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Just a few years ago mobile applications were normally written in Native languages. Now, a lot of the market is shifting towards React Native to write their apps. Some of the big companies like Facebook, Soundcloud, and Bloomberg are already using this framework and their apps are running smoothly and efficiently.

Any mobile app development begins with choosing the right tools, platforms, and frameworks that one will need to design and build it. When it comes to app development for your product, there are two paths available: Native or React Native. Choosing between the two can be overwhelming. This is why to overcome this challenge you will need to explore the pros, cons, budget constraints, and development time of each method.

The debate about React Native vs. Native apps has been long-standing. Even though it varies from project to project, let’s explore the basics of how each development approach is different and why you must choose/prefer one over the other.

Differences Between Native and React-Native Apps

React Native allows developers to write the code once but lets them run on any platform, whereas, Native development requires separate coding for each platform. React Native is written in JavaScript and is known as a Hybrid framework. On the other hand, Native apps are built for either iOS or Android. These apps are built with specific programming languages for specific platforms

Before investing your money to build your iOS and Android app or a Hybrid one, it is smart to weigh in all your pros and cons. Right from the beginning, you should be aware of the possible obstacles or difficulties that might occur.  

By now you know React Native is a platform-independent framework because it gives you the freedom to build an iOS and Android app on the same framework keeping intact the UI UX design of the app. Native jumps in when you want to build custom UI components and have a unique user experience that requires external libraries. 

We took the liberty to divide the main differences between the two into points. 

  • Support of applications: Because React Native is a new technology it, unfortunately, does not have parent support. This precisely means that the Google Play store or App store may stop accepting your app at any given time. On the other hand, Native apps are built for specific platforms therefore they meet all the requirements. 
  • Performance: This can be measured from a lot of factors e.g. animations, lags, slowdowns, and load time. Nonetheless Native runs more efficiently because it was built to run on that specific platform only. React Native is built for both platforms so it is understandable that it utilizes more battery on the device and can cause lag or slowdown. 
  • User Experience: The UX on React Native apps is compromised as mobile screen size varies. Whereas Native apps have the edge to design and built-in UX UI components however they wish to maintain a visual balance in all the screens. 
  • Development cost and maintenance: Native requires two development teams for making and maintaining the app. React Native allows you to build the app using a single code base, which saves you cost as well as time. 
  • Long-term app development: Although React Native is a faster inexpensive way to launch your business app it is not that efficient with updates. The updates and the google and apple store are not in sync at all times. Which makes it tough to build and launch any future update.  Since Native is supported by Google and Apple, it is more coherent with updates and resolves problems as they emerge. 

React Native vs. Native App Development

Native Application Development

Native app development is centered around designing mobile apps specific to a single platform, like iOS or Android. These apps are built with programming languages and tools that are specific to a particular platform. Android apps require coding in Java or Kotlin using Android Studio for the environment. IOS requires coding in Objective-C or Swift and the IDE is Xcode. Therefore, this process needs at least two developers or development teams to build two different versions of an application, simultaneously.

Native is without a doubt a time-consuming process. But there are some solid pros that Native has to offer:

  1. Fast and Reliable
  2. Better app design and performance. 
  3. Robust language
  4. Accessibility of APIs

The downside of opting for Native is the following:

  1. High cost of development of two applications
  2. Higher development time

React Native Application Development

React Native is the leading hybrid mobile development framework. With React Native, you write an iOS app exactly the way you would write a web app. That sounds very convenient, but also may cause some problems.

By using the react native method you will need to write the code only once and the final product can be run on iOS and Android.

React native pros:

  1. Single codebase
  2. Lower development cost
  3. Time-efficient 
  4. Reusable components
  5. Faster debugging process
  6. Faster prototyping
  7. Open-Source: Most features already have a build solution
  8. Easy maintenance

Cons attached to this process are: 

  1. Reduced number of Native elements
  2. A limited number of Third-Party Libraries
  3. Absence of Support for All Native APIs

Our Approach to App Development

VentureDive has been at the forefront of bleeding technology for both Native Android and iOS development and has a large pool of resources from both competencies. When we speak about React Native vs. Native app development, we include two different competencies that require separate sets of expertise to develop apps that deliver excellence and true business value.

