The Role of Quality Assurance in Software Development Methodologies

Table of Contents

We all know common software development methodologies such as waterfall, agile, extreme programming, and others, but what is the role of QA in them? Read this article to the end to find out the answer to this question.

What Is Quality Assurance?

QA means optimizing the development and testing processes, selecting approaches to minimize the number of errors.

And here is a question. Are Testing and QA the same? Are there any differences between them?

What Is The Difference Between Quality Assurance and Testing?

Although QA and testing constantly cooperate, they are not the same. QA teams define product requirements, set up deliverables, and automate processes. They are not actually looking for bugs, which is something that happens in testing.

Software Development Methodologies from QA Perspective

 

It is a standard strategy where the project is broken down into stages, and the teams move to the next phase only after the previous one has been finalized.

Role of Quality Assurance in Waterfall Process

Let’s see what position QA holds at different stages of the waterfall project:

Stage 1 – Requirement Gathering & Specification: Here the quality assurance team describes the ideal version of the product.

Stage 2 – Design: At the design stage, QA keeps the team in check by always prioritizing the code quality.

Stage 3 – Coding: During the coding stage, the QA team oversees the development process, detects architectural issues and fundamental problems with the development approach.

Stage 4 – Testing: At this stage, the QA team checks if testing and development processes were done on time or if the promise results were met and seeks ways for improvement.

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Stage 5 – Release & Support: The last stage is release and support. QA teams analyze feedback from users and seek a long-term way to remove development and testing issues.

  • Agile Methodology:

It focuses on maintaining a flexible process. Agile quality assurance prioritizes a user-driven approach and code quality over the strict organization.

Elements of Effective Quality Assurance within Agile

Let’s review the most important aspects of Agile QA:

Planning: It is crucial to define acceptance criteria right away to find a balance between quality and cost-efficiency.

Documentation & Communication: It is important to document the processes and task results.

Automation: The Agile approach also values automation, even if it takes a lot of time at the initial stages. Agile welcomes it as it allows achieving better quality in the long run.

Metrics: Metrics allow scrum masters, developers, designers, and testers to measure the performance of the application and track if current and previous tasks make the product better.

Continuous Improvement: The most important aspect is continuous improvement. In practice, it means that iterations are always brought to the end-users who provide feedback.

In fact, QA lies at the core of Agile.

  • Iterative Testing Methodology:

It is a mix of Agile and waterfall. On the one hand, the test methodology takes a flexible approach. On the other hand, the project organization still follows the waterfall logic.

Teams check features one by one and release frequent updates to shorten the feedback loop. The stages are the same in the waterfall. Once you are done with one stage, you don’t come back to it. However, the duration of each stage is a lot smaller than in waterfall.

  • Extreme Programming Methodology:

It is a combination of Agile and iterative development. Although extreme programming focuses on quality, efficiency is even more important.

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Developers start by building essential functionality and getting it to the working-mode. Extreme programming takes agile practices and iterative testing and takes them to the extreme.

The principles are:

  • All codes must have unit tests.
  • It encourages early and frequent testing.
  • Demands that all codes have associated tests.
  • It promotes test automation.
  • The teams set refactoring goals along with design and development objectives.

Conclusion

To sum up this article, we provide for you a list of best tips to follow for QA practices. However, if you need an expert, do not hesitate and contact AminSoft. We are always ready to help you.

The Best Tips to Follow for QA Practices

  • Clear Release Criteria: be sure to update them after every published iteration.
  • Fixing is a Priority: schedule days for code cleanup and tech debt removal.
  • Early Automation: The earlier you start, the more time and effort you will save.
  • A Dedicated Security Team: Trust us, you need experts here.
  • Assign Responsibilities for Performance Quality: have at least several QA experts oversee speed scalability and stability.
  • Short Feedback Loops: Analyze the work and communicate quickly, obtain feedback from users.
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