The Power of QA Testing Tools in Product Development

QA testing tools and methodologiesQuality assurance and software testing are the unsung heroes behind every successful development journey. Wielding power to help transform mere ideas into flawless experiences, QA testing tools help product engineering teams ameliorate defects and issues. On the road to product perfection, thorough testing helps companies optimize the user experience, ensure compliance with regulatory requirements and mitigate risks.

By investing in helpful QA testing tools, companies launching products can build customer trust, enhance brand reputation and avoid costly post-release bug fixes. At Cardinal Peak, we recognize that quality assurance and software testing are not merely check boxes to be ticked but integral processes that drive continuous improvement, minimize customer dissatisfaction and pave the way for must-have products in today’s competitive market. Our QA starts with the planning stages of the project. From there we test as development occurs, working alongside the dev team to ensure issues are corrected early.

In this post, we’ll dive into different testing methodologies and highlight some of the more common quality assurance and software testing tools we utilize to help clients bring outstanding innovations to life.


QA Testing Methodologies

Specializing in hardware, embedded software, cloud and mobile product development, our 20-plus-person QA team employs several testing methodologies to ensure comprehensive testing coverage across the range of products we help clients create.

Sure, we employ the following common methodologies, but our thorough QA testing efforts expand well beyond just the happy path to help ensure client success:

  • Smoke testing: We verify that each product basically functions as intended and meets the specified use cases and requirements outlined at the beginning of the QA process. This typically includes testing individual features, user interactions, input/output behavior and system functionality.
  • Performance testing: By assessing each product’s performance under different workloads and stress levels, our QA team can identify issues, measure how features work and ensure optimal performance.
  • Compatibility testing: Especially important for mobile apps and cloud-based solutions that demand seamless functionality across platforms, compatibility testing helps ensure products work well with different hardware, operating systems, browsers and devices.
  • Usability testing: What good is a product if users struggle to use it? Evaluating the product’s user interface, intuitiveness and overall user experience allows our testers to get their hands dirty interacting with the product to uncover potential issues and enhance its ease of use.
  • Regression testing: Since we typically work closely with the dev team — providing the details necessary to recreate bugs — that deeper understanding helps us validate that any changes or updates do not introduce new defects or negatively impact existing functionalities.
  • Security testing: As we like to say, your product is only as secure as the weakest link in its chain. Whether leveraging scanning for vulnerabilities or modeling threats, we build security into every step of product development, including QA testing, to protect against potential attacks and safeguard user data.
  • Exploratory testing: As noted, we rigorously test each product — and our team strives to think outside the box to discover defects, assess product behavior and evaluate real-world scenarios. We recognize that you can’t script every scenario and empower our testers to exercise their creativity and domain knowledge to reveal any issues not covered by scripted test cases.

Combining and adapting these different QA testing methodologies based on the specific requirements of our clients’ innovations enables our QA team to ensure thorough testing coverage and consistently deliver the highest-quality hardware, embedded software, cloud, and mobile products.


Exploring Popular QA Testing Tools

Testing code early and often is essential to ensure it behaves as you expect and that any changes won’t cause issues. But writing and maintaining tests is difficult, so we leverage various tools to boost our productivity. Since Cardinal Peak supports several clients across industries, there is no universal list of QA testing tools we use to test each product. We often utilize the tools clients want us to use or recommend a combination that works well for everyone.


Test Management Tools

Essential in quality assurance, test management tools help streamline and organize the testing process, track test cases and efficiently manage issues and defects.

TestRail is a comprehensive tool designed to enhance testing efficiency and collaboration by providing a centralized platform for test case management and planning, execution and reporting. We use TestRail for test case management on many projects because it allows us to create, organize and manage test cases in a structured manner, categorizing, prioritizing and assigning them to specific team members. TestRail also generates detailed reports and metrics, offering insights into test results, coverage and progress. By providing a clear view of the assigned test runs and suites, their status, milestones and progress, QA testing tools like TestRail help improve test execution.

Ultimately, your choice of QA test management tools will depend on the project’s complexity, team size, development methodology and integration requirements.


Automated Testing Tools

While manual testing validates that hardware and software work together, we recognize that automation can help improve product development efficiency and help create the highest quality innovations — whether speeding the feedback cycle, saving time, improving test coverage, minimizing QA team stress or decreasing the time to market.

Yes, TestRail also helps with test automation, but let’s highlight two other helpful tools that are not specific to testing, pytest and Jenkins.

Primarily classified as a testing framework, pytest can be considered part of the test automation category since such tools aid in automating the execution and validation of test cases, streamlining QA testing. pytest provides features and capabilities to write and execute automated tests, simplifying the process of writing test cases, organizing test suites and generating test reports. Used across a variety of test methodologies, pytest is not a comprehensive QA testing tool itself, but it is often used in conjunction with other tools and libraries to enhance the overall testing process.

