For much of its 70-year history, the software development world has taken many of its cues from traditional manufacturing.
In the very early days, for example, software testers and developers adopted serial workflows in which teams set sequential milestones and forwarded completed tasks down the chain – not unlike an assembly line factory.
For a long time, this model represented the height of efficiency. But then 2 weaknesses emerged:
- When teams work out of 1 location, you’re often limited to 8-hour workdays. This leaves projects dormant for the remaining 16 hours.
- Bottlenecks are inevitable – even with the most exacting workflows. Sometimes you need more debuggers in the chain than testers. Other times, you need more coders than debuggers.
The Next Wave in QA Testing Tools
Given these challenges, an increasing number of software teams began looking for ready-made solutions that could help speed up the process.
And thus emerged a cottage industry of open-source and commercial libraries equipped with pre-tested development products that teams could weave into existing workflows.
This strategy helped boost efficiency and save time – provided that you had both knowledge of and access to the requisite tools. But even still, leveraging external resources didn’t always resolve the 2 key challenges mentioned above (i.e. project dormancy and workflow bottlenecks).
QA Software Testing Tools Go Lean
Taking cues once again from the manufacturing world, software development teams then turned to lean production. With this approach, you:
- reduce larger projects to their smallest possible components
- distribute tasks non-sequentially, based on whether they can be completed individually or not
Milestones and serial workflows become less relevant, allowing team members to contribute in a more ad hoc fashion – like a patchwork quilt or tiled mosaic.
This newer process benefits from speed and efficiency. Moreover, proximity becomes irrelevant, allowing both projects and teams to exist in many different time zones spread around the globe.
Software Testing As a Service
Further aiding this transition to lean software production was the emergence of SaaS QA testing tools. Regardless of time or location, every team member has access to the same resources and user experience.
However, the process itself is not entirely organic. Even with the most sophisticated QA testing tools, you still need top-down collaboration in which project managers:
- find and decide what components (i.e. tasks) to role out and when
- allocate resources for optimal efficiency. This includes managing collaboration across multiple time zones (ex: daytime development vs. nighttime testing)
- establish standards and quality checks. Teams may operate in isolation, but their collective efforts must follow 1 unifying logic
- integrate all of the disparate components together for the finished product
It’s also worth noting that adopting such a model is not a one-off decision. It is a process. You may have to start slowly at first, focusing on smaller, non-critical tasks before scaling up.
But successfully implementing this process offers 2 benefits:
- 24/7 development
- fewer bottlenecks
Isolated setbacks are inevitable. But because tasks are no longer sequential, individual problems don’t disrupt the rest of the mosaic. Development continues elsewhere in this global workflow – even if you halt specific aspects of any given project.
The Best Approach for QA Software Testing?
Is this newer approach truly the best way? Does it really make sense to break up projects into components before distributing them to a global network of contributors?
“Best” is a difficult thing to define – especially in the software testing world. By definition, ours is an industry that thrives on perpetual innovation.
But this new (or perhaps current) approach to QA testing tools has served us very well. Free from the constraints of geography and time, Testuff’s globally distributed team has consistently released new updates of our flagship QA software testing platform – for 59 consecutive months.
Until something better comes along, this segmented, global approach is how we’ll continue developing the quality products that our customers have come to expect.