Both technology and business executives continue to consider software testing as an afterthought. Executives, and the organization in general, treat it as a low part of the value chain.
Some organizations have put in place quality assurance (QA) services to imply a broader perspective than pure testing (one that includes the monitoring and continuous improvement of processes and projects). However in reality even these organizations apply lip-service to the importance of QA, and it is treated with the same (typically low) level of importance. Well-qualified QA engineers find their role minimized, and spend their days “just” testing.
I believe organizations which limit QA, and the role of QA engineers themselves, are making a major mistake. I’ll explain why.
Today, the complexity of software challenges even companies which have technology running through their DNA. To give a sense of this complexity, Microsoft revealed their development environment, Visual Studio 2012, had over 50 million lines of code. It was reported that the initially disastrous healthcare.gov website had 500 million lines of code (a lot of experts question this number and consider it to be much too high, but regardless of the actual number- the point is, it was hugely complex, and an initial disaster).
Effective QA helps manage this increasing complexity. In my experience, the organizations which have a track-record of successful software development prioritize and value both the discipline of QA as well as the engineers themselves. They take a more sophisticated perspective, and empower QA engineers to apply their skills and capabilities throughout the software development lifecycle. Such a view incorporates:
As an example, when applying these practices with one of our largest clients, we saw the number of issues coming back to development decreased significantly. The major benefits were:
Bringing all these elements together maximizes the potential for QA engineers to have a major impact on the quality of your software, and in turn the business impact this software will have. Do you agree with this assessment? What other responsibilities should QA take? I look forward to your comments.
If you’re interested in finding out more, check out Belatrix´s whitepapers which contain a wealth of information both on Agile QA and other topics.
February 13 / 2020
December 17 / 2019
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