20 Software Quality Assurance Best Practices for 2024 | DeviQA
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20 Software Quality Assurance Best Practices for 2024

20 Software Quality Assurance Best Practices for 2024
February 1, 2024


In the dynamic landscape of modern technology, the importance of software quality assurance (SQA) cannot be stressed enough. As software integrates itself deeper into our everyday activities and systems, ensuring its quality, functionality, and security becomes paramount.

From my extensive experience in the realm of software QA, I've come to understand that it is not just a mere stage before software deployment. Instead,

it's a comprehensive and strategic approach that ensures software meets the highest standards of excellence and reliability.

Through rigorous software testing best practices, software QA professionals identify potential issues, vulnerabilities, and areas for improvement, ensuring alignment with both user needs and business goals.

Releasing a software product without the thorough vetting of software quality assurance can lead to a plethora of challenges.

These can range from minor glitches that impede user experience to major security risks that can jeopardize entire systems. In today's competitive market, where numerous software solutions vie for user attention, the quality delivered through solid software QA practices can significantly differentiate a product.

With the field of software quality assurance constantly evolving, it's crucial for professionals to stay updated with the latest software testing best practices. Over the years, I've realized that while tools and methodologies might change, certain foundational best practices in software QA remain ever-relevant. These practices, when applied judiciously, ensure consistent and high-quality software deliverables.

As we progress in this article, we'll delve deeper into these software testing best practices, illustrating their importance in the broader context of software QA. Drawing from real-world experiences and in-depth insights, this guide aims to equip both budding and seasoned professionals with strategies that have been refined over years in the software quality assurance domain. By integrating these best practices, software teams can ensure their products stand out in quality, functionality, and security.

But before delving further, I will indeed discuss the role of QA in the SDLC and share a list of tools.

Quality Assurance in Software Development

Venturing further into the intricacies of software quality assurance, it's crucial to understand its pivotal role within the software development lifecycle. QA in software development isn't an isolated phase but an integrated approach that influences each stage of development, from ideation to deployment.


Pre-development Phase: Before a single line of code is written, software QA already begins its influence. It starts with requirement gathering, ensuring that the needs are clear, concise, and testable. This proactive involvement of QA at the initial stages minimizes ambiguities and sets clear expectations for the development team.


Development Phase: As the development progresses, software QA integrates continuous testing practices. This includes unit testing where individual components are tested in isolation, ensuring that each unit functions as expected. By identifying and rectifying issues at this granular level, QA ensures that defects don't multiply as the components integrate.


Integration Phase: As different software modules come together, integration testing becomes crucial. Here, QA ensures that integrated components work harmoniously without conflicts, ensuring seamless functionality.


System Testing: Once the software product is complete, it undergoes system testing. In this phase, QA professionals test the software in an environment that mirrors the real-world setting, ensuring that the software functions correctly as a complete system.


User Acceptance Testing (UAT): This is one of the final and critical steps in quality assurance in software development. Real users test the software, ensuring it aligns with their expectations and needs. Feedback from UAT can be invaluable, pointing out areas that might have been overlooked in earlier testing phases.


Post-deployment: Even after the software is deployed, QA's role doesn't end. Monitoring software performance in the real world, gathering user feedback, and making necessary adjustments to improve quality are ongoing tasks. This ensures that the software remains relevant, user-friendly, and bug-free as it scales and evolves.

Incorporating quality assurance in software development is not merely about finding and fixing bugs. It's about crafting a holistic software experience that delights users and meets business objectives. By weaving QA intricately into the fabric of software development, organizations ensure that quality isn't an afterthought but a foundational element of their software products.

Software Quality Assurance Tools

In the contemporary landscape of software QA, tools play a quintessential role in amplifying efficiency, accuracy, and collaboration. Leveraging the right tools can drastically streamline the QA process, providing automated solutions and insightful analytics that drive optimal software quality. Let's delve into the significance of these tools and some notable ones that have proven invaluable in the field.


