QA automation

Manually repeating these tests is costly and time consuming. Once created, automated tests can be run over and over again at no additional cost and they are much faster than manual tests. Automated software testing can reduce the time to run repetitive tests from days to hours. Test Automation software is the best way to increase the effectiveness, efficiency and coverage of your software testing.

Manual QA

Manual testing is the process of manually testing software for defects. It requires a tester to play the role of an end user whereby they use most of the application’s features to ensure correct behavior. To guarantee completeness of testing, the tester often follows a written test plan that leads them through a set of important test cases.

Overview

A key step in the process is testing the software for correct behavior prior to release to end users.

For small scale engineering efforts (including prototypes), exploratory testing may be sufficient. With this informal approach, the tester does not follow any rigorous testing procedure, but rather explores the user interface of the application using as many of its features as possible, using information gained in prior tests to intuitively derive additional tests. The success of exploratory manual testing relies heavily on the domain expertise of the tester, because a lack of knowledge will lead to incompleteness in testing. One of the key advantages of an informal approach is to gain an intuitive insight to how it feels to use the application.

Large scale engineering projects that rely on manual software testing follow a more rigorous methodology in order to maximize the number of defects that can be found. A systematic approach focuses on predetermined test cases and generally involves the following steps.[1]

Choose a high level test plan where a general methodology is chosen, and resources such as people, computers, and software licenses are identified and acquired.
Write detailed test cases, identifying clear and concise steps to be taken by the tester, with expected outcomes.
Assign the test cases to testers, who manually follow the steps and record the results.
Author a test report, detailing the findings of the testers. The report is used by managers to determine whether the software can be released, and if not, it is used by engineers to identify and correct the problems.

A rigorous test case based approach is often traditional for large software engineering projects that follow a Waterfall model.[2] However, at least one recent study did not show a dramatic difference in defect detection efficiency between exploratory testing and test case based testing.[3]

Testing can be through black-, white- or grey-box testing. In white-box testing the tester is concerned with the execution of the statements through the source code. In black-box testing the software is run to check for the defects and is less concerned with how the processing of the input is done. Black-box testers do not have access to the source code. Grey-box testing is concerned with running the software while having an understanding of the source code and algorithms.[citation needed]

Static and dynamic testing approach may also be used. Dynamic testing involves running the software. Static testing includes verifying requirements, syntax of code and any other activities that do not include actually running the code of the program.

Testing can be further divided into functional and non-functional testing. In functional testing the tester would check the calculations, any link on the page, or any other field which on given input, output may be expected. Non-functional testing includes testing performance, compatibility and fitness of the system under test, its security and usability among other things.

QA and Testing

Software testing is an investigation conducted to provide stakeholders with information about the quality of the software product or service under test. Software testing can also provide an objective, independent view of the software to allow the business to appreciate and understand the risks of software implementation. Test techniques include the process of executing a program or application with the intent of finding software bugs (errors or other defects), and verifying that the software product is fit for use.

Software testing involves the execution of a software component or system component to evaluate one or more properties of interest. In general, these properties indicate the extent to which the component or system under test.

As the number of possible tests for even simple software components is practically infinite, all software testing uses some strategy to select tests that are feasible for the available time and resources. As a result, software testing typically (but not exclusively) attempts to execute a program or application with the intent of finding software bugs (errors or other defects). The job of testing is an iterative process as when one bug is fixed, it can illuminate other, deeper bugs, or can even create new ones.

Software testing can provide objective, independent information about the quality of software and risk of its failure to users or sponsors.

Software testing can be conducted as soon as executable software (even if partially complete) exists. The overall approach to software development often determines when and how testing is conducted. For example, in a phased process, most testing occurs after system requirements have been defined and then implemented in testable programs. In contrast, under an agile approach, requirements, programming, and testing are often done concurrently.

QA consulting: Model QA process

The outline we propose is not universal. Actually, every single project requires a tailored approach that suits it best. We tried to present the example of an efficient QA process for you to know what to expect from your potential QA consultant.

SOFTWARE QA CONSULTING: WHEN WE CAN HELP

We serve companies that:

  • Have no structured QA process at all.
  • Expand their business.
  • Experience an increase in the workload.
  • Experience slowdown due to bottlenecks (structural problems, ineffective communication or task allocation, etc.).
  • Seek to streamline their QA methodologies.
  • Seek to reduce costs through QA outsourcing.
  • Plan to get an industry and/or process certification and more (see below).

Why you need QA consulting

  • Flexible COOPERATION MODELS
  • QA strategy development
    Our QA consultants:

    • Examine the situation.
    • Propose an action plan for you to review.
    • Implement the proposed measures you have accepted.
    • Transfer knowledge and best practices to your QA team.
    • Supervise the setup process and address possible issues (a temporary measure).
  • QA process and project audit
    Our QA consultants:

    • Examine the situation.
    • Recommend an action plan.
  • QA process audit and/or QA project audit
  • QA aid

Sometimes, your team understands the problem (many defects missed, stably high testing cost, faulty dev-QA collaboration, and more), but the attempted recovery measures don’t work. In this case, we:

  • Examine the problem in detail.
  • Work out possible solutions and analyze them.
  • Analyze risks for each proposed solution.
  • Apply the most suitable solution.

