Taking the Step From Quality Assurance to Quality Engineering
Whether you are building a newer version of your software, introducing a minor patch, or implementing a new application from scratch, quality assurance is a critical task that ensures the product functions as intended. However, the constant proliferation of new technologies, the emergence of new trends and regulations have changed the way products are developed. Today, products need to be tested at every stage of the development process – transforming the traditional belief that quality assurance should be done at the end of the production cycle.
Quality Assurance Has Long Enabled Teams to Ensure Products Meet Required Standards
As competition in the software development industry became intense, most teams resorted to rigorous testing methods to ensure that the software under development meets the required standards. Agile testing methodologies and functional automation frameworks long enabled them to execute more tests in less time, while freeing testers to do high-level, exploratory testing. Flexible, scalable, and around-the-clock global delivery models also helped simplify test maintenance. Thus, ensuring alignment between testing strategies and business operations, allowing testing to be performed either onsite or offshore - as the product portfolio grows.
However, with the rising customer expectations and dynamic business environment, traditional quality assurance methods is not enough. Here are some drawbacks:
- Although efficient, most quality assurance activities are carried out later in the development process.
- Only a small team of a handful of members is responsible for ensuring the quality of the product at hand.
- Issues are addressed reactively, as they happen, and not in a proactive manner.
- Many faults that are identified require the product to be redesigned, which requires more time and resources if undertaken later.
- Addressing issues at the end results in delays in getting the product to the end-user.
Quality Engineering Takes a Holistic Approach to Ensuring the Quality of the Product
Unlike its traditional counterpart, quality engineering takes a more holistic approach to quality and applies stringent quality checks at each step of the development lifecycle. It drives teams to embrace test automation in their DevOps processes, so issues can be identified quickly, and solutions can be implemented efficiently. As a test-driven development methodology, it removes the silos that have long existed between different teams and empower development, testing, and security professionals to work together as one single team. At the same time, it allows teams to accelerate high-quality script development, quickly identify issues, achieve high transparency, and ensure continuous governance across the SDLC.
Embedding security at each stage of the development process allows teams to move confidently with ease and speed while attending to issues, as and when they occur in the development process. Quality engineering makes use of modern frameworks and integrated bots to develop high-quality software products. Through automation, it enables teams to simplify test creation and execution, adopt effective governance, and accelerate the code review process while eliminating risk and minimizing technical debt. In essence, this approach leaves them maximum opportunity to focus on delivery (and quality) excellence.
At the same time, quality engineering enables teams to leverage modern test automation frameworks that deliver end-to-end integrations across JDBC, Slack, Jira, SauceLabs, etc. Using these frameworks, engineering teams can seamlessly carry out UI testing, API testing, multi-browser testing, multi-environment testing, database validation, and more while delivering easy visualization of test cases’ success/failure.
Here’s How Quality Engineering Differs From Quality Assurance
- Instead of making the quality team responsible, quality engineering works on the assumption that everyone involved in developing the product is responsible for the quality of the product.
- Instead of addressing quality issues at the end of the development process, it ensures quality assurance is done across all the stages of product development – while helping teams to address issues, as and when they happen and in real-time.
- Instead of being a point-in-time activity, quality engineering looks at quality as a continuous process; it uses every information obtained at the end of each stage of the development process to improve the outcomes of the next stage.
- Instead of maintaining the quality of the end product, quality engineering puts a system in place that ensures the product development process meets quality standards at every stage.
At the same time, quality engineering also helps teams in analyzing the processes involved in product development, to reduce waste, minimize defects as well as cut down on the costs resulting from these defects.
Tips for Moving From Quality Assurance to Quality Engineering
Taking the step from quality assurance to quality engineering requires teams to be aware of the requirements the end product should meet. This is to ensure that they can consciously test the product as they develop it. Here are some tips as you move from quality assurance to quality engineering:
- Build a culture of quality across teams; make every team member equally responsible for ensuring the quality of the product being developed – right from the programmer to the tester.
- Embrace concepts like agile development which allows teams to develop (and release) software in small batches; such an iterative approach will allow issues to be resolved as and when they happen – instead of at the very end.
- Break departmental silos to ensure development and testing happen in parallel – instead of waiting to run tests after code is developed – and ensure all stakeholders clearly understand common business requirements and work together to reach shared goals.
- Design the test automation strategy beforehand, so teams can validate the functionality and quality of features as they are developed and bring products to market faster.
- Establish a continuous feedback loop, so information about insights and defects is constantly provided to development teams, who can then work on resolving them in real-time.
- Leverage modern AI and automation tools to identify and rectify problems faster – and even before they occur – with minimal human intervention.
- Engage with experts who can provide quick and ready access to best-of-breed testing processes, frameworks, resources, and point solutions and help align testing strategy with business operations as the product portfolio grows.
If you want to keep ahead of the constantly growing demands of your customers, you need to ensure the quality of your product is top-notch. Although quality assurance tools and strategies have helped teams to ensure products are delivered as said and committed, as the emphasis on quality grows, the popularity of quality engineering is gradually increasing. By making every team member responsible for the quality of the product being developed, quality engineering allows teams to take a more efficient and agile approach to develop and release software that meets the growing needs of customers in today’s competitive world.
At Xoriant, we have developed modern tools, processes, and frameworks to accelerate software release cycles. Our Continuous Quality Engineering platform coupled with a consultative approach ensures we fit within and augment your quality engineering plans. The key areas of Xoriant Digital Quality Assurance include specialized quality engineering, advanced testing, feature testing, and usability testing, performance and load testing, globalization and accessibility testing, product interoperability testing, and mobile testing.
Xoriant’s unique iAutomate is a tool-agnostic automation framework built for the web, desktop, mobile, and API applications, offered in Python or Java. The framework accelerates automation with end-to-end integrations across JDBC, Slack, Jira, SauceLabs with 15+ customizable features and 100+ utility methods, case logs, and reports.
Want to know how Xoriant can transform your software engineering teams from quality assurance to quality engineering? Speak to our experts