Software Quality Assurance Key Trends & Testing Best Practices For 2023

Ritesh Shah
12 min read
Glasses in front of software quality testing data on computer screen

Software quality assurance (SQA) is the process of monitoring and improving the software development process to ensure the final product meets or exceeds user expectations in terms of functionality, reliability, performance, security, and usability. SQA involves a series of activities, such as testing, code reviews, and continuous integration, to identify and address defects and ensure that the software product is of high quality.

With the rise of digital transformation and the growing demand for seamless user experiences, software quality assurance has become more important than ever. Businesses need to stay up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices in software testing to ensure that their products meet user expectations and remain competitive.

In this blog post, we explore the key trends shaping software quality assurance for 2023 and the best practices that QA teams should follow in software testing. By embracing these trends and best practices, businesses can stay ahead of the curve and deliver high-quality software products that meet user needs.

Agile Testing 🤸‍♀️

Agile testing is a software testing approach that follows the principles of the Agile methodology, which emphasises collaboration, flexibility, and iterative development. In agile testing, testing is integrated throughout the development process, with testing activities occurring in parallel with coding activities. This allows for faster feedback and the ability to respond quickly to changes in requirements or issues identified during testing.

The use of agile testing is expected to increase as more businesses adopt Agile methodologies for software development. This trend is driven by the need for faster time-to-market and the ability to quickly adapt to changing business and customer needs. Agile testing also enables teams to work more collaboratively, with testers and developers working closely together to identify and resolve issues in real-time.

To implement agile testing successfully, teams must ensure that testing is integrated into the development process from the outset and that testers are involved in all stages of development. Teams must also use appropriate tools and techniques to support agile testing, such as continuous integration, automated testing, and test-driven development (TDD).

Test Automation 🤖

Test automation is a software testing technique that uses automated tools and scripts to perform software testing tasks instead of relying on manual testing. With the increasing complexity of software applications and the need for faster time-to-market, test automation is becoming increasingly vital.

Businesses are seeking to reduce the time and cost of software testing while also improving the accuracy and consistency of test results. Test automation also enables testing to be performed more frequently, which can help identify defects earlier in the development cycle, reducing the overall cost of fixing defects.

To implement test automation successfully, teams must ensure that they select the appropriate tools and frameworks for their testing needs and that they have the necessary skills and expertise to create and maintain automated tests. Test automation also requires careful planning and execution, with a focus on identifying the right test cases to automate and ensuring that tests are repeatable and reliable.

DevOps & Continuous Testing ⚙️

DevOps and Continuous Testing have become essential tools for modern software development. By emphasising collaboration and communication between different teams, from the early stages of development to deployment in production, these practices are helping businesses rapidly improve the speed, quality, and reliability of their delivery process.

With DevOps and continuous testing integrated throughout the pipeline, from writing code through to final release, any issues can be quickly identified before they impact customers while ensuring faster feedback loops that foster better teamwork among developers and ops staff alike. In short, more reliable releases with fewer defects!

DevOps and Continuous Testing don’t just mean improved quality of software but also reduced costs and faster time-to-market. To make the most of this duo’s capabilities, teams must cultivate a culture that encourages collaboration and continuous improvement across development pipelines with automated testing processes supported by tools like test automation and test-driven development.

Shift Left Testing ⬅️

Shift left testing is a smarter way to develop software. It helps teams identify and fix issues in the early stages of software development before they become costly problems down the line. More organisations are set to take advantage of shift left testing’s ability to increase efficiency and improve product quality.

Rather than wait for defects or issues to manifest further down the line, this approach gives developers a head start on perfecting applications – ultimately providing customers with better user experiences.

Laptop with software quality testing data on screen

Shift left testing is a crucial way for teams to save time and money on software development while also delivering higher-quality products. Integrating testing into the initial process and making use of automated techniques like unit tests ensure that you’ll be spending less time fixing bugs later. Plus, your product can reach customers quicker.

