Software quality assurance: How you can sustainably increase the quality of your software

19.02.2024
by Meike Müller
Softwareentwicklung
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Software quality assurance is essential to guarantee the functionality, security and user-friendliness of your software products. But what methods are there and how do you apply them effectively? This article looks at practical approaches and standards such as ISO 25010 that help you to measurably improve software quality.

Reading time 5 min

In a nutshell

  • Software quality assurance refers to functional and non-functional properties such as user-friendliness, security, efficiency and maintainability. These are evaluated and optimized in a structured manner using standards such as ISO 25010.
  • Principles for clean code such as KISS, DRY, SRP and defined conventions are crucial for the internal quality of the software and support the reduction of errors and improved maintainability.
  • Quality management models such as ISO 15504, CMMI-DEV and ITIL offer companies support in systematically increasing their software quality, especially when dealing with complex requirements and quality assurance in agile environments.

Core aspects of software quality assurance

Software quality assurance focuses on core aspects such as

  • Usability
  • security
  • efficiency
  • maintainability

These aspects are defined in the international standard ISO 25010, which is used as a guideline for assessing and improving software quality.

In order to ensure compliance with these quality aspects, well thought-out quality assurance is essential. This includes measures such as

  • the design of test strategies
  • defining quality standards and responsibilities
  • Continuous monitoring and optimization of software quality

With the help of these quality assurance measures, the development process can be refined and the high quality of the software products can be guaranteed.

Definition of software quality

Software quality is defined as the sum of all properties and features of a software that determine how well it fulfills specific requirements. A distinction is made between external and internal quality criteria. External quality reflects the user's perception and experience with the software, while internal quality evaluates the technical design of the software independently of its functionality.

The characteristics of software quality influence various areas of the software and are decisive for

  • the functionality and scope of performance of the software
  • user-friendliness, which is characterized by aspects such as task appropriateness, learnability and fault tolerance
  • the maintainability and security of the software

These specific quality characteristics are decisive for the areas mentioned.

Importance of quality assurance

Quality assurance is responsible for guaranteeing the quality of the software and supporting continuous improvements in the development process. It helps to ensure that the software meets the defined quality standards and focuses on properties such as good readability, maintainability and testability of the code.

The use of quality assurance measures reduces the risk of errors and increases software quality. Furthermore, quality assurance supports the optimization of the software development process by ensuring that the software is free of errors and functional through test automation and continuous testing.

ISO 25010 as a framework for software quality

ISO 25010 contains eight quality characteristics that play a key role in software quality assurance. These include

  • Functionality
  • Efficiency
  • compatibility
  • Usability
  • reliability
  • Safety and security
  • Maintainability
  • Transferability

Taking these quality characteristics into account is crucial for evaluating and improving software quality.

How you can ensure software quality in your company with ISO 25010

ISO 25010 is an internationally recognized standard that defines the quality characteristics for software and systems. By applying this standard, you can systematically assess and improve the quality of your software products. ISO 25010 comprises a series of quality characteristics that serve as guidelines for the development and maintenance of software. By integrating these characteristics into the software development process, you can ensure that your products meet the highest quality standards.

It is important to develop an understanding of how each of the ISO 25010 quality characteristics can be applied to your specific software product. Each of these characteristics helps to ensure that the software not only works, but also works in a way that meets user requirements and facilitates maintenance.

To ensure the quality of your software according to ISO 25010, you should create a plan that covers all phases of software development - from requirements analysis, design and implementation to testing and maintenance. Continuous monitoring and evaluation of the software based on the ISO 25010 criteria enables you to identify and implement potential for improvement. In addition, the involvement of all stakeholders, including developers, testers and end users, can contribute to comprehensive and holistic quality assurance.

Clean code as the basis for software quality

The basic rules of clean code provide developers with guidelines for writing high-quality, efficient and maintainable code and are therefore a good option for ensuring software quality. They include:

  • KISS (Keep it Simple Stupid)
  • DRY (Don't Repeat Yourself)
  • SRP (Single Responsibility Principle)
  • Code conventions

These basic rules ensure that the code is:

  • modular
  • well structured
  • easy to understand
  • allows changes without undesirable side effects

Methods to support clean code

Supporting clean code requires various methods and tools. These include automated unit tests in particular, which ensure that the code functions correctly in accordance with the requirements.

Continuous integration is another key method for supporting clean code. It offers quick feedback on software quality and provides automatic builds.

Test-driven development (TDD) and pair programming are other effective methods for promoting clean code.

