For business, mobile and web applications, in a sense, play the role of showcases. Eye-catching and unique design draws the attention of new customers and allows you to form the first impression of your company. The next stage of customer’s immersion in your software plays a significant role. If a freshly installed app is buggy and doesn’t solve the problems it should solve according to your assurances, the user will abandon it in a blink of an eye. The chances that a potential customer will decide to give an app with a horrible user experience a second chance are usually pretty low. That’s why you have to use that little time you have to make the first impression about your app in the best possible way.
One of the possible solutions to ensure a good impression among the users is to pay due attention to software quality. You may have the brightest business idea, but it can crash to smithereens due to software errors not being caught in time. In addition to ensuring the safety of your business ambitions, a properly designed software development process with a focus on quality assurance can save you a lot of money. In this article, we’ll share some tips that will help you to ensure that your investments will pay off and your software solution won’t disappoint your customers.
Seven Steps to Better Software Quality
Everyone knows it’s never too late to admit your mistakes. Any experienced custom software development company can add that it’s never too early to start looking for possible errors made during the development. Therefore, the first and most important rule is to test software as early and often as possible. The best-case scenario is to apply testing at the initial stages of development, even before the first line of code is written. The thing is that undetected errors can cause an avalanche of bugs in the latest steps, which can increase the cost of fixing them manifolds.
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Some software development methodologies such as Scrum imply an iterative approach and regular delivery of intermediate versions of the product. In this case, as you can imagine, regular testing is irreplaceable. So even if you don’t plan to create something complex and decide to choose a good old Waterfall model of software development, you must not leave testing until the last hours of the project life cycle. The thing is that the strategy of ensuring software quality must become a part of development culture which brings us to the next point.
Testing the quality of code must not be yet another routine task among the others. To ensure the quality of software, it’s vital to create a quality culture. It’s essential to focus on the team that invests its skills and time into creating the software solution rather than the source code. The goal is to identify those team members who play a crucial role in day-to-day decision making, foster empathy and cooperation between them, and ensure that each person shares the same view on delivering quality software.
The next step of ensuring the quality of the software is to enable barrier-free communication between team members. It’s crucial to create an atmosphere where members of the software development team can share their views on how the code they write and the tests they run affect the final results and how internal processes can be improved. Indicators on which the company relies when assessing software quality must be clear and available to everybody involved. It will help ensure that everybody’s on the same page when it comes to discussing the current and future issues the development team has to deal with. Additionally, such an approach will help a specific developer assess how his or her code influences the overall quality of software.
It’s vital to remember that the purpose of each line of code is to provide a solution to a specific user’s problem. From the first to the last stage of product development, it’s all about the user. You can use the cutting-edge software development tools and write code worthy of the French Chamber of Weights and Measures, but the end-users will abandon your app if it doesn’t invest in making their lives better. Sometimes, developers need to step back from the code creator’s role and become average users who have no idea what’s under the application hood. For example, suppose the app is perfect from the engineering point of view but causes frustration when it comes to using a specific functionality. In that case, there are chances that you’ll receive not-so-positive feedback from users after the launch.
Why use one programmer where you can use two? This seemingly simple question has led to a wide variety of practices that leverage teamwork, such as code review and pair programming. However, even decades of expertise in code writing can’t save you from an unpredictable flow of events leading to errors that your less experienced colleague will solve in a bit. Therefore, the common practice of asking a fellow developer to take a look at the code you’ve written is a simple yet effective way to increase software quality.
Read Also Two Heads Are Better than One. The Importance of Code Review
Two pairs of eyes are better than one, and having many aces up your sleeve is better than relying on luck. There’s no such thing as too much testing or too many testing methods in your toolkit in software development. To enable a better quality of software, you shouldn’t spare the code written by the development team and try out as many tests as possible. Break down the whole app into a set of tiny functional pieces and decide which set of tests to run to ensure that the particular part of the software product won’t break after the launch.
Unfortunately, nothing is perfect in the world we’re living in. Software is not an exception to this rule. It doesn’t matter how good your developers are in writing code and how well-trained your QA team is in finding the bugs. 100% bug-free software is more a dream than a reality. In real life, we usually talk about software which quality is acceptable to meet user requirements. But, once again, it’s never too late to admit that mistakes were made and fix them. When it comes to software quality, if you want to find errors in code and fix them on time, you should not underestimate the feedback. There’s nothing unusual to release an application with some errors, but ignoring the feedback from the first users is a sure way to let them turn away from you. That’s why it’s essential to implement a feedback feature, collect, and scrupulously analyze all received information on crashes and errors.
Ensuring the quality of a software product is a complex issue that requires such a wide range of means as technical tools and interpersonal skills, for example. There are dozens of code writing techniques helping to guarantee that the app will run smoothly, but code review is a practice that requires a certain level of trust and the ability to speak freely between developers. For this and many other reasons, it’s essential to understand that the road to effortless software quality assurance lies further than running a certain number of tests following the development plan. What’s important is to develop a specific culture of delivering a high-quality product that affects every stakeholder involved in the process.
If you have any questions regarding the means of ensuring the quality of software, feel free to contact us.