When we think about QA or quality assurance, it’s usually when we have a negative experience using an app or a website. When some of the basic functionalities are not working or feel buggy, we start to wonder how these bugs got past the QA. Well, here we are going to explain how QA is done, and why it is so important, but also how it is possible for testers to miss a few details.
QA in Software Testing
Quality assurance is performed in order to ascertain whether the software functions as it should and basically if it is ready for deployment. It has a very straightforward methodology or cycle:
Basically, an organization establishes or plans how software should behave, then they work on developing those features, and check if they work as planned. If not, adjustments are made, and the whole process starts over until the product is finished and works as expected.
Basically, if everything on the list checks out the QA process is finished.
However, we are constantly seeing bad reviews on different apps or sites, claiming that basic features aren’t functioning, or that the app isn’t properly tested. So, why do companies launch a seemingly unfinished product?
Different Devices or Hardware Specs
One of the reasons why some users experience bugs is because the QA process did not thoroughly include all of the devices in its testing.
For example, some newer or older versions of smartphones have different hardware features or software updates that interfere with the app. It’s not that the company doesn’t care about those users, it’s just that we live in a world focused on efficiency. So, it’s extremely time-consuming to channel all of those efforts and check if the software is compatible with every smartphone currently in use.
Another reason is that outdated models are often not a target group, so in those cases, developers just cannot optimize their product for that hardware. Also, a new software update was possibly released a day or two after the launch and it interfered with the functionalities in the software.
QA vs. QC
Quality assurance is often mixed with quality control. You see QA is an active process that is happening throughout the development of the software. Quality control comes only after the product is already finished, and based on that feedback the development team applies fixes.
More complex software can have extensive quality control and it’s quite time-consuming. This is why we have frequent updates on Windows or apps we use. Instead of being something that’s done before the releases, QC is a process that gathers data for the next development cycle.