Artificial Intelligence (AI) & Machine Learning (ML) Testing 🧠

The inclusion of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) is another key trend in software quality assurance in recent years. AI and ML are technologies that enable computers to learn and make decisions based on data without being explicitly programmed. In software quality assurance, AI and ML can be used to automate testing activities, identify patterns and anomalies in test results, and improve the accuracy and efficiency of testing processes.

To implement AI and ML successfully in software quality assurance, teams must have access to high-quality data and appropriate tools and frameworks for AI and ML. Teams must also have the necessary skills and expertise to create and maintain AI and ML models and to interpret and act on the results of AI and ML analyses.

By adopting AI and ML in software quality assurance, you can significantly improve the efficiency and effectiveness of your testing processes while also reducing the risk of defects and issues in production. AI and ML also enable teams to identify and act on trends and patterns in test results, helping improve the overall quality of the software product.

Overall Best Practices In QA Software Testing 🏆

Now that we’ve had a look at five key trends in SQA, let’s check out some of the best practices in QA software testing. Following these provides your business with numerous benefits, including higher-quality software products, reduced costs, improved collaboration between teams, and faster delivery times.

Below are some guidelines you and your QA teams can follow for all types of software testing.

  • Define Requirements: Your QA teams should define clear and detailed testing requirements, including test objectives, scope, test environment, data, scenarios, desired response times, throughput, and any other relevant goals.
  • Create Test Cases: Create comprehensive test cases that cover all acceptance criteria, system and integration requirements, functionality, and use cases and ensure that each test case is designed to achieve a specific testing objective.
  • Prioritise Test Cases: Prioritise test cases based on their business impact, complexity, and criticality and ensure that the most critical test cases are executed first.
  • Use Realistic Test Data: Use realistic test data to accurately represent the system’s performance under normal and peak usage conditions. They should simulate real-world usage scenarios, including peak usage scenarios and edge cases.
  • Use Automation Tools: Use automation tools to automate repetitive and time-consuming tests, which can significantly reduce testing time and improve efficiency. This also helps collect quantitative and qualitative data on the user experience.
  • Collaborate With Development Teams: Collaborate closely with development teams throughout the testing process to ensure that defects are identified and addressed promptly.
  • Document Test Results: Document test results accurately and comprehensively, including any defects, issues, or challenges encountered during testing, opportunities for improvement, security issues or vulnerabilities identified, and the steps taken to address them.
  • Analyse Test Results: Ensure you and your SQA teams analyse test results accurately and comprehensively to identify performance issues, bottlenecks, and other areas of improvement.
Laptop screen lighting its keyboard

By embracing best practices in QA software testing, businesses can enhance their reputation, improve customer satisfaction, and gain a competitive edge. As such, we’ve listed out some more best practices in seven types of QA software testing. Read on to discover them all!

Functional Testing 🦾

Functional testing is a critical aspect of software testing that ensures the software product meets user requirements and performs as intended. Your QA teams should perform exploratory testing to identify defects that may not be captured by pre-defined test cases and to uncover potential usability issues.

You should also conduct regression testing to ensure that new functionality or changes to existing functionality do not adversely affect other areas of the software product. Additionally, by including post-release testing, you ensure software products continue to function correctly in production and identify any defects that may have been missed during testing.

Integration Testing 🔗

Integration testing is an essential part of the software testing process, where different components or modules of a system are tested together to ensure that they work seamlessly. Your QA teams should prioritise integration points based on their complexity, criticality, and impact on overall system performance.

Ensure you use mock objects to simulate the behaviour of external systems, components or modules that are not yet available or cannot be easily integrated into the testing environment. Conducting API testing helps ensure that the application programming interfaces (APIs) between different components or modules work correctly.

Furthermore, performing end-to-end testing helps ensure that all integrated components or modules work seamlessly and the system meets the user requirements.

