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5 Ways to Renew Faith in QA

Renew Faith in QAThis guest blog post has been brought to you by QualiTest, the world’s second largest pure-play software testing and quality assurance company. It was authored by Douglas Fink, Content Specialist. Net-Translators and QualiTest recently announced a partnership to support software companies and medical device manufactures with testing, quality assurance and localization solutions.

Let’s face it: QA doesn’t get a lot of respect in many companies. They are often seen as complainers who don’t produce anything, but that is a biased stereotype, not an accurate depiction. Faith can be lost in QA because other people never believed in it or because ineffective communication has allowed a problem to fester. What follows are some potential pitfalls and how QA can avoid them.

  1. Eliminate False Negatives
    An automated testing solution (often not run by QA) may repeatedly fail due to script faults instead of actual detected bugs. Like the boy who cried wolf, this can cause distrust in the system after too many false alarms. Rapid resolution and transparency are key in maintaining trust in QA’s work. “A recent feature change needed to be integrated into the regression set – you won’t see that happen again.”
  2. Increase Positive Input
    What does QA contribute? QA can provide insights, reports and information to other departments. If QA is allowed in design meetings, their risk analysis and desire to know the structure (in case it was never clearly defined) can result in shifting the testing to earlier in the process, which benefits everyone. QA can also give answers and provide reports to Operations and Developers, as well as answer targeted questions. In this way, QA can be seen as a respected font of knowledge instead of just a source of criticism.
  3. Maintain Value in the Bug Reports
    Bug reports must be specific and outline repeatable methods so that developers can limit their work to reproducing and fixing the bug. Development should not be doing detective extra work that QA should have done. This also includes linking related bugs and removing duplicate bugs from the bug database. Also, QA needs to know the priority of the bugs, specifically what should be flagged as high priority and what should be flagged as low.
  4. Help the Schedule
    If manual regression testing occurs at the end of the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), there can be a lot of crunch-time pressure. Being last in the chain is the unfortunate production position where testing occurs. QA should consider automation to reduce the execution time or at least devise a risk-based testing strategy that will try to discover more bugs earlier in the testing process.
  5. Minimize Post-Release Bugs
    If bugs come back from the field after the software has been released, QA needs to take ownership of the kind of testing that was missed and ensure that the next go-round will anticipate that whole category of testing. For example, if the bug happens when something wacky is in a particular profile field, check for wackiness in all fields of the profile, etc. Any single post-release discovery can harm QA’s reputation; the ideal reaction should display professionalism and prove to be effective by adding quality to future releases.

Conclusion

In the end, it is all about being seen as part of the solution, not part of the problem. As such, this means high visibility for testing’s benefits and professionalism, and concerted efforts to minimize potential dilemmas.

QualiTest and Net-Translators recently presented a webinar entitled, “How to get localization and testing for medical devices done right.”

The webinar addressed the following and it is now available for playback at your convenience:

  • Best practices and pointers
  • Efficient Management and maintenance of Clinical and Patient Test Data
  • Localization infrastructure and translation management
  • Helping you to analyze your testing and localization solutions to detect your omissions and improve your overall strategy

About QualiTest (www.qualitestgroup.com)

QualiTest is the world’s second largest pure-play outsourced software testing and quality assurance specialist with offices in the US, UK, Israel and India. QualiTest focuses on large global enterprises in the technology, telecom, healthcare, finance, defense, media, utilities and retail industries and offers a wide range of testing solutions to meet customers’ business requirements. QualiTest deploys software that you and your customers trust by testing beyond the obvious with QualiTest Software Testing and Business Assurance Services.

QualiTest designs and delivers contextualized solutions that leverage deep industry-specific understanding with technology-specific competencies and unique testing-focused assets. QualiTest delivers results by combining customer-centric business models, critical thinking and the ability to gain a profound comprehension of partners’ goals and challenges.

About the author:

Douglas Fink

I always find myself somewhere between publishing and IT. I have been a developer, a QA specialist, a technical writer, a typesetter, and an author. I have traveled across many industries. I have created palindromes and over 1,000 crossword puzzles. Today, I am a content specialist at QualiTest Group who is very content. And the exciting journey of always learning continues ...

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