While not specific to testing, Jenkins is a popular tool among customers that plays a critical role in automating the build, test and deployment processes. Jenkins provides hundreds of plug-ins to support any project’s build, deployment and automation. By allowing developers to automate the building and testing of their code — even overnight when the team is at home after work — Jenkins facilitates frequent integration and early detection of integration issues. The open-source automation server supports various testing frameworks, allowing flexible integration with different testing tools and complex build pipelines that integrate automated tests into the more extensive delivery process.

We also employ Selenium and Appium to conduct thorough automated UI testing across various platforms and devices.

While product engineering projects don’t demand the power of automated testing, leveraging tools like pytest, Jenkins, Selenium and Appium can unlock automation and improve QA testing throughout the product development lifecycle.


Bug-Tracking Tools

When issues aren’t addressed and bugs are overlooked on the path to launch, crappy product quality reflects poorly on the company. That is where bug tracking comes in.

Jira is a widely adopted agile project management and issue-tracking tool that can also be leveraged for test management. Jira provides a robust, easily accessible platform for capturing, organizing and resolving product defects and issues. The visual tool provides a structured and customizable system with fields and workflows tailored to project needs so teams stay aligned and build better products. Even better, Jira connects with TestRail — and the two QA testing tools work together to facilitate smooth information flow and synchronization between development and QA.

Jira offers flexibility in defining and customizing workflows to match the QA process of the project. The tool integrates seamlessly with other development and testing tools, providing traceability between issues, code changes and test cases and a collaborative environment where teams can discuss and collaborate on issues. With customizable dashboards, charts and reports that help track progress and identify bottlenecks, decision-makers gain insights into trends, issue resolution metrics and team performance to make data-driven decisions.

While myriad other bug-tracking tools exist, Jira’s customizability, reporting and tracking capabilities make it a popular choice in product development.


Data Analytics and Interactive Visualization Tools

Data analytics and interactive visualization tools are becoming increasingly important in QA as the data explosion continues. These tools offer valuable insights into testing processes, metrics and performance, helping teams make informed decisions and improve the overall product quality.

One notable tool in this space is Grafana. Data analytics tools like Grafana allow teams to visualize and monitor key metrics related to the testing process, enabling the creation of interactive dashboards that provide real-time insights into QA efforts. Seamlessly integrating with various data sources, testing frameworks and monitoring systems, data analytics and visualization tools enable teams to collect and visualize real-time performance-related data, tracking different project-dependent metrics to optimize performance.

Grafana and other data analytics and visualization tools provide the necessary information to support informed decision-making. With Grafana, for example, team leaders can present data in a way that helps stakeholders make informed decisions about feature prioritization, resource allocation and other improvements. Visualizations help teams to identify areas for enhancement and drive continuous improvement in the QA testing process.

Harnessing the power of data analytics and visualization equips QA teams to enhance overall product quality and deliver exceptional user experiences.


Other QA Testing Tools and Resources

Collaboration and communication are vital aspects of quality assurance, helping ensure the alignment of testing efforts, quick resolution of issues and knowledge sharing among team members, stakeholders and others. GitHub, a widely used software development and version control platform, plays a crucial role in enabling collaboration and communication for QA teams like ours.

A repository system that holds all files, GitHub provides a robust version control system that allows different companies and their QA teams to manage and collaborate on code efficiently. GitHub’s repositories provide a central location for storing documentation, test plans, test cases and other relevant artifacts to improve product quality and help maintain consistency in testing practices.

As an Amazon-approved System Integrator for Alexa Voice Service and AWS consulting partner, we have a dedicated testing lab for voice-based technologies. We also utilize a Faraday enclosure for isolated radio frequency testing and collaborate with NCEE Labs to conduct comprehensive testing that ensures products meet necessary industry standards and regulations.


Cardinal Peak: Your QA and Testing Services Experts

Each QA testing tool has its strengths, weaknesses and specific use cases. By understanding different QA testing tools, our team can effectively select the most appropriate ones for each engineering project’s particular needs, enhance test coverage, adapt to evolving needs, collaborate effectively with clients and significantly streamline testing processes.

At Cardinal Peak, we are both large enough to have processes — leveraging tools, templates and automated scripts as it makes sense — and small enough to be flexible, customizing QA testing to each product’s unique requirements. Even better, our QA team starts in the earliest stages of product development so there’s not an “oh-no” moment and expensive delay right before launch. Best of all, our QA testers frequently attend industry events, train to gain certifications and share knowledge across the team to support one another.

Want to know more about QA testing tools or speak with one of our QA experts about the right tools for your project? Let’s discuss your innovation!