Software Quality Assurance (SQA) is a set of activities for ensuring quality in software engineering processes. It ultimately results, or at least gives confidence, in the quality of software products.
Software Quality Assurance encompasses the entire software development life cycle. Its goal is to ensure that the development and maintenance processes are continuously improved.Hence, to produce products that meet specifications. However, how did quality assurance come about? Let us find out.
Quality Assurance, paying precise attention to an expected output, has its roots in Guilds. And also their manufacturing processes during the Middle Ages.
Before the Industrial Revolution and the advent of modern capitalism, the calculus of quality assurance was a bit different than it is today. Without free market competition, assuring quality was not necessarily important for keeping customers happy. And in the absence of strong governments, attempts by the state to prevent defects in products tended to be rare and at the same time, ineffectual.
That was why, as an example, bakers in eighteenth-century France could get away with cutting their flour with sawdust or lime. And hence selling bread that weighed less than they claimed. But when markets became more open in the nineteenth century, making sure that the things one sold were as free as possible of defects became a means of attracting buyers.
Software QA Beginnings
Software QA was born from manufacturing and editing’s groundwork. However, the new-age intricacies of this practice include tasks never imagined by yesterday’s red-penners. Browser compatibility, link testing, form testing, and destructive testing are just some of the current QA practices employed in web development. And it is constantly evolving. Thus, without these critical twenty-first century checks and balances a project can run over budget. And therefore have a negative impact on both Client and Company.
In The Early Days
To understand where software testing and quality assurance fit within the history of software, it is important to keep in mind that programmers need to fulfill several distinct goals in order to make users happy. One of those is debugging. Still another involves configuration testing. Hence, another is assuring user-friendliness. And the list goes on.
They adhered to the “cathedral”-style approach to software development. That made configuration testing less important, since there were fewer configurations to test for. Your users’ computers had to be pretty identical to your own or your software would not run at all.
With small teams of programmers, relatively few environment variables for a given software program. And little pressure to release code on a frequent basis, an ad hoc approach to software testing worked well enough.
From ancient times, societies have made significant efforts to achieve quality in various strides of life. In the hunter-gatherer and agricultural economy, humans did not have much choice. During the middle ages, people started specializing in their own fields and became experts in them.
We all want quality in everything that we use. It is the measure of the excellence of a product, process, service or experience.