Quality Assurance is a term that seems familiar to many, but is frequently misunderstood. Merriam-Webster defines the term as “a program for the systematic monitoring and evaluation of the various aspects of a project, service, or facility to ensure that standards of quality are being met.” Stopping there, though, would only skim the surface of what the process entails, undermining its role in app development.
What is Quality Assurance? (QA)
We always strive to deliver the best products we can to not only maintain our reputation and relationships with our partners, but to also be proud of the work we’ve produced. Our partners invest a lot of money and trust in us to provide top-notch applications and services, so putting each product through rigorous testing is necessary to maintain that trust and ensure their complete satisfaction. But Quality Assurance goes beyond preventing low-quality applications. The process is designed to take each build and dismantle it into pieces to see what works well and what should be improved– to take it to the next level and ensure that every feature works as it should allow for the best user experience.
With these standards always in mind, Quality Assurance Engineers (QA Engineers) need to be nothing short of perfectionists. They are a key component in the development process, impacting not only the product, but the relationship with our partners, too. They should be comfortable with diving into a problem all the way to its core before moving on, making them not just approvers of builds, but sifters–getting rid of the extra dirt and leaving what remains in its purest form. Their even tasked with pointing out critical errors, like using the correct they’re in this sentence– errors that a compiler or in this case, a spell-check, wouldn’t catch. It’s the job of the QA Engineers to gain the trust of the software developers and truly understand their intentions for each feature and why things should work as they do so they can dig deep into the product. The intertwined relationship between the two divisions, their interactions, and the process they follow and solidify together makes for a highly satisfactory final product and a gradually more structural guide to use for future updates.
Related: Getting Started with App Design and Development
How do we apply QA to projects?
The guide starts with establishing goals and requirements for the product at a basic level. Keeping a testing markdown file and continuously updating it as more builds are released makes it easy to reproduce steps and note any other functionalities that may have been affected. Doing this every time is necessary to know what we are looking for and in what feature. Following the guide allows us to go past catching bugs and allows us to catch product flaws. I think of it as building a brick wall. On the way up after each layer, it’s up to the QA Engineer to ensure the stability of that layer before allowing the developers to move on. Every time a new layer is added, we make sure the whole structure is steady before continuing. We wouldn’t want to finish the wall only to realize on the third from bottom layer there lies a fatal flaw. That would be extremely costly and time-consuming to fix, and also just a pain in the ass. So detecting these problems early on would both save future costs and prove to be very efficient in getting the job done the right way.
Having a Quality Assurance team dedicated to pushing the product to the next level has shown to be extremely beneficial and testing is recommended for any company because it ensures validity and authenticity. The little things go a long way in this industry, and having more reliable, consistent, and accurate products will continue to build our reputation to where we want it to be. In the competitive market we’re up against, ensuring the highest quality in our products and services allows us to not only keep up with the expanding market standards, but even more, it allows us to exceed expectations with our partners which is crucial for our present and future.