOps methodology whose success is based on automation, reducing the time to implement changes without threatening quality and monitoring all stages of software development.
As previously mentioned, using automated quality assurance does not imply giving up manual testing, but it brings a significant amount of benefits, where the main ones are:
An important indirect advantage is that QA is part of the Agile Methodology, whose software engineering is based on iterative and incremental development on the product.
Rational testing of the product is not enough to verify that it works properly; you also need to test what happens when the user behaves inconsistently, doing strange things like this:
The implementation of automated quality assurance makes the test and development process more collaborative, ensures software quality, and helps bring the product to market faster.