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Keep Quality Assurance and Development Separate

Published on16 Aug 2018
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At Syberry, we pride ourselves on high quality standards, and one of the ways we maintain those standards is by keeping development and quality assurance separate on every project, from beginning to end.

Couldn’t the developers test the software themselves? Doesn’t a separate QA team just add to the cost and extend the timeline? Sure, but we’re confident that separate QA is worth the extra resources, and the upfront investment will likely save both time and money in the long run.

Why Developers Shouldn’t Perform Their Own Quality Assurance Testing

Have you ever written a report or paper, proofread it carefully several times, and submitted it, only to find a typo or grammatical error the moment it’s too late? There’s a reason writing teachers always recommend having someone else proofread your work. When we write something ourselves, painstakingly creating it from thin air and shaping it to match our vision, we’re simply too close to see it objectively. We can’t see that transition that doesn’t quite work or the missing verb in the third sentence or the typos sprinkled throughout, because we know the work so intimately that we see what we know we ought to see — not necessarily what’s there. Only a second reader, one who hasn’t lived and breathed the work like we have, can help us step back and see its flaws.

And the same is true with software development. The developers writing the code may be world class, but they’re too close to the project to be able to step back and study it objectively. “They can’t see the forest for the trees,” so to speak.

However, maintaining a separate team to conduct QA testing ensures a more objective assessment of the code’s functionality, weaknesses, and alignment with the client’s vision.

While this may require extra resources upfront, it also ensures that more bugs and deficiencies will be caught and fixed before the software is released. While a good vendor is always there to help maintain a project post-release, it’s always better to make sure the work is clean before it goes live, minimizing user experience issues that could lead to frustrated customers or stalled internal processes and, ultimately, more time and money lost.

So How Does It Work?

For some vendors, quality assurance only happens periodically, as developers wrap up each sprint on the project timeline. However, this system tends to cause more stress than it alleviates, because by the time the QA team finds any issues, there’s no time to solve them without pushing back the deadline, and depending on where the errors are, fixing them may require rewriting large portions of the code.

At Syberry, we take a more agile approach, with the development and quality assurance working in tandem. Rather than waiting for the developers to hand off large chunks of code, the QA team continuously checks the developers’ work. That way, any glitches can be fixed quickly, before they impact other pieces of the code and cause delays that set the project back.

Are You Saying My New Software Will Be Perfect?

We’ve written before about why custom software doesn’t come with a warranty, and the same principles apply here. To be truly perfect, any software must be tested by real users in the real world, and the user feedback that comes from this process will often highlight room for improvement.

That said, a good vendor doesn’t just cut and run once the software is live. Your vendor should be a partner that will work with customers to monitor and maintain software as its used, preventing or fixing any glitches that appear and modifying the code as needed to help software grow and change with the business.

Quality Assurance: A Worthwhile Investment

Having heard all this, some customers still wonder whether they need quality assurance at all. After all, if the developers are qualified, shouldn’t that be enough? But consider the same question in another context: If you were buying a new house, even if you knew the builder was highly reputable and qualified, wouldn’t you still hire an inspector to check everything before you closed? That way, you could fix any problems before you moved in to save yourself time, stress, and money in the long run.

The same is true with software. No matter how skilled the developer, it’s in the client’s best interest to bring in a separate quality assurance team to identify and fix any issues before the application goes live, ensuring a smooth launch and a low-stress user experience.

Yes, maintaining development and quality assurance as separate parts of a custom software project may add to the upfront investment, but with the increased quality it ensures and the headaches it saves later on, we hope you’ll agree that it’s a necessary use of resources.

If you’re interested in learning more about how Syberry partners with customers to develop and maintain high quality, custom software to help them reach their unique business goals, e-mail us at contact@syberry.com.

  • Timour Procopovich
    Timour Procopovich
    linkedExecutive Vice President
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