The digital transformation process has seen an increase in software complexity. This is due to the fact that a software application must function in a multidimensional environment that comprises of processes, devices, networks, operating systems, frameworks, servers, IDEs, and others. Furthermore, each component of the environment can be partitioned further, thus increasing its complexity. Technology is changing at a rapid pace and each and every program built on it needs to perform at its optimal level. The software interface for technologies such as cloud, mobility, big data and analytics, AI or IoT must be robust enough to deliver quality and meet user expectations.

Given the increasing complexity of software, technological changes, and the changing dynamics of user behavior, the quality of the software or application must be top-notch. To ensure software quality across all dimensions, paradigms, and disciplines, the quality assurance process must undergo a change. It is no longer just about software testing, but about implementing software quality engineering. The idea is not to simply identify bugs during the testing phase, but to completely eliminate them during the design and development stages.

What is software quality engineering?

Unlike software testing that involves testing specific features or parts of a piece of software against predefined results, software QA engineering is much more diverse and all-encompassing. A software quality engineer works with the development team to design and develop the source code. He or she performs other related tasks, such as testing, integrating, and deploying the software.

A QA analyst at a quality engineering company, as part of his or her responsibility, establishes verifiable test objectives. He or she does so in consultation with all interested parties. The software quality engineer oversees the entire SDLC and creates a quality culture where each and every stakeholder is aware of the quality objectives. The underlying philosophy of QA engineering is to work on code at the design stage to eliminate flaws or vulnerabilities.

Furthermore, the software quality engineer ensures the delivery of the software within the time constraints. The timely implementation of a software application goes a long way in meeting customer expectations. Notably, all-encompassing software QA engineering also includes software testing.

Five rules of software quality engineering

The focus of QA engineering has moved to left shift testing. The term means rigorously testing code during the development phase to identify and eliminate flaws. The five rules that a quality control engineer must follow for the successful implementation of a quality engineering process are:

1. Functional tests: The process involves testing the user interface and API to see if they meet the design specifications. This automation test exercise validates core functions, inputs, setup, and menus. To further illustrate, a functional test includes

  • Verification of input fields by entering data consisting of strings, special characters, extended characters, and non-Latin alphabets

  • Checking basic API functionality and core application parameters against predefined results

  • Configuring the application on local machines running on different operating systems

  • Checking text functions like copy, paste and edit

  • Checking the shortcuts by using hotkeys

2. Peer review of the code: The source code should be reviewed by another test engineer to get a better perspective. However, it is recommended to follow the basic functional testing exercise before going for peer review.

3. Static code analysis: Use specific tools to search for security and other vulnerabilities. Such tools can verify static code without actually executing it. Perform static code analysis to verify if codes meet required coding standards or meet security regulations.

4. Unit tests: The process involves checking a unit consisting of a component, class, or method against valid or invalid input. In a DevOps environment, a unit test should be performed every time a code change is made. Make sure unit testing is extensive to nip bugs in the bud. The process can use virtualization with the input of dummy inputs to verify each and every test scenario.

5. User performance tests: The test should involve a single user and check for any loading and performance issues. The test area should include the application test for faster loading and execution.


The five key rules of quality engineering ensure that codes meet desired business goals and user expectations. Any quality engineering company would do well to include the five key rules in its strategy. By doing so, the company helps eliminate flaws in the development stage of a software. This leads to the implementation of better quality software within the constraints of time and budget.

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