Here’s a quick list of tools and technologies we use for both approaches:

iOS

  • Swift programming language
  • Viper and MVVM (architecture patterns)
  • iOS storyboarding
  • Core Data for iOS
  • SwiftUI (for making interfaces & screens)

Android

  • Kotlin programming language
  • MVVM, MVP & Reactive Programming with Rx Java (architecture pattern)
  • Constraint layout (with Android previewer)
  • Scoped storage for better data security
  • Jetpack Compose (design through code)

Why Choose Native App Development

By answering a few questions related to your app requirements you might get a clear picture of which method will bring out the best results. 

Here’s why you should go for Native app development:

  • If your app is going to be complexed
  • You are more inclined towards the user experience part of your app
  • If you want in-built features like brightness control
  • If you are targeting a single platform either iOS or Android 

Why React Native for Mobile App Development

Here are some reasons why you should opt for React Native:

  • Your app is minimal in terms of UI and UX
  • You want your app to available on all platforms with a reasonable budget
  • You want your app to launch in a shorter amount of time 
  • Your business is a start-up and has limited resources and funds

When it comes to app development, React Native has been in the center at VenD. We have delivered countless flawless projects through this method over the years. We achieved this by conducting training sessions for the entire mobile development team. This helped the teams to gain the necessary knowledge to quickly bootstrap and deliver a React Native application. By building upon the core knowledge and expertise of the native platform we are able to deliver better-performing apps in a much shorter time;  be it using React Native Expo or bare metal React Native CLI application. Here’s a quick resource to help you explore the best CLI for hybrid app development: Expo CLI vs. react-native CLI: Which is better for hybrid app development.

Wrap up

In the end, you will learn that React Native meets all the client’s requirements while also saving cost and time. React native gets you the best of both worlds that is lower effort and efficient use of time and budget. If you are looking for rapid prototyping and MVP, React Native is the answer. These benefits make React Native a clear choice for a lot of clients. Still, if you have a lot of manpower and the project requires it you can opt for Native. Ultimately, there is no silver bullet. If you are in between answers, you can always consult an expert

To read up some more, check out these interesting thoughts Simple Programmer has shared on their blog.


Mobile app development

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Automated software testing is all the rage in the industry and for good reason. Although manual testing is still in place in many technology companies, many fast-growing organizations have adopted QA automation testing to speed up processes, redirect manual efforts and minimize the chances of error. 

It is quite common for businesses to outsource the quality assurance processes of their software development cycle. It saves them time, cost, and resources.

This means, it’s essential for technology organizations like ours, that offer software quality assurance services, to adopt one of the most accurate, efficient, and reliable approaches to quality assurance, i.e. automation. In this article, I’ll talk about how the QA team at VentureDive carried out automation testing for the Muslims App. It is a community engagement app by IslamicFinder that aims to unite Muslims around the world through a single platform, offering networking, knowledge sharing, and learning.

Let’s dive in! 

How did we manage before QA automation?

Muslims is a hybrid mobile application developed in React-Native. It has the same code hierarchy for both, Android and iOS platforms. This means we have the same code base for QA automation as well.

While the app was in the development phase, and new features were getting integrated into Muslims continually, we were carrying out manual quality assurance side by side. The process was consuming a lot of effort – with every issue reported, the QA team had to dig down into the apps again and again, and ensure that the overall performance of apps remains optimal. Every time an issue was reported or any new build was shared with the QA team, they had to go through all the features of the app, which made quality testing a tedious and time-consuming process. 

In short, we dreaded it! 

As the application got bigger and more complex with every sprint – that meant more issues popped up that needed fixing – it was no longer possible for us to test each and everything over and over again. So we decided to create and implement an efficient testing process to reduce the testing effort of the team, as well as enhance the overall quality of the apps. Enter: a hybrid automation system for mobile apps for both, iOS and Android platforms. 

QA automation covers a lot of things we previously had to do manually and repeatedly. It took on the menial, and repetitive tasks for us, delivered better testing quality, with minimal chances of error, and helped deploy high-quality, bug-free apps. Our automation engineers began developing the QA automation process for hybrid apps so we can test each and every feature more thoroughly, using both manual and automated systems, and deliver a seamless product to the users.

