When you start working on a software project, it is important to include professional Quality Assurance (QA) analysts in your team. Other options might seem cheaper at first, yet they can turn out to be much more expensive. So, don’t play the QA bingo by finding random solutions. Instead, do it properly and allocate budget to the testing right from the start.
We could expect a QA approach to differ on whether you are a big corporation or a small startup. However, more times than not, all companies' decision-makers believe that there's no budget to hire a fully professional QA team. As a result, they start seeking other solutions, not realizing why cutting corners is not a good idea in the long run.
Should Your Mother-in-Law Test Your Product?
We all know how our mother-in-law can always find a flaw in how we are handling things, discover the tiniest speck of dust under the table and have suggestions on how to cook healthier meals. Even more, she usually can also find an explanation why we should be listening to her tips. These are indeed excellent QA Analyst qualities. Yet, she is not the best choice to test out the newest app or webpage you have been working on.
Unlike her, there are other options you’ll probably consider first:
- Do the testing yourself.
- Pressure developers to test the code and product after they develop it.
- Ask your friends who have a bit of extra time.
- Simply push the product to production and wait for the users' feedback. So in a way, they test it for you.
However, everyone in the software development industry will strongly advise you against any of the ideas stated above. Saving up the budget on testing can, and most probably will, result in even higher total costs and, possibly, loss of reputation.
Here are a few reasons why:
- Finding bugs, issues or User Experience (UX) improvements in the early stage can vastly decrease the development costs.
- A professional QA will go through the documentation systematically. This means they will do static testing, cover the regression test cases as well as edge cases, suggest improvements and more. At the same time, other “testers” will usually focus only on the most apparent inaccuracies.
- QAs are trained to have a keen eye for details. They have UX experience and can think and test from different users' perspectives.
- There is a golden rule that developers should not test their own code.
- Founders, project managers and other management staff have a lot of other highly important tasks on their minds, for which they are more competent to solve. Even if they can be somewhat beneficial as testers since they are familiar with the product, they are not trained in making it flawless.
Why Are Engineers Not the Best Choice To Test Their Own Code?
Engineers indeed need to test their software to some extent. However, it is not true they should be the only ones doing it. Their approach will only check the pure code and, consequently, lack the human factor. We can sum up the testing differences between the teams in three points.
- Engineers should only do the general test of their software to clear out the most obvious bugs, which would otherwise prevent QAs from further testing. Additionally, experts will also always strongly recommend engineers to do unit tests.
- Engineers testing goals should only be to prove that the product works.
- For the testing, engineers will follow the same pattern they already know from the development phase.
- The detailed testing and elimination of other, more hidden defects should be in the domain of the QA team.
- QA analysts testing goal should be finding things that do not work or are not appropriately finished.
- QA analysts will look at it with a fresh pair of eyes without already having any code or path in mind. Thus, they will try to break everything on and off (edge cases) the path.
Why You Shouldn’t Skip Out on Testing?
Our previous blog has already presented a detailed breakdown of why proper QA analysis can benefit your business. You can check it out here. Still, to emphasize how necessary testing is, let’s go through a few more reasons.
ENSURING DOCUMENTATION ALIGNMENT: With testing, you can confirm that the product meets the requirements defined in the Service Plan. Additionally, you confirm that the products’ Design Document matches the planned designs and ensures the UX is appropriate for your target audience. By doing all of this, you also mitigate risks. For example, you test the payment options properly to ensure no money will be lost when the product goes live.
REDUCING COSTS: Bugs are expensive or can even kill your product. According to IBM or even our own experience, fixing a production bug can cost 100x more than fixing it in the design phase (by doing static testing) and can be over 15x more expensive than fixing it during the implementation process.
NEW FEATURES IMPLEMENTATION: Testing comes in handy even in later stages when engineers need to change the old code or add new features. A tested product and reassurance that a new code will be tested by a QA analyst, who already has a good understanding and knowledge about the product, gives engineers more confidence to make new implementations.
Based on the reasons above, we can sum up a few advantages of having a professional QA analyst testing your product:
- Your testing processes and documentation will be organized.
- They will test out the product's understanding, processes, and user perspective.
- Earlier checks of your products will result in immediate changes and substantial cost cuts.
- Your developers will remain happier and more confident, not having to deal with QA by themselves.
- QA team will become your go-to group for bugs and improvements.
- Teamwork will enable a better final product as the QA analyst will help and stay strongly connected to the whole production team.
This blog post is the third and last article in a series, ‘It’s Not Over Until It’s QA-ed,’ explaining why cutting corners when deciding on your go-to QA team isn't a good idea.
To get comprehensive insights into the process of QA in the software development industry and how it can benefit your business, make sure to check out the first two articles: