What is Quality Assurance and Why Do I Need It?
In terms of software development, quality assurance is a process that ensures that the software meets the required quality standards and development specifications before it hits the market. Software quality assurance goes side by side with the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) to detect errors at each stage of the software development and maintain the software quality.
Is QA necessary?
When we have a team of experienced and talented developers, isn’t a quality assurance team waste of money?
Developers will do a trial run before the software goes live and if there is anything wrong, customers will tell us, won’t they?
These are some of the questions that almost all software development agencies/companies ask when it comes to quality assurance. Your software needs a QA program for the following reasons:
It detects defects.
This is obvious but worth emphasizing. There are probably plenty of software applications available that may serve the same purpose as yours. So, if the customer feels that your software is not reliable, they won’t think twice before jumping to the next one. After all, software is a tool that helps make people’s job easier and nobody wants one that doesn’t work well, leaving people frustrated. If your software undergoes quality assurance before it reaches the audience, such reputation problems can be avoided.
Quality assurance helps in detecting errors while the software is still at its development stage, thus making it easier to fix the defects before the software is launched. Post-launch patching can be terminal for your products’ reputation.
Software is not free.
More often than not, people are spending money to buy your software and, therefore, it should be worth it. Customers do not want to face such issues where they put their money into your software and then 10 minutes into using it, the software crashes, data is lost, or simply confidence is low. It should work. With the help of a QA program, such issues can be detected at the earliest and corrected before they reach the real audience.
Your software is your legacy.
Your software is your baby, and you are, of course, proud of it. But, if the customers find the software unreliable and frustrating, they are going to criticize it, and damage control is always ten times harder than prevention.
It isn’t just about what doesn’t work.
Remember, quality assurance isn’t all about detecting bugs and defects in the software. It is also about ensuring that each feature of the software does what it is supposed to do and appeals to your customers. Quality assurance helps you see through the customer’s eyes and, therefore, ensures that your software is aesthetically pleasing with functionality that is desired by your customers. Guess work here, no matter how well researched, is still less reliable than direct user feedback. You want to do that before global launch, not after.
Developers are not enough.
You may have the best team of software developers in the world, but nobody is perfect. Even though the code the developers create for your software seems good, it may not work just as the user expects it to, or across unforeseen circumstances. This is why you need a separate quality assurance team to test the working with your developers at every stage.
Quality is equally important as functionality when it comes to software. Therefore, you won’t regret investing in quality assurance. Recent studies have shown a sharp increase in QA budgets approximating 40% of the overall project costs.