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What is QA Testing in a software environment?

This post is an eye-opener and will make you discover why QA tests are so necessary for the actual development of any product.

¡Let’s begin!

What does QA testing mean?

For those wondering what QA stands for, QA stands for Quality Assurance, and quality assurance testing is the entire process involved in making sure the final product of development is of the highest possible quality.

QA in software involves much more than just a long list of testing activities. It is primarily a mindset that you and your entire team should embrace. QA incorporates anything and everything that can influence the creation of high-quality software products, such as processes, procedures, tools, people, and standards. Quality Assurance means having a permanent finger on the pulse for any potential weakness. A QA mindset allows testers to identify opportunities for improvement in all areas.

Some issues that quality assurance testing handles include: bugs, errors, and finding areas in which a final product falls short judging from the original product requirements. The QA team audits the product’s performance, functionalities, and user experience before deploying to certify that it meets the desired levels of quality. 

Why is QA testing necessary?

If your team regularly pushes out new features for a product but never revisits them to identify options for further quality improvement, regardless of whether they have bugs or not, you have a quality problem. This is because, above everything, QA’s job is to confirm a product’s reliability. Introducing new features can destabilize a build, so revising under each new addition is essential to be sure everything still works as intended.

Shipping buggy or poorly performing code can result in catastrophic problems, including high user churn rates, security breaches, loss of opportunities and money, tedious code refactoring, broken features, downtime, and many more. Bugs can scare users away and seriously damage your brand’s reputation. The QA team then exists to monitor quality and prevent any of these future disappointments.  

What do QA specialists do?

A QA specialist possesses the skills needed for testing a product. Some specific tasks done by a QA specialist include designing and carrying out QA manual and/or automated tests, finding errors, tracking defect densities and open defect counts, creating automation testing scripts, and designing a well-structured plan, among others.

In LoopStudio, we care about the functionality of a product and the overall user experience that QA teams bring to the table. 

We always recommend considering QA testers in the teams because they can reduce the project’s total expense by searching for issues and loopholes in the platform.

Manual Testing vs. Test Automation

There are different ways to test a product, and one of the most popular distinctions within QA roles are Manual and Automated testing. They are very different from each other and add value to the software development cycle in different ways. 

Manual testing, as the word describes, refers to manually testing software for defects. It is very user oriented as testers play with the software extensively, performing every possible task in different ways to ensure the product’s correct behavior. There is a written test plan, considering the features to test and expected + unexpected user behavior. 

Automated testing, or test automation, is the use of software testing tools to program and control the execution of tests and the comparison of actual outcomes with predicted outcomes. Test automation can automate tasks in an established testing process or perform additional testing that would be too difficult or lengthy to do manually. Test automation is critical for continuous delivery and continuous testing. It is a more technical role and is oriented to detect issues in performance, scalability, security, code reliability, and others. 

We firmly stand that every client and project is unique and demands a customized approach. There is no perfect formula for approaching QA in a project. It should be evaluated case by case, considering the project stage, its goals, features, risks, desired quality, budget, time, and expected users, amongst others. 

At LoopStudio, we offer a wide range of quality-oriented services to fulfill our client’s expectations, including:

  • Functional Analysis & Testing (Manual and/or automated)
  • Process improvements
  • Defect management
  • UAT
  • Accessibility testing
  • Security testing
  • Performance testing

Quality Assurance process guide

This is our process when approaching a new project with our QA team. 

  1. Product discovery

The first step for any newborn project (or new version of a current product) it’s to identify the scope of the testing activities and, therefore, contemplate the strategy that fits the product’s needs. As mentioned above, every product has different needs, and there are different approaches to testing the same product depending on deadlines, budget, and goals. An extensive evaluation of which testing activities we need to include in our test plan is the best way to meet our client’s expectations by the end of the iteration. 

  • Build a test plan

Once you scope the product, it’s time to include the testing activities and recommendations to reach the highest quality possible. Building a large scaled product will need automated procedures to deliver quality fluidly after every iteration. The implementation cost will be higher but will pay off in the long term. Once you find the right strategy, Smoke, Sanity & Regression testing are a must (whether they are manual or automated). Defining which browsers and devices we include in each activity is also essential in the test plan.

  • Execute your test plan

There are no stages where QA is not involved in the SDLC. Whether it is writing test cases, executing them, reporting defects, re-testing, or providing support, we are always involved in the process. But, at some point, the QA team must validate that the test plan’s scope and vision are followed. This stage will establish how we meet the client’s expectations regarding our commitment to the product’s quality.

  • Measure the results

By measuring the test plan execution results, we can share the outcomes and make decisions. We must ask ourselves questions like: Are we currently meeting the expected quality levels? Are there uncontemplated scenarios that the product teams need to consider? Have we passed all the tests, and are we good to go? 

Most of the time, there are no bug-free systems. Deciding to release software with known issues is not something to take lightly, and it should include several tests to understand the potential impact of this, plus involve QAs, stakeholders, and PMs in the process.

  • Support and collecting feedback

Once the product is released, providing support and collecting feedback is also a must and a task that needs to be addressed by QA. QAs usually are the people who know every edge of the product, every expected behavior, and which features are yet to be released (or still under development). The team can incorporate feedback and deliver new functionalities based on the customers’ needs by collecting feedback. 

Tools and technology

At LoopStudio, we believe in staying at the vanguard of state-of-the-art technology. We have a team of Quality Engineers with solid experience in Selenium, Cypress, and Playwright. Combine that with Jenkins, GitHub actions, Postman, and K6, and you have end-to-end testing solutions that ensure the quality of any web or mobile application

For long-term projects, it’s essential to think about sustainability. A good foundation for testing purposes is the best investment you can make. Excellent testing practices provide the perfect balance between delivering fast and meeting top-quality standards.

Summary

Always keep in mind that the QA process is an integral part of the development process. At LoopStudio, we have dedicated QA experts who work hard to ensure our clients’ products meet the highest quality standards. 

QA testers are a key part of each project, and their job is detrimental to developing software products.

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Interested in learning more about what our QA Team can do for you? Contact us at hello@loopstudio.dev, and we’ll schedule a call with you!