System Testing 💻

System testing is a critical aspect of software testing, where the entire system is tested to ensure that it meets user requirements and performs as intended. Your QA teams should use realistic test data to ensure that the system behaves as expected under normal operating conditions, including peak usage scenarios.

Perform performance testing to ensure that the system meets performance requirements, including response time, scalability, and resource usage. Plus, don’t leave out security testing to ensure that the system is secure and resilient against external threats.

Acceptance Testing 🎖️

Acceptance testing is a critical stage of software testing where the system is tested to ensure that it meets user requirements and performs as expected. Your QA teams should involve stakeholders, including end-users, customers, and product owners, in the acceptance testing process to ensure that the system meets their requirements and expectations.

Perform exploratory testing to identify any defects or issues that may not be covered by the test cases. You should also conduct usability testing to ensure that the system is user-friendly, intuitive, and easy to use. And automating acceptance testing where possible will help reduce testing time and improve overall efficiency.

Performance Testing 🎭

Performance testing is a critical stage of software testing that involves evaluating the system’s performance under various load and stress conditions. Your QA teams should emulate different network conditions to evaluate the system’s performance under varying network conditions.

Monitor screen with software quality testing data and code on screen

You should also monitor system resources such as CPU, memory, disk space, and network bandwidth to identify any performance issues or bottlenecks. Additionally, conducting load testing lets you evaluate the system’s performance under different load conditions and identify any performance issues.

Security Testing 🛡️

Security testing is a critical stage of software testing that involves evaluating the system’s ability to resist and recover from security threats and vulnerabilities. Below are some best practices for security testing.

  • Identify Security Risks: Your QA teams should identify and assess potential security risks and vulnerabilities to the system, including data breaches, hacking, and malware attacks.
  • Conduct Vulnerability Testing: Conduct vulnerability testing to identify any security weaknesses in the system and address them before deployment.
  • Test Authentication & Authorisation: Test authentication and authorisation features to ensure that only authorised users have access to the system’s sensitive data and functionality.
  • Conduct Penetration Testing: Conduct penetration testing to simulate real-world attack scenarios and identify any security vulnerabilities and weaknesses.
  • Test For Data Protection: Test the system’s data protection features, including encryption, backup, and recovery, to ensure that data is protected and recoverable in case of a security breach.

Usability Testing 👥

Usability testing is an essential part of software testing that assesses the system’s ease of use, user experience, and user interface. Your QA teams should define user personas that represent the system’s target audience and their needs, preferences, and behaviours.

Conduct usability testing early in the development cycle to identify usability issues and address them before deployment. Ensure you test usability across different devices, platforms, and browsers to ensure consistent user experience and interface. Also, gather user feedback through surveys, interviews, and usability testing sessions to understand the users’ perceptions, expectations, and pain points.

To summarise, software quality assurance plays a crucial role in ensuring that software products meet user expectations in terms of functionality, performance, security, and usability. There are several key trends that are shaping the software testing landscape, including agile testing, test automation, DevOps & continuous testing, shift left testing, and AI & ML. These trends are driving significant changes in how QA teams approach software testing, and businesses need to adapt to stay competitive.

To ensure that software products meet the desired quality standards, QA teams must follow best practices in software testing, including functional testing, integration testing, system testing, acceptance testing, performance testing, security testing, and usability testing. These best practices help to identify and address issues early in the software development life cycle, saving time and resources and ensuring that software products meet user expectations.

In conclusion, businesses that prioritise software quality assurance and follow best practices in software testing are well-positioned to deliver high-quality software products that meet user needs and drive business success. By staying up-to-date with the latest trends and embracing best practices, businesses can remain competitive and stay ahead of the curve in the ever-evolving software landscape.

We’ve been developing custom software for years and know what it takes to reach and maintain the utmost quality. If you need help in QA testing or even designing and developing software solutions from scratch, feel free to reach out to us for a friendly discovery chat. Looking forward to hearing from you!

Published On

April 10, 2023