Making errors is a natural part of life, yet a minor blunder or overlook may be costly. This is also true for software development, as it is for everything else. Human error may cause problems in a software product's design and code, but if these errors go unnoticed, they degrade the software's quality and result in unfavorable and costly effects. This is why "software quality" is so crucial.
Quality assurance (QA) is a broad word that refers to all elements of ensuring a high-quality software output. It entails developing protocols for each development step to eliminate faults and defects throughout the build and assessing the software's quality.
Software quality refers to a software product's ability to fulfill its intended functions securely and error-free. Nevertheless, before we get into the reasons for quality assurance's relevance, let us look at real-life examples of software failures caused by a lack of appropriate quality management.
- When a well-known trading business lost $440 million in 45 minutes due to faulty software deployment in 2012, it caused havoc on Wall Street. This occurred when an outdated and underused internal system was improperly set during trading, resulting in stock trades being conducted at inaccurate prices. The corporation had already lost $10 million per minute when the error was discovered and corrected.
- Starbucks lost millions of dollars in sales in 2015 due to a problem with their daily system refresh, which resulted in the closure of point-of-sale registers at numerous locations across the United States and Canada. Until the systems were rebuilt and restored, coffee businesses were compelled to give complimentary beverages.
A significant software failure may result in diabolical scenarios that are considerably worse than a bit of bug in an app or an irritating design defect, as shown by a few notable cases.
Importance of QA
- Time and money are both saved: The benefit of putting systems and processes in place throughout development is that they anticipate and prevent most errors and defects from ever appearing. Consequently, any faults that do appear are usually minor and easy to correct. However, most issues would be more prominent without QA and would only be discovered during the testing process or after the application was launched. After the fact, fixing these faults would take additional time, which would increase the cost.
- Maintains the quality of the product: The purpose of QA processes is to verify that the software product is reliable and stable. In addition, there are Quality Control (QC) tests meant to assess the functionality, performance, security, usability, and more. Furthermore, these tests consider the possibility that the user may not utilize the application as intended. Part of this testing is to ensure that the product is 'idiot-proof,' meaning that inappropriate use will fail. Consequently, the final product has few flaws and is assured to function correctly.
- Ensures Safety: For software goods, security is always a significant concern. Even if a software application meets its functional requirements and performs as expected, it may not be safe. Vulnerabilities in a software system's security can jeopardize user data and the product's trustworthiness. One of the critical reasons for the need for software quality assurance is this. It aids in discovering security flaws in software and the development of a completely secure and reliable product.
- Ensures Customer Satisfaction: The product's end-users are always at the forefront of the software development process, and it is critical to ensure the most significant possible user experience. Users may be inconvenienced and their experience ruined by a software system with flaws and faults.QA engineers verify that the product is built without flaws and that it behaves as planned in the hands of end-users throughout the development process. As a consequence, users receive a high-quality product that they like using.
The job of a software firm is to provide a high-quality software product that has been thoroughly tested for faults and vulnerabilities. Quality assurance helps uncover mistakes and weaknesses in the software code and design throughout the development process. It guarantees that the final product is competitive, secure, and fulfills its tasks as planned. Software systems, like any other product, must be of high quality.