Good quality assurance starts as early as possible - and extends throughout the entire software lifecycle. But this is often easier said than done. Hybrid approaches in particular, increasingly also in conjunction with cloud-based architecture, can hold their own challenges.
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Eliminating defects during production operation is costly. Therefore, quality assurance should be started at the beginning of requirements gathering and the testers should be involved.
Poor quality specifications are often a reason for the failure of a project or product. Intensive consultation between the main participants - business/product owner, specialist department, user, developer and tester - plays a very important role here.
By jointly developing and clarifying the requirements from the very beginning, a shared vision of what will be delivered can be communicated. Gaps in understanding can also be closed. Start smart, start early!
Through certain mechanisms, high quality can be achieved early on:
Already during development, certain functional tests (unit tests) can be continuously checked after completion of the code. However, this can never be a fully comprehensive test, but only covers certain test cases. Subsequent functional or customer-specific tests can be used to check business-relevant scenarios.
Test automation offers an ideal tool here for regression testing.
After successful development, the acceptance test is performed by the department or customer. This can take place from different perspectives. Not only should technical aspects be included, but also operational and security-relevant topics should be considered.
High software quality can only be achieved through continuous testing (regression testing) after each change and deployment. Regular reporting and monitoring are crucial for the operation of an application.
By monitoring the various components, system failures or limit violations can be monitored and quick action can be taken. Collecting and evaluating performance data also helps to continuously optimize the system. Transparency can be created through reporting in order to make the right decisions.
Recently, there seems to be a lot going on in the field of quality assurance - just think of terms like "shift-left". In the end, however, many of these topics are not quite so new. The picture opposite illustrates this fact. It has been known since the 1970s that the later defects are found in the development cycle, the higher their cost.
For this reason, there have been and still are efforts to increase the quality of requirements and to make any deviations visible directly in the requirements review. This allows errors to be identified at an early stage and is therefore "cheaper" to rectify.
Other industries show how quality assurance (both constructive and analytical) can be integrated from the very beginning. The following comparison with the automotive sector is an example:
In the automotive sector, quality assurance is carried out from the very beginning of production through material testing, simulation tests, stress tests, all the way to final assembly. Only after numerous tests have been passed does the new vehicle roll off the production line. This high quality standard should also be applied to all software products. After all, customer confidence should be the top priority there, too. In the automotive industry, too, electronic function tests using machine data analyses are becoming increasingly important, for example due to the introduction of control units.
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