Pre-certification

Our specialists are ready to help you pass process and/or product certification. We offer pre-certification for:

  • Product standards and regulations: HIPAA, GAMP, PCI-DSS.
  • Process standards: ISO9000, ISO/IEC/IEEE 29119.

To help you achieve your certifcation goals, we:

  • Examine your product/project or processes.
  • Test them against the required standard or regulation.
  • Identify problems that may hamper certification.
  • Recommend an action plan.
  • Support your team in implementing the recommended plan.

QA CONSULTING process

ScienceSoft’s specialists follow a comprehensive approach to software quality assurance consulting. The key QA consulting stages are:

Project get-in

ScienceSoft’s consulting specialists explore the situation in full: they study the relevant documents, interview stakeholder subgroups and examine the existing QA procedures.

Analysis and planning

The consulting team identifies problems, possible solutions, and solution-related risks. Relying on the solution and risk analysis, the team develops an action plan and presents it to the customer.

Implementation

Upon the customer’s approval, a QA consulting team implements the proposed solutions (or a part of them), supervises the process, prevents possible issues and addresses actual ones (if any). ScienceSoft’s QA consultants ensure knowledge transfer to the customer’s QA team.

Support

ScienceSoft’s QA consultants supervise your team performance for some time, ready to step in and address possible problems.

QA consulting process
QA CONSULTING WITH SCIENCESOFT: results

Benefits of QA consulting in ScienceSoft
QA CONSULTING: WHY SCIENCESOFT?

  • Expierence
  • 16 years in software QA consulting
  • Senior level consultants
  • Senior-level ISTQB certified QA consultants
  • Methodologies
  • Expertise in setting up and customizing popular software development methodologies (Waterfall, Agile, DevOps, and more)
  • Knowledges

Expertise in QA backed by professional domain knowledge in the following fields:

  • Information technologies
  • Retail
  • Banking
  • Accounting
  • Healthcare
  • Manufacturing
  • Telecom
  • Public sector
  • Media and entertainment, and more

Performance QA

Performance metrics are essential to either eliminate or remove the variations in the product or process. Using these measures, you can track the progress of your QA team over time and make executive decisions about future projects. Performance metrics allow you and your QA team to continuously learn and improve your processes.

Performance measures relate to how individual projects are progressing. In this process, keep in mind to analyze not only if goals are being met, but also if all the resources are being utilized to their maximum capacity. Performance measures and analysis shouldn’t just involve the executive decision makers, but the entire team. This will help encourage and motivate the QA team to maximize productivity.

There are many other benefits of performance measurements as well including, but not limited to understanding the problems in the process, analyzing the customer expectations and making improvements to current processes.

Below are two examples of metrics that can be measured.

Number of defects found in any given build
This is a way to measure the stability of builds over time. It can also be used to compare various builds. The number of defects found should decrease from one build to the next over the course of the project. However, if a new feature is introduced, this may not be the case. In fact, additional features may actually increase the bug count. Over the course of the project, the number of defects found in each build should steadily decrease till the build becomes stable.

QA and Testing

meets the requirements that guided its design and development

responds correctly to all kinds of inputs

performs its functions within an acceptable time

is sufficiently usable

can be installed and run in its intended environments, and achieves the general result its stakeholders desire.

Quality QA consulting falls into several stages:

Get in.
QA consultants study the available project documentation. They proceed with interviewing the project stakeholders to gather their ideas about the achieved interim results and project problems. Then the consultants revise the project once again to match the stakeholders’ ideas and their perspective with the project situation and find the actual causes of the project troubles.
Uncovering the project problems.
It’s no surprise that the stakeholders’ ideas may differ from the opinions reigning in the rest of the project team. So, QA consultants study these views to get a closer-to-life idea about the causes for the project troubles. Then they prioritize the risks the identified project problems involve. Some problems may be annoying, but not critical for the project implementation, while others may be stably paving the project’s death road. These are to be fixed as soon as possible.
Working out possible solutions.
Key problems identified, QA consultants work on possible solutions. These usually include measures to address the reported problems, choosing the necessary metrics to evaluate the process of resolving the issue, introducing changes to the project management or planning. At the same time, consultants look at the risks that fixing the issue may bring.
Putting the measures forward.
QA consultants discuss the solutions and risks with the PM or CIO and the project team. The team accepts (fully or partially) the proposed measures, and QA consultants draft a roadmap and a detailed action plan that covers the 3 Wh’s (Who? What? When?) for implementing the roadmap.
Implementing the solutions.
QA consultants implement the accepted measures and transfer knowledge to the project team members. The consultants also keep an eye on the risks and product quality problems that may appear as a result of changes and fix the related issues (if any). Project afterlife. QA consultants pass the work and the developed practices for managing the risks of low quality to the project team and supervise their performance for some time, ready to step in at any tricky moment.

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