Quality management models in software development

Various models and methods are available for quality management in software development. These include

  • ISO 15504
  • CMMI-DEV
  • CMMI-SVC
  • ITIL
  • COBIT

Each of these models has specific advantages and limitations and focuses on different areas of software quality. By using these models, companies can systematically improve their software quality and achieve higher quality standards. The selection of the appropriate model depends on the specific needs and objectives of the software project.

Integration of quality assurance measures

Integrating quality assurance measures into the software development process is a major challenge. It requires the use of specific tools and technologies, such as test-driven development (TDD), test automation and continuous integration.

By integrating these measures, companies can continuously monitor and improve the quality of their software. They enable rapid error detection and correction, which leads to higher software quality and more efficient development.

Measuring and evaluating software quality

Software metrics are an essential tool. They allow the measurement and evaluation of code and test quality, availability, security and user satisfaction. Code reviews play a key role in this.

In addition to these quantitative measurements, however, the user experience is also a decisive factor in assessing software quality.

Software metrics and their importance

Software metrics are mathematical models that convert software properties into measurable values. They are used to define key figures for software and development processes and enable the measurement and assessment of software quality:

  • Quality
  • reliability
  • efficiency
  • maintainability

Software metrics can help to assess the quality of software products, but do not offer absolute certainty about quality. They must always be considered in the context of the specific requirements and objectives of the software project.

User experience as a measure of quality

User experience is an important measure of quality in software development. It deals with the design and improvement of the interaction between user and software.

High software quality leads to a better user experience. An intuitive user experience can be created through targeted UX tests and continuous user feedback. Various user experience methods (UX methods) can help to measure the experience, interaction and usability of the software.

Challenges and solutions in software quality assurance

Ensuring software quality confronts companies with numerous challenges. In particular, dealing with complex requirements and quality assurance in agile environments requires adaptable methods and processes.

Despite these challenges, there are various approaches that enable companies to continuously improve their software quality. These approaches include

  • efficient requirements management
  • embedding quality assurance measures in agile process and project models
  • the use of quality assurance tools.

Mastering complex requirements

Complex requirements are a particular challenge in software quality assurance. They require adapted quality assurance and the consideration of application-specific requirements.

Overcoming these challenges requires effective requirements management and the use of special tools and techniques. These include automated unit tests and continuous integration. These methods enable companies to continuously monitor and improve their software quality.

Ensuring quality in agile environments

Quality assurance is a particular challenge in agile development processes. It requires flexible methods and processes that enable continuous improvement.

Various methods and tools can be used to overcome this challenge. These include the implementation of quality assurance measures in agile process and project models as well as the use of quality assurance tools.

Implementation duration of a software quality assurance process

The introduction of a software quality assurance process is a critical step that must be carefully planned and executed to achieve effective results. The duration of this process can vary and depends on the size and complexity of the project, the specific requirements and goals of the organization, as well as the available resources and existing infrastructure. It is important to understand that implementation must not be seen as a one-off action, but as an ongoing process that requires regular reviews and adjustments to keep pace with changing requirements and market conditions.

Our conclusion

In conclusion, it can be said that quality assurance is a central component of software development. It includes a variety of methods and principles, from the use of clean code to the application of specific software metrics and the consideration of user experience. By implementing quality assurance measures, companies can continuously improve their software quality and achieve higher standards. The case studies presented illustrate that the successful implementation of quality assurance measures can not only lead to increased software quality, but also to significant cost savings. Are you curious and want to improve the quality of your software? Then we will be happy to support you as a strong partner!

Frequently asked questions

  • What is software quality?

    Software quality refers to the entirety of perceptible properties and states of systems that are defined on the basis of certain characteristics. Software is considered to be of high quality if it fulfills all functional requirements, is easy to use and includes non-functional requirements.

  • What does quality assurance involve?

    Quality assurance includes activities such as defining quality standards and objectives, monitoring and measuring quality indicators, carrying out code reviews and software tests as well as continuous process improvement and troubleshooting. The aim is to ensure compliance with the defined quality requirements and to manage software development in such a way that the end product meets the expectations of the stakeholders. This also includes training and sensitizing the development team with regard to quality-relevant aspects and establishing a culture of quality within the company. Quality assurance is therefore an integral part of the entire software development life cycle and contributes significantly to customer satisfaction and the long-term success of a software product.

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Meike
Meike
from 19.02.2024

Hello, my name is Meike. I take care of the EXWE back office and am responsible for our social media channels. All of our articles are meant to make your life easier and help you make decisions. Nevertheless, it can happen that something remains unclear, so: If you have questions about this article you can easily reach me at +49 231 93149827.

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