Quality Assurance (QA) testing is an essential step in the software development lifecycle. It involves the systematic checking of software applications to ensure they meet specified requirements and are free of defects. While some companies may view QA testing as an unnecessary expense, the truth is that investing in QA can actually reduce risks and save costs in the long run.
QA plays an important role in delivering the highest quality software products to our clients and their users. In this article, I explore why QA testing is worth the cost to your organization or business.
1. Better quality products
The primary benefit of QA testing is that it helps ensure the software product is of high quality. When companies invest in QA testing, they are able to identify and eliminate bugs, errors, and glitches in the software before it’s released to users. QA engineers not only test the software, they test the requirements and assumptions that go into the end product. With the clarity that comes as a result, it’s easier to communicate that feedback to developers and clients.
A high-quality product is more likely to meet user needs and requirements, leading to increased adoption and usage. And if you’re working with consumers, it also prevents potential damage to your company’s brand reputation from a poor user experience.
2. Spending now to save later
Although QA testing may seem like an extra cost, it can actually save companies money in the long run. Identifying and fixing software defects during the development process is often less expensive than fixing the same issues after the release of the software. It involves more time and resources, and even lost revenue due to downtime or other issues.
Shift-left is a recent concept in QA, and means that we conduct our testing even earlier in the development process. By running tests against each increment of work before it’s integrated into the system, we can catch defects much sooner than before. This fast feedback makes the software development cycle more efficient.
3. Increase in productivity
QA testing helps identify issues early in the development process. This allows developers to fix the problems quickly and efficiently.
Some projects include clients engaging us over a long cycle of multiple releases including new features and product maintenance. In this case, we can create a safety net to guard against introducing software defects. This gets done through automated regression testing—with the push of a button. It can run a suite of tests against the application, giving us fast feedback whenever a change is made to the software. This saves time and increases productivity, allowing developers to focus on building new features rather than fixing existing issues. Our well-designed and programmed tests also allow us to pinpoint any defects we need to fix, thus preventing them from being introduced into a public release.
By catching issues early, QA testing can prevent unnecessary delays in the release of the software, which can potentially lead to increased revenue and market share.
It’s important to be intentional about what to automate, or if at all. These decisions guide us in creating automation that adds efficiency and confidence to the development process, while providing the most value possible.
4. Enhanced security and data
Security is a top concern for many companies and consumers. After many high-profile failures in software security, it’s no longer acceptable to build a product without security in mind. A catastrophic leak of users’ private information can damage a company’s reputation.
Software developers now have an eye to security when designing and writing their code, and QA engineers test for it. While not security specialists, QA engineers are able to test for many common and serious vulnerabilities using tools designed for the task. QA Engineers can also ensure it’s secure and compliant with industry regulations. By investing in QA testing, companies can protect sensitive data and prevent potential security breaches.
A secure application prevents costly and damaging issues for your company and your customers.
5. Improved user satisfaction
At the end of the day, the success of a software product depends on the satisfaction of its users. Companies want to reach the broadest range of users possible by being inclusive and ensuring their products are accessible. Additionally, government websites in many jurisdictions are legally required to comply with accessibility guidelines.
QA engineers and developers can create software, and test for accessibility challenges around hearing, motor, visual, speech, neural, or cognitive abilities for users.
QA engineers should always approach the user experience with empathy. We may test a website many times, but it’s important to ask ourselves along the way about usability. Am I finding this product difficult to use? Is there something about it that doesn’t look right? It’s easy to lose sight of things like these when testing to see if a product is working as expected. So, we need to step back and think from the user’s perspective.
If you’re working with consumers, using QA to support the user experience can increase sales and revenue for your business.
All of these measures are covered by performing QA testing—ensuring that the software meets the needs and expectations of a broad range of users.
Don’t take the risk. Make quality assurance part of your next digital project.
When you invest in having a QA team involved in your project, you’re increasing the value of your product. It’s a proactive approach that ensures your software product is of the highest quality, meets or exceeds security standards, and delivers a delightful user experience. By investing in QA testing now, you can catch any issues early and address them before the release of the software—ultimately increasing productivity and saving costs.