Why did we decide to automate the Muslims app?

The thought process behind automating the Muslims app was that we wanted to reduce the overall testing time of the app on both, Android and iOS platforms. The idea was that once any new feature is developed and ready to merge, we automate its testing. Over time, this would enable us to have a full-fledged testing process in place, that would streamline quality assurance efforts, reduce time and cost spent, and deliver efficient and high-quality apps to customers within record time.

The whole QA automation team brainstormed a lot on how to automate the hybrid application for Muslims. We discussed different technology stacks and their pros and cons with the goal to increases the overall quality and performance of the app through a smooth QA automation process.

Why did we use the same codebase for Automation?

The grounds behind using the same code base for automation of Muslims app was that we are developing a hybrid framework, and a single code base would mean a lesser number of changes required in the automation framework. Whenever there is a change in the application hierarchy, the same code base would mean reduced development effort in the hybrid framework. Here’s a resource to help you understand the difference between hybrid and native applications, and which might be a better choice for your project.

We can also reuse this QA automation framework for any hybrid app developed in react-native as well as native apps to make lives easier for automation engineers. This would make managing the code base simpler, with lesser changes and easy integration of new features within the automation framework.

What technology did we use for QA automation?

Our QA automation engineers adopted WebDriverIO, a tool that allows you to automate any application written with modern web frameworks such as React, Angular, Polymer, or Vue.js, as well as, native and hybrid mobile applications for Android and iOS.

 We can develop any web or mobile automation framework easily using WebDriverIO due to its exciting feature set and many valuable plugins. Its libraries are easily available and can be integrated with the framework quickly, so it saves a lot of time for automation engineers.

Many technology companies choose to go with Selenium WebDriver, another tool used for automating browser testing. We used WebDriverIO and javascript for the development of automation scripts for  Muslims app with integration of unit test frameworks like mocha and chai, the assertion library, in it.

However, we chose WebDriverIO over Selenium because of a multitude of technical reasons: 

  • WebDriverIO libraries are wrappers of selenium libraries as these are developed on top of selenium libraries – it provides faster execution than using Selenium APIs with Appium, a test automation framework. 
  • WebDriverIO provides a runner class where we can define all the necessary prerequisites, which makes it easier to configure the execution of automation scripts. Whereas, we have to write a lot of lines of code to set up the configuration process of Selenium with Appium.
  • WebDriverIO has its own Appium service so it takes only a few minutes to configure Appium with it.

Using a hybrid automation framework like WebDriverIO has many advantages. For instance, a one-page object class is developed for both Android and iOS platforms so we don’t need to create a separate repository for this platform. A generic helper class package is also created to reuse the utilities within the project and we can use this framework with any project in the future if we want to develop a framework for hybrid and native apps.

Wrap up

For the QA automation of hybrid apps, you can easily develop an automation framework with WebDriverIO and Appium as it provides a lot of flexibility in developing, structuring, and maintaining the codebase. It will be up to the individual’s expertise on javascript and node.js as it requires javascript skills for a person to work on these frameworks. If you have used Selenium with Appium, it will be easier for you to use a switch on these javascript frameworks. According to my experience, if you are developing your own hybrid application, I would suggest you give WebDriverIO a shot and feel free to share your experience of working with javascript frameworks.


QA AutomationQuality Assurance

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Boosting a business through app development could be a notable move for your growth. An app reaches marketplaces, both traditional and online, especially areas like Google Play, App Store, and more. Moreover, it offers additional functions such as coupon codes and force update announcements. 

Speaking of applications, VentureDive produces and invests in high-end technology products and solutions to help businesses and improve the lives of people worldwide. We are a technology solutions company with a team of passionate service leaders. They serve as our partners in solving B2B and B2C challenges and making our clients stand out in the competition.

We focus on understanding our clients’ customers and business hurdles before developing unique solutions for them.

Rated 5-star by IslamicFinder

We are proud to announce that we’ve recently received a 5-star rating review from our Clutch’s platform. Clutch is a B2B ratings and reviews platform that connects businesses to solutions providers they need.

