To start this article, we’d like to list a few projects that failed due to the lack of Quality Assurance, and we’d like to start with the most expensive one.
Do you know how to read a number $852,000,000,000,000,000? We had to Google it too, but it’s the estimated price of building something like The Death Star. That’s roughly 13,000 times the world’s GDP.
Not sure how many of you are Star Wars fans, but you surely have to know about The Death Star even if you’re not. Empire’s ultimate weapon, capable of wiping out entire planets with one mighty blast of its super-laser. The Empire was apparently on the wrong side of the movie plot, so The Death Star was destroyed, but if they were on the right side, do you know what would they have done? They would’ve checked the quality of their expensive endeavor and notice they haven’t put in place defensive mechanisms. Ultimately they would win.
In the more non-fictional realm, the now classical project that failed due to the software mistake was NASA’s $125,000,000 robotic space probe called The Mars Climate Orbiter. The failure can be attributed to the Faster Better Cheaper (FBC) initiative. Budgets were tight, timelines were short, testing suffered, and wasn’t done correctly. Someone failed to use the right units in the code.
No matter how much attention is paid to software programming, there is no way to guarantee that the final product will be bug-free. As demonstrated, even small mistakes can cause much hustle and lead to significant financial losses. Is there a way to prevent this? Of course, having a professional QA Engineer in a team.
What is Quality Assurance (QA)?
Let’s start with a simple explanation of a bug. A bug, or a defect, is a flawed piece of code. This code can cause a system to fail to perform its required function. Quality Assurance aims to test the hell out of every feature to prevent such defects and inconsistencies. Another perhaps more important goal that overarches the whole software development process is ensuring the product’s highest quality by controlling its processes. So, we can define QA as a systematic approach to assessing the software product’s quality and making sure it meets the end user’s expectations.
The Quality Assurance process is tightly tied to the development process and needs to be performed from the outset.
How can a QA Engineer help your project?
A QA Engineer is a person who is responsible for the quality of the final product. QA Engineers work closely with both developers and product owners or business analysts to obtain the product’s technical specifications and get a clear picture of what is expected from the product.
They should be involved in the product development process right from the very beginning. Bug detection in the early stages of the development process significantly reduces their impact and overall development cost.
The role of QA Engineer involves:
– identifying weaknesses and inconsistencies in the product at all project stages;
– helping define project requirements;
– providing comprehensive information about the level of quality of a product;
– testing the product during all phases of the software development lifecycle (SDLC)
Quality Assurance is essential because it impacts the reputation of the company as a whole. No user will trust a product that’s buggy or inconsistent.
A capable QA Engineer can make a massive difference in all aspects important for the business.
The output is the product of the higher quality users can trust.
Saving on time and costs because it’s less time and resource-consuming to fix the bug or inconsistency in earlier stages of the development process.
Easier maintainability – building on shaky foundations means that developers have to spend extra time to fix bugs and implement new features. This can be quite expensive.
More polished user experience – QA Engineers will look at the product as an end-user would, and therefore be able to notice certain UX-related issues that may easily be overlooked.
Quality Assurance approach at BrightMarbles
Our approach to Quality Assurance at BrightMarbles is a bit different. Our main goal is to deliver premium quality to our clients – when it comes to the product, but also when it comes to service and collaboration. Our QA Engineers have a crucial role in this. They are here to make sure that only the highest quality product reaches our clients. Simultaneously, as most of them are certified, they perform the scrum master’s role, keeping all parties on track and informed, clearing obstacles, and establishing an environment where the team can be effective.