Ensuring Quality Through the Software Development Lifecycle

Kimberly Hulbert November 27, 2019
 Techopedia , a popular digital news portal, defines quality assurance as “a process that ensures that developed software meets and complies with defined or standardized quality specifications. Software Quality Assurance (SQA) is an ongoing process within the software development life cycle (SDLC) that routinely checks the developed software to ensure it meets desired quality measures.” For a successful digital transformation of any organization, it is of utmost importance that there is sufficient emphasis on quality assurance. Quality Assurance or QA is primarily focused on the prevention of defects. It ensures that the right techniques, approaches, and methods are being implemented. This also includes performance and source code quality testing, as well as functional testing.  
Changing with the Times
QA in software processes was taken from the manufacturing sector, which follows a highly linear waterfall-like model. This resulted in early software engineering following the same model. QA has served us well, promoting efficiency, productivity and organization. But, with rapid advances in technology and the rising need for agile development, things have been flipped on their head. It has forced organizations to adapt to a procedure that favors multiple smaller releases (known as “sprints”), instead of fewer longer ones. This has made testing cumbersome for QA engineers, as the teams are required to:
  • Be involved in the post designing phase, so that each test can be identified and performed to the nucleus of its functionality
  • Write codes even earlier than their inception
  • Make use of the framework that copies the dependencies, so that teams can work rapidly, without having to wait for the available upstream and downstream dependencies
This in turn leads to: 
  • Increased emphasis on testing solutions that are automated
  • The inception of Continuous Integration/Delivery
  • A larger influence of quality assurance organizations
  • Stress on locomotion of quality upstream
However, QA on its own, cannot handle the persistence, speed and thoroughness demanded by the Shift-Left world and agile development needs of the present day.  
The Solution – Quality Engineering
This change has led to the advent of Quality Engineering or QE. QE is a process through which quality is tested, assessed and improved throughout the lifecycle of the software. Quality Engineering goes beyond quality assurance, quality control and testing. It is strategic, proactive, intuitive, and has a scope much broader than QA. QE is not just limited to the processes, it also includes the manner in which these processes are born.  At Magic EdTech , we ensure QE through: 
  • Mobile and Web Platform Testing
QE provides scalable testing solutions, expertise, tools and resources for testing of any kind of digital platforms, ensuring compatibility across mobile and web platforms.
  • Catering to User Requirements
Some of the QE services include end user viewpoint for technological usability, accessibility, quality and interoperability between browsers, devices and OS’s.
  • Automated Test Solutions
The comprehensive testing solutions in QE help in providing automation test suites, which reduces time to market.
  • Analytics Validation
Our expertise has enabled  us to set industry benchmarks, such that software solutions can be tested via robust analytics to validate their usability and value-add.  
Implementing QE
Achieving QE can be a difficult process, but the results make it worth the effort. QE boils down to having the right mix of tools, culture, people and practices. At the basic level, software development is not possible without people. Having the right people, who are totally committed to the quality of their work, is key. Apart from this, it is also vital to have the correct tools for the job. This means investing in the right frameworks and testing tools, and understanding that one-size does not fit all. And lastly, quality needs to flow through the entire process. Big visions are tempting, but such visions can lead to a huge set of requirements. Therefore, it is recommended to keep things simple and agile. QE is much more than just a vowel change. It is helping organizations improve productivity and efficiency. QE has become a key differentiator for the success of digital initiatives. To learn more, reach out to us. 

Kimberly Hulbert

Kimberly Hulbert joined Magic EdTech this year and is responsible for content and technical engineering business development. With over 20 years in educational technology, some of the roles she's held were at Certica Solutions, dataMetrics Software, Pokémon and Kaplan.