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How Has Software Quality Assurance Fared In Terms Of Its Fundamentals?

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The changing dynamics of online business, or more precisely the digital world, has necessitated the transformation of software development, testing and deployment processes. The requirements of online business have moved from merely dishing out different types of software and their variants to providing a rich customer experience. The latter has led to a renewed focus on software quality assurance. Furthermore, The advent of new technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things (IoT), blockchain, cloud computing, big data and predictive analysis among others requires a software to work seamlessly on various device platforms, frameworks, operating systems, and networks.
And unless a thorough QA software testing exercise is performed on the software, its seamless functioning across environments becomes a challenge.

Traditional QA giving way to Agile and DevOps

The growing complexity of software technology has rendered the traditional approach of software quality assurance woefully inadequate. Consequently, the traditional waterfall model of development has given way to Agile and DevOps. Agile, notwithstanding its myriad advantages, has dissolved the difference between development and testing. In fact, the two have been merged to work concurrently as part of the development sprint to achieve a quick release schedule and better quality of software. Now, with customer experience underpinning the development, testing and deployment processes of a software, Agile has further given way to DevOps.

According to DevOps, software quality assurance testing is a continuous process that runs throughout the lifecycle of a product. It requires both the development (read development and testing) and operations teams to work in cohesion and not in respective silos. The demands of achieving software quality to offset the challenges of competition have meant creating a total quality culture in the organization with every stakeholder across processes being made accountable.

Do the above mentioned developments in executing software quality assurance reflect any change in the QA fundamentals? The answer is a resounding yes! Let us find out the areas encompassing such changes.

#Test Automation: Since digital transformation has necessitated a rapid turnaround of product releases, the software testing services need to be quick in validating the quality of software. Moreover, as manual testing falls short in identifying glitches across the spectrum besides taking an inordinately long time, test automation has taken center stage. Earlier, manual testers used to report glitches to their test leads, who, after a thorough analysis, would have passed the same to the development team for correction. The present day test automation is fast, secure, and robust. The QA person of today is an integral part of the development sprint who tests the codes on various parameters and against a number of dependencies. Besides, since test automation can cover the entire range of a test environment, it is far more superior and faster to the manual testing process.

#Use of Artificial Intelligence: The powerful AI tools can facilitate software quality assurance testing by writing test automation codes, sorting out the relevant areas of testing by examining a large number of files, and predicting glitches. Thus, the use of AI can speed things up and prevent cost escalation. Moreover, the AI-based system can correctly predict and identify the source of glitches thereby helping developers to build a glitch free software. AI can validate the quality of a software at various stages of its development as well as integrate its various components quickly. It can ensure the functionality, security, usability and performance of an application in the quickest possible manner. AI can bring down the requirement of manual testers to a trickle. These QA testers can thus be freed of their traditional roles and deployed in high priority areas.

#DevSecOps: With security becoming a high priority area for software testing given the growing threat of cybercrime, security has been made an integral part of the DevOps ecosystem. If DevOps calls for the creation of a total quality culture among the stakeholders, DevSecOps goes a step further. It requires security to be a part of the development sprint. So, apart from testing the software for glitches, DevSecOps checks for the vulnerable areas in a software and plugs them.

Conclusion
The software quality assurance services are undergoing changes to address the complexities and demands of software development, testing and deployment in the Agile-DevOps ecosystem. The fundamentals are indeed changing as QA ceases to be a distinct department and instead, become integral part of DevOps.

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