The review is from IslamicFinder’s General Manager. We are currently working with them on their development projects. We are keeping all of their apps modernized with the latest iOS and Android updates. Our team also helped the client improve their product performances.

IslamicFinder reviews VentureDive on Clutch

General Manager, IslamicFinder

“Our apps have been very good. We had been struggling with how to centralize the whole design system for our apps as well as for the website. They came up with the solution to build a design system, and they implemented it in our apps as well as our website. In our opinion, it has been a game-changer.”

It’s been more than five years since they began working with VentureDive. Until now, we can still feel how satisfied they are with the work we do in our project with them.

Rated 5-star by Kashat

Another 5-star rating review we received was from the Chief Technology Officer at Kashat, a nano-lending platform. We have been in partnership with them for over 3 years, and offer app development services for the Android platform to them. 

Kashat reviews VentureDive on Clutch

Sumair Farooqui, their Co-Founder & Managing Director talked about Kashat’s collaboration with VentureDive, in-depth, and shared their story of innovation. Watch the complete video below:

Top-rated app developers in Pakistan

These reviews are only two of our many clients who are more than satisfied with the services and solutions we have offered.

Our great news doesn’t stop there. Our company was hailed as the best flutter app development company in Pakistan by The Manifest, a business guide that shows the most talented solutions providers in the market. Flutter is a popular development kit for creating cross-platform. 

It’s heartwarming to receive such recognition. Our team of more than 250 professionals has been working hard to provide the best UI/UX design, development, and consulting services from startups to large firms. Finally, The Manifest sees all our efforts and hard work. 

Now, we’d like to show what we can do to your business. You can also visit our page to check our portfolio and send us an inquiry. We’d love to hear from you!


Flutter app developmentMobile app development

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Whether you are someone starting in the software development business or are in the game for quite some time, you’ll agree that managing projects that don’t use agile methodologies can get very tricky.  There are missed deadlines, buggy releases, upset customers, and things that you didn’t foresee. 

It is fair to say that managing projects of different sizes come with its own level of complexity and variables. Nevertheless, you can successfully execute projects by using the right methodologies and techniques available. Project management methodologies not only help you streamline the software development process but also enable effective time management and cost reduction.

An agile methodology is a project management process, mainly used for software development, where demands and solutions emerge through the collaborative work of self-organizing and cross-functional teams, and their users. Agile has multiple methodologies including Kanban, Scrum, XP, feature-driven development, etc. All these methodologies share the same principles behind the agile manifesto.

In this blog, we will focus on the most popular methodologies used in software development, highlighting the pros and cons and the recommended use cases for each one. After reading through this article, you should be able to decide which methodology is more fitting for project needs.

Kanban

What is Kanban?

Kanban (Visual Signal – Card in Japanese) is a visual way to manage tasks and workflows, which utilizes a Kanban board with columns and cards. It is one of the most popular agile methodologies and helps you visualize your work for your own, and others’ understanding, and helps you keep everyone on the same page. To start with, you would need to build a Kanban board, then filling it with Kanban cards, and finally setting up a work progress limit. The cards represent tasks, and the columns organize those tasks by their progress or current stage in development.

Elements of Kanban that make it truly agile 

  • Visualize the workflow
    Capture your team’s high-level routine as a series of steps (If you are unsure, start with the steps Specify, Implement, and Validate).
  • Limit work in progress
    Implement a pull system on the workflow by setting maximum items per stage to ensure that a card is only “pulled” into the next step when there is capacity.
  • Feedback loop
    Run your daily standup at a set time each day, focusing on issues that block work from progressing (cards from moving between columns).
  • Manage the workflow
    This can be made achievable by managing workflow and monitoring performance on the go in order to fix obstacles as they occur.
  • Adapt to the process
    Track external input that is blocking implementation of a work item (such as a late or an unstable dependency) by documenting it in the implementation step. 
  • Improve collaboratively
    Work through a problem (as a team) more smoothly and effectively by having a shared understanding of your workflow and end goals.

