To date, quality assurance (QA) has been the approach of choice in the software testing world. But QA is now an increasingly complex field that encompasses a wide variety of skills and technology. From test automation and DevOps to pipeline integration and the need to embed quality from the outset of every development project, QA has evolved well beyond its initial scope. To keep pace with this growth, we’ll see a strong shift from QA to quality engineering, as the latter better reflects the growing responsibilities that now fall under the quality umbrella.
World Quality Report 2018-19 that surveyed 1700 CIOs and other senior technology professionals (10 sectors and 32 countries) unravels how ‘user satisfaction’ is coming on the top of the stack of most Quality Assurance (QA) and testing strategies. The advent of customer-centered innovation, digital transformations, agile approaches, DevOps, Internet of Things (IoT), Cloud, etc. is fueling this change. But above everything else, what stands out is a list of recommendations that make you reconsider the very role of QA.
The report urges professionals and managers to:
– Amplify the level of smart test automation
– Transform QA and Test function to support agile development and DevOps teams
– Invest in smart QA and Test platforms, and
– Define a test platform strategy and QA strategy on an enterprise-level
How to evolve from QA to QE?
The shift from quality assurance to quality engineering starts along with the cultural aspect of the team as well as the organization.
This is where a continuous integration model between developers and testers would come into play. Testing becomes consistent, embedded into code design and gets easy to integrate into the entire chain. Development becomes iterative, collaborative and adaptive. It also entails localization of problems and fixing of individual parts so that all red flags are addressed before the whole software adds up. Organizations will have to usher in a new way of looking at and designing the software development lifecycle. This has to be fortified with sustainable automation frameworks and methodologies, as well as Continuous Integration endeavors. Resources and bandwidth would have to be furnished so that a test infrastructure can flourish and integrate without any scalability or latency hiccups. Test environments and production environments would also need to be combined in a way that quality becomes a precursor rather than an afterthought. Automation of tests might be called for. QA folks might be asked to think and code like a user.