Khumo Motlhabi & Sethabile Mbatha
9 June 2022
When you purchase a second-hand car, you can instantly evaluate its quality (the exterior, interior and the lack of imperfection). However, only when you take the first drive will you be able to see if the car was worth the buy. Even an extremely aesthetically pleasing car can come with hidden imperfections.
The same applies to almost any software product. It may seem fine at first, but as you continue to navigate through the product, you may come across flaws and errors. This is where software testing and quality assurance become an integral part of software development.
What is software testing and quality assurance?
What is software testing?
Software testing is the process of verifying that an application or system meets specified requirements and behaves as expected. Testing typically involves running tests on software builds, using a wide range of tools and techniques to validate functionality, performance, reliability and security. By thoroughly testing a product before it’s released to users, potential issues can be identified early and addressed, reducing the likelihood of customer dissatisfaction.
Understanding quality assurance
Quality Assurance (QA) is an important process in the development of software products. It ensures that quality standards are being met and that any potential issues or errors in the software product have been identified and accounted for prior to launch. Quality Assurance practices can provide tremendous value in extending the life of software systems, reducing bug reports & user frustration, maintaining safe & secure data within a system, and ensuring the highest levels of consumer satisfaction.
How we conduct software testing
The software testing lifecycle (STLC) is a software testing and quality assurance process that includes steps that are executed in a definite sequence. At Integrove, we make use of the STLC to ensure your software is up to standard. This ensures that the quality goals have been met and that the STLC process is carried out in a planned and systematic manner.
The steps of the software testing lifecycle:
The Requirements Phase
During the requirements phase, we lay the foundation of the entire software testing and quality assurance process. Thus, to identify the scope of the testing process, our teams analyze and study the requirements.
The Planning Phase
In the planning phase, we identify tasks, activities and resources that would help the team meet their testing objectives. A test plan is a major deliverable which must be met during the planning phase on the STLC, which is followed by test cases.
The Test Case Development Phase
Test development includes the usage of automated and manual testing, which determines whether the full coverage of the software’s functionality has been achieved. Therefore, we develop test cases/scripts according to the requirements identified in the requirement phase.
The Test Environment Setup Phase
According to the test plan, a test environment should be selected to test on. The test environment setup phase is mainly responsible for setting up the appropriate operating system, testing tools such as Selenium, as well as the project’s test environment.
The Test Execution Phase
During the test execution phase, we test based on documentation previously made. Test cases/scripts are run individually, and test results are captured and recorded for documentation purposes.
The Test Cycle Closure
This is the final phase of the STLC, which involves submitting testing reports to the client. These reports reflect the duration of the testing process, the percentage of errors found, the positive results, and the total number of bugs. As for the testing team (AKA the coolest team at Integrove), the test cycle closure is a time to analyse work and productivity, sum up results and, raise suggestions to improve the standard of software testing and quality assurance moving forward.
Automated software testing vs manual software testing
Manual Testing is the process of testing software products manually – pretty much self-explanatory. Manual testing uses literal human resources to execute testing in an individual manner. The purpose of this type of testing is to detect bugs and issues prior to the deployment of the software.
During manual testing, the tester validates key features that exist in the software application.
Automation Testing is the process whereby testers make use of tools and scripts to automate the testing efforts made by testers. It assists testers to execute a lot more test cases and it helps with improving test coverage as it is more efficient.
Although both methods of software testing and quality assurance are important and necessary, they do come with disadvantages. Manual testing is rather slow and very tedious (especially when the system is complex). On the other hand, automated testing needs code and test maintenance to function efficiently. At Integrove, we can assist you with manual or automated testing. Our solutions aren’t “one size fits all”, and we strive to give you the best solution for your bespoke software needs.
Types of software testing at Integrove
During our software testing and quality assurance process, there are various types of tests that occur, which is as follows: Functional Testing, Non-Functional Testing, and Maintenance Testing.
Testing of the following types is not necessarily procedurally followed. However, they are a good starting point for our testing cycle when applicable.
The following is an outline of the various types of testing:
Functional Testing – It focuses on how the system behaves and its features and functions. The system should function as per the requirements gathered in a functional specification document. Such testing can include unit, integration, smoke, UAT (User Acceptance Testing) testing.
Non-Functional Testing – Non-Functional Testing outlines the level of quality and behaviour at which the system should perform. Such testing can include performance, load, usability, and stress testing.
Maintenance Testing – It is important to maintain the system so that it performs as expected. Therefore, maintenance testing forms an integral part of the testing cycle. It is especially important in an Agile environment where requirements constantly change.
The importance of software testing and quality assurance
As the focus remains steady on product centricity, Integrove’s QA team forms an integral part of the software development life cycle. Our QA team goes into testing a product with the expectation of finding a plethora of precedented and unprecedented issues – there are always defects to debug.
It is imperative for our QA team to measure the quality of a system and that it meets our client’s expectations. As a result of our testing, our QA team gives the software team a green light, indicating that the system meets the requirements.
Both software testing and quality assurance are crucial to our product development. Integrove’s software testers can give your project the following benefits:
- Reduce costs – by finding bugs early in the process, our testing team can save costs and eliminate later failures.
- Security – well tested and reliable products are more secure. You wouldn’t want anyone stealing sensitive data due to an overlooked bug or loophole.
- Enhances the development process – With the aid of QA, you can find a wide array of scenarios that enhances the development process.
- Quality of the product – Our testers will ensure that the product we deliver is of the best quality.