Quality Assurance & Testing in software products
Too often quality is seen as a last-minute testing exercise performed by over-stretched staff, powerless to make corrections.
Quality assurance is not an afterthought at borwell. Our teams build in system-wide quality as part of their daily work.
- everyone’s responsibility
- to consider end-to-end
- from multiple perspectives
- as efficiently as possible
- as a team
for ever! (or at least until a system is decommissioned)
The Customer Experience (CX) is central to borwell’s quality – We all recognise that a cumbersome User Interface (UI), for example, will slow you down. The team also know when a ‘quick fix’ might leave you vulnerable to security risks. We also acknowledge the value to your business when a small change makes a world of difference.
Involving Customers in the quality of their product or project, or of your product or service is key to its success. Customers will tell you all sorts of suggestions that seem tiny but actually make a world of difference to them and all the other users of the software too.
What is technical debt? You certainly feel it when you have it!
For a customer, technical debt manifests itself as a fragile system – one that breaks easily and becomes too costly or risky to change. Business ambitions flounder in the face of the technical reality.
In software systems, technical debt builds through ignoring good practices and good patterns, delaying security patches, leaving corrections for a mythical ‘later’. Actions like these build a pile of work that can grind a software system to a halt, and make adding new Features really slow or painful to implement.
Our experienced team members know the impact of technical debt. At borwell, we do not hide from this work. We plan for it. We keep on top of it. We build a little into each sprint rather than letting it pile up.
Every change at borwell flows along our delivery pipeline. End-to-end we run a battery of tests, checking expected behaviour against actual behaviour. Automated tests, human oversight, quality scans & reviews aim to catch and remedy problems as early as possible.
Imagine a production line and you are not far wrong. Modern software quality practices saw their birth in ‘lean’ manufacturing principles practiced in companies like Toyota – building in quality and standards from the outset.
The borwell team review and correct work as it is produced. We do not wait until the end to find we have the software-equivalent of an automotive ‘lemon’! We catch problems early.
Quality is not an afterthought at borwell. Quality is part of everyone’s working day.
Written by Sarah Wilson, experienced Java software engineer at borwell
For further tips, guidance and support on software project and product development please Contact Us
Top tips for top quality
- Build in quality in from the outset – don’t try and retrofit
- Ensure your team are following best practices – prevent them being forced to rush design/development and accruing ‘tech debt’
- Insist and encourage that all your tech team members are focussed on ‘relentless continuous improvement’ – focus on 100 1% improvements not one large improvement – evolution not revolution
- Keep horizon scanning on tools that can help with design, scanning & testing – try them out for a month and adopt project by project – fail fast and don’t be stubborn and stick to a particular tool or process because you were the one who adopted it/introduced it
- Educate Customers about the important of Quality and that robust and diligent testing is vital, and that they have a responsibility to test thoroughly before the product is in production (live)