Automation Tools: In an era where rapid software development is the norm, automation becomes a necessity. Tools like Selenium, JUnit, and TestNG have revolutionized the way we conduct repetitive and extensive tests, ensuring consistent results and saving invaluable time.


Defect Tracking: No QA process is complete without a systematic approach to identifying, logging, and tracking defects. Tools like JIRA, Bugzilla, and Mantis provide comprehensive platforms where defects can be cataloged, prioritized, and monitored until they're resolved.


Performance Testing: Evaluating the scalability and responsiveness of software, especially in peak load times, is crucial. LoadRunner, Apache JMeter, and NeoLoad are tools designed to simulate multiple users and test software performance, ensuring it remains robust under stress.


Continuous Integration and Deployment: With the rise of Agile and DevOps, continuous integration and deployment have become fundamental. Tools like Jenkins, Travis CI, and CircleCI enable seamless integration of new code, automating tests and ensuring the continuous delivery of quality software.


Test Management: Organizing and managing various test cases, especially in large projects, can be a daunting task. This is where test management tools like TestRail, Zephyr, and qTest come into play. They offer structured platforms where test cases can be designed, executed, and monitored systematically.


Cross-Platform Testing: With software being accessed from diverse devices and operating systems, ensuring consistent functionality across platforms is paramount. Tools like BrowserStack and Sauce Labs allow QA professionals to test software across various environments without having to maintain extensive device labs.


Collaboration and Communication: QA is a collaborative effort, and tools like Slack, Trello, and Confluence foster communication between developers, testers, and stakeholders, ensuring everyone is aligned and informed.

Incorporating the right software quality assurance tools into the QA process is not merely about expediting tests. It's about bringing precision, consistency, and collaboration to the forefront. With the ever-growing complexity of software and the increasing demand for faster releases, these tools become indispensable allies in delivering top-notch software quality.

Software Quality Assurance Best Practices

I'm about to share with you a list of 20 software quality assurance best practices, each of which I've personally employed, refined, or even redefined based on real-world challenges and demands. These best practices for quality assurance are the compass that has guided me through various complexities in the QA journey. For those embarking on this path or even veterans seeking to enhance their approach, embracing these practices can be a game-changer, ensuring excellence remains at the forefront of every software project.

1. Include Risk Management with Quality assurance

Most people think that QA is a synonym to testing but actually, quality assurance is a much broader term. Risk management, as well as other processes and activities, should be considered a part of assuring the quality of your product. It is one of the building blocks of adequate quality assurance. A good quote that sums it up is:

Good Risk Management Includes a Real Improvement of Software Development to Organize Quality Assurance Activities.

2. Cover entire SDLC

Software Quality Assurance is a concept that should span across the entire lifecycle of software development and the entire self-development process.

3. Focus on improvement in quality

The QA testing should focus on improving the process of development of software in order to optimize the end products' quality. The aim of the quality assurance process is to provide assurance to climb senior management and other stakeholders that the processes and activities used through the development of your software are designed to maintain the high quality of the end product.

4. Continuous monitoring

It involves the continuous monitoring of the process and making sure that the agreed-upon standards and procedures are being followed all along the development process.

5. Unbiased procedures

Software QA also needs to be unbiased and the Quality Assurance team should be given some freedom and authority for the process to work correctly. Through this way, the company's reputation is also affected, positively if it can consistently deliver reliable and high-quality products.

6. Apply effective methodologies

With an effective QA testing methodology, the cost of the overall lifecycle of the software can be reduced because QA testing ensures that software is conforming to requirements and standards; which is a fundamental stipulation in the development of life-critical products.

7. Reduce maintenance cost

The maintenance cost of the software is also reduced since the software requires less modification afterward with adequate QA. Of course, the correction and modification of errors that are discovered only after the software's release and implementation can be costly and might affect the reputation of your company. So, it is important that QA procedures would identify errors sooner before the software gets released therefore resulting in the overall reduction of the entire lifecycle cost.

