Software quality is always a challenge, and doubly so if the roles and responsibilities of a QA are not fulfilled properly. If you run a software business or manage any sort of software development, you need to know the part QA plays in the whole development lifecycle.
It’s challenging to assess the quality of software. There are many factors to consider in determining the standards. Various stakeholders have their own terms of requirements and expectations for the product.
This is where quality assurance (QA) plays a major role. QA involves creating test strategies to make sure that the product and every stage of software development meet the standard.
But what is quality assurance? And what are the roles and responsibilities of the QA team in the whole software development lifecycle? We’ll discuss all of these as we unravel the following points:
Overview of Quality Assurance in Software Development
The goal of quality assurance is to identify and maintain a set of requirements and standards in software development. It helps ensure that every system and stage of development conforms to industry standards and end-user (and business) requirements.
Oftentimes, QA processes follow the ISO 9000 international standards. And, an efficient and effective QA system gives your business many benefits.
Rigorous software QA enhances your company’s image and reputation. Moreover, it builds the confidence of your customers in using your software. Most importantly, it gives your product an edge against your competitors.
Now, quality assurance is different from quality control. Although some may view them as interchangeable, there are major distinctions between these fields.
Quality control involves testing activities that focus on the product itself. These actions are put in place to verify and check the conformance of the software to the set requirements.
On the other hand, quality assurance is both product-oriented and process-oriented. Aside from looking into the software quality, QA also looks into the standards followed in every stage of its development.
Why Is QA Important In Software Development?
As an entrepreneur, you want to create products with real value for your customers, but you can’t do that if your software product is full of bugs leading to errors and system breakdown.
Thus, QA should be a mandatory part of your development process. However, you must consider its importance in the grand scheme of things. Here are some notes to consider in reviewing the relevance of QA in software development.
- Cut down cost and time — With QA processes in place, you can catch bugs and fix them before it’s too late. Therefore, upon deployment, errors are minimal and relatively minor. And, fixing these flaws requires less time and money.
- Boosts software security — While QA and application security testing are often viewed as distinct fields, we believe they go hand-in-hand. Buggy code that’s a QA issue today may become tomorrow’s zero-day exploit. Likewise, testing for common vulnerabilities and attack vectors can prevent massive issues down the road. Hence, preparations to eradicate threats of product and user data breaches exist beforehand.
- Maintain functionality and product quality — When your product undergoes stringent quality assurance, you obtain a sense of security and peace of mind. Software is never perfect, and bugs will always pop up, but great QA can save you from massive headaches.
Team Environment 101: Roles and Responsibilities of A QA
Typically, the QA team works with software developers, engineers, and testers. But, QA professionals are the major players in analyzing, defining, and ensuring that requirements are set and met accordingly.
To further outline the QA job description, these are their common responsibilities:
- Set the QA process objectives to ensure that the result leads to the fulfillment of all product requirements
- Plan testing activities according to the objectives and create a strategy based on schedule and other project specifics
- Conduct testing activities, whether manual or automated QA testing, during appropriate development stages to eliminate bugs and flaws
- Document the testing results and analyze the errors to identify their root cause
- Work with developers, testers, and other stakeholders to troubleshoot testing failures and bugs
- Communicate with project managers and other stakeholders about QA systems, activities, and progress
- Help monitor performance and uncover system vulnerabilities through tools and bug tracking systems
A Quality Assurance Team Is Made Up Of These People
There are many individuals involved in the whole quality assurance process. Different professionals occupy a role in QA, which may correspond to specific tasks in the whole software development lifecycle. Most of the time, the team is composed of these three roles.
1. QA Manager
Hiring a QA manager is optional, but businesses should consider their importance in the process. By doing so, you’re assigning a specific person to supervise the whole team and system.
With the person’s skills and experience, the process of making sure that software quality meets the standard becomes efficient. The QA manager can also serve as a client liaison. This way, the manager can deal with quality assurance issues, so you have more time to attend to other core processes.
2. QA Lead
The quality assurance lead assists the manager, especially in the planning stage. The professional works closely with the manager to create test plans, manage test activities, and monitor quality deliverables. All these tasks should be delivered within the agreed schedule and environment.
3. QA Analyst
In a team, the QA analyst is the one responsible for executing and evaluating software systems according to the set standards. The analyst also writes every issue and its resolution for software documentation. When the results are out, the professional must report them to the QA lead.
Skills Required to Fulfill the Roles and Responsibilities of A QA
Are you looking to organize a QA team for your company? These are the qualities you should be looking for in a professional.
- Extensive QA knowledge — A candidate must have an in-depth knowledge of how QA works in the software industry. This includes knowing the latest trends and tools to help improve the processes for your company.
- Relevant QA experience — Never underestimate the power of relevant QA experience as you create your team. It will not only shorten the training period necessary as you onboard a new hire, it will also ensure that the individual can handle any part of the job even when the going gets tough.
- Attentive to detail — The person must have great attention to detail, even the most minor ones. When a person is thorough in checking every minor detail, meeting the requirements becomes easier.
- Great task management skills — There are times that the QA team has to accomplish tasks simultaneously. Therefore, an individual must know how to manage time and energy based on the level of priority of all deliverables.
- Analytical and a problem-solver — Troubleshooting requires high-level analysis at times. Therefore, as part of the QA team, one must have good analytical skills in order to determine the root cause of the problem.
- Effective communication skills — QA professionals need to discuss ideas with different stakeholders. Hence, one must be able to convey ideas and suggestions effectively, whether it’s written or oral communication.
- Team player — Quality assurance requires integration with front-end and back-end developers, DevOps, and other members of the team, So being able to work with other people is an essential skill for a QA analyst or QA lead.
- Leadership skills — If you’re looking for a QA manager, find one who can lead a team even under intense pressure. Ensuring that the product is high quality and stable can sometimes put pressure on a team. So, a leader needs to withstand that kind of professional strain and take on the challenge with a strong mentality.
Hire a QA Team Today
No need to go through the hassles of recruiting a qualified QA. Whether you’re looking for QA analysts, leads, or managers, Full Scale has the right people for your business.
Full Scale is an offshore software development center with two offices. Our headquarters is in Kansas City, Missouri, with a satellite office in Cebu City, Philippines. We specialize in helping businesses build world-class teams of developers and QA professionals quickly and affordably.
With our pool of qualified and experienced QA professionals, you can build a team quickly and affordably. All you need to do is review the candidates’ profiles through our client-friendly dashboard.
Our stringent technical assessment makes sure that everyone in the team is among the best in their field. So, you don’t need to worry about finding the right person to accomplish the roles and responsibilities of a QA.