Imagine the last time you went out to dinner and the food or service was less-than-satisfactory. Did you say anything? Did someone with you speak up? A lot of individuals feel uncomfortable letting others know when something isn’t up to their standard. They will eat the cold appetizer or overcooked steak rather than ask for something else. You know who the software quality assurance specialist in the restaurant because they speak up about every single issue they notice. If you’re wondering how to choose a quality assurance vendor, here are some of the key characteristics you should prioritize.
One of the reasons you might criticize an overly picky dining partner is they’re too vocal about seemingly irrelevant details, or they actively look for things to complain about. However, for a QA specialist, no error signal or interruption of a use case gets considered irrelevant. Software testers must try every path over and over in unique and creative ways to try to find bugs, not just catch the ones that are obvious. Then these issues must come to the attention of the developers, so the root causes can be examined and evaluated.
In some cases, the same picky dining partner might not be so frustrating, provided they communicate their concerns to the staff in a respectful, emotionless way. These situations become tense when the person tries to blame others for an outcome they didn’t cause or gets overly emotional. In software quality assurance, this issue is only elevated. No one likes to hear that the product they made isn’t working, but when it isn’t working in thousands of different ways, communication about the errors must be straightforward and free of blame or frustration. The best software QA specialist will not only find errors, they’ll relay the news in a way that helps the team seek a solution, not get bogged down in the past.
Lastly, the mantra of a skilled quality assurance specialist is “try, try again.” They might send back their dinner a few times, but they will always give the chef a new chance to get it right and will give input about how to improve every time the dish is sent back. These individuals are detail-oriented but recognize that diligence and patience must come together with high standards.
Developing a software is a little bit like cooking a meal; you know what the end result is supposed to be like, but a lot goes into creating it, and many things can happen along the way to cause the actual product to be different than what was intended. In a meal, maybe you’re willing to accept this, maybe not. In the case of a software release, allowing those discrepancies to arise and stay put can lead to a variety of bad outcomes. Maybe it’s a security breach, as obvious as a burned piece of bread, or a subtler internal dissatisfaction with a continuously broken new system, like a bad recipe no one speaks up about. If you want to make sure your software meets all your business goals, works properly, and will continue to function in the future, you’ll have to sit down with picky friends like us at iLAB. We promise, we’ll do everything we can to keep even the tough bits of software quality assurance as easy to swallow as possible.