8. Transform entire organizational culture

The Quality Assurance and testing process should spend the entire lifecycle of the product and every stage of the process of delivery production or maintenance should be covered by QA. The concept of Quality Assurance isn't to test your software all at once at the end to report the bugs and then fix those bugs but is to create a quality product in the first place and then also test the quality product so in order for QA to work and to result in real process improvement. The entire organizational Culture has to be transformed and QA has become a continuous effort.

9. Follow two basic principles

Regardless of what product you're developing, there are two principles the Quality Assurance follows. These are "fit for purpose" and "right first time".

10. Apply Fit for Purpose

The "fit for purpose" means that the product does what it is supposed to do and is suitable for its intended purpose.

11. Practice Right First time

"Right first time" means that all errors should be eliminated. Basically, your products should do that thing right reliably over extended periods of time so there are many ways and techniques to achieve this twofold Bowl.

12. Formulate requirements concisely

Good Quality Assurance starts with requirements.The way requirements are captured, phrased, prioritized and managed greatly affects the quality of the end product. This means that requirements are formulated in a concise and easy-to-understand manner is crucial and this helps developers as well since they can understand what is required of them and more functionality is needed as the lifecycle moves on.

13. Use of Mature Processes

It is important to define the right processes to be used in the development of your product and ensure that those processes are used as planned with no deviations from those fixed processes.

14. Comply with industry standard

It is also becoming important that your development team can prove that they have only used those classes that have been designed to call it in mind which helps with compliance with standards in industries like medical, automotive or avionics, embedded systems development or railways software development and other safety-critical areas. The development is then followed by the testing of your software product and the QA team has to thoroughly test the products key functionality to a reasonable death.

15. Perform QA after the release of the product

When the testing is completed, the work of the QA team is still not over because there's virtually no software that gets released without any single bugs. So, user rule and users will have to be able to submit those bugs that they discover and the operations team or QA and development teams together will have to treat these bugs to resolve all issues.

16. Close Collaboration with Development team

The term "DevOps" is increasingly used which refers to the close collaboration of development and operations teams in an agile environment. whatever methodology the team is using, the collaboration is important as it helps fix all bugs in a timely manner.

17. Consider End user's mindset

Testing is one of the key points of quality assurance so while unit tests and good development practices ensure that you're building your product correctly; QA and testing also try to make sure that what you're actually building is also correct. This means that the tester mindset focuses more on the end user.

18. 100% bug-free product is not possible

As mentioned earlier, almost no software can be completely error-free. Which means, nothing ever goes live without bugs and the objective of the QA is not to fully test everything and fix every single bug but to work together with coding to keep the worst ones out of production and only release working products that fit their intended purposes.

Related article: Is There Such a Thing as Bug Free Software

19. Black-Box testing or white-box testing

In quality assurance, you can simply check if the functionality works as planned, which is black box testing; or you can thoroughly review the code of the software which is called white box testing. White box testing tests the internal structures and workings on the program as opposed to black box testing where the software is treated as a black box examining purely the functionality of the software without any regard to the internal implementation. There is also a grey box testing, which is a mixture of the two kinds of where the testers of the software have knowledge of the internal data structures and design tests based on those algorithms but execute those tests at the user or the black box level.

20. Ensure the most suitable methodology for software development

how you achieve quality also depends on what methodology used for your software development. For example, in scrum you would test all of your iterations after, they are complete ensuring that each part of your software is tested separately and then after integration together when the entire product is complete depending on how small your iterations are. While for the water pond, when you model everything is tested at the end.


The best quality assurance testing practices should inculcate all other processes in general and risk management process in particular in them. The focus should be to improve the overall quality of the software while aiming for reducing the cost with continuous monitoring during and after the release of the software. While doing quality assurance testing, the tester should ensure to comply with all the fundamental principles and industry practices; along with looking at the product from the end-users' perspective.