KANBAN PROS

  1. Kanban methodology is easy to understand.
  2. It maximizes the team’s efficiency.
  3. There are no set roles,  so there is flexibility in terms of individual responsibility. 
  4. There is less time spent in meetings like planning and retrospective meetings.
  5. Kanban has no mandatory requirements for estimation.
  6. Changes can be made to the backlog anytime.
  7. It reduces the time cycle of the process.

KANBAN CONS

  1. An outdated Kanban board can lead to problems in the development process.
  2. The team can end up making the board overcomplicated.
  3. There can be a lack of timing as there are no given time frames for each phase.

Scrum

What is Scrum?

Scrum is a highly prescriptive framework compared to Kanban. It’s included in one of the most notable agile methodologies and requires detailed and restrictive planning, has predefined processes and roles. It mainly focuses on team productivity and continuous feedback.

The Scrum framework is based on 3 pillars:

  1. Transparency
  2. Inspection
  3. Adaptation

The term is inspired by rugby, where a scrum is a formation of players. The term scrum was chosen because it emphasizes teamwork. And it is like the rugby players where players gather multiple times to check up on the project status. Once executed, the team players have to run in sprints to score a goal.

Scrum is a process to let the team commit to deliver a working product through iterative time-boxed sprints. This process is based on a specific set of roles, events, and artifacts.

scrum process - agile methodologies

Essential elements of a Scrum

Sprint planning 

Each team member helps set goals and the team has to produce at least one increment of software within 30 days or more.

Daily scrums

This meeting is held every day to discuss any problems the team is facing to avoid any delays in the project completion.

Sprint review

The sprint review is held at the end of each sprint to go over what was delivered, how it is delivered, and what was not delivered.

Sprint retrospective

This is an end-of-sprint session where everyone reflects on the sprint process, how it helped them and how can it be improved for the future.

SCRUM PROS

  1. The methodology leads to team accountability.
  2. The team can plan what will be achieved and estimate when will be delivered. And can communicate this plan with other teams or any stakeholders.
  3. The team knows clearly the sprint goal and can resist any interference.
  4. Three is daily communication which leads to efficient problem-solving. 
  5. Continuous process improvement and retrospectives with lessons learned.

SCRUM CONS

  1. Scrum team members require to be experienced and skilled individuals, lack of experience can slow down the scrum process and obstacles can occur. 
  2. The scrum team requires a committed team. If even one team member lags, it can cause a lot of damage to the process. 
  3. A less experienced scrum master can ruin the whole process of development.
  4. If a task is not defined accurately then the entire project can be lead to inaccuracies.

Scrumban: Going agile with a hybrid approach

Scrumban, like the name suggests, is a hybrid of the Scrum and Kanban agile methodologies, which gives teams the flexibility to adapt to the needs of the stakeholders without feeling overburdened by meetings and without giving estimates. It provides the structure of Scrum with the flexibility of visualization of Kanban.

Scrubman can be divided into 7 stages. Here is a step-by-step guide to developing a Scrumban framework for your team.

Step 1: Visualization of work

Create a Scrumban board to get a full picture of your workflow. It is similar to a Kanban board and you will be using it as your primary workflow tool. Add as many columns to your Scrumban board as your team needs to mark each discrete phase of progress.

scrumban board for visualization of work

Step 2: Stop Early Binding

Don’t assign work to a specific team member as part of backlog refinement or sprint planning. 

stop early binding - scrumban board

Step 3: Impose Work-In-Progress (WIP) limits

WIP limits to column enable the Kanban Pull System. Before each iteration or sprint, the team creates a WIP (work in progress) list of items from the backlog. These are the requirements they want to accomplish in the upcoming iteration. 

Step 4: Pull instead of Push
Stuff from Left to Right should be pulled; don’t Push. If needed add extra buffer columns for your convenience.

pull instead of push - agile methodologies

Step 5: Ordering is important
Prioritise the stuff in your backlog. Or add an additional step like ‘Ready’, if needed.

Step 6: No estimations
Kanban doesn’t have estimations; this means no story points, no planning poker.

Step 7: No predefined planning
Planning is done based on triggers instead of being pre-defined, weekly, or bi-weekly. When to-do reaches a threshold, planning becomes essential.  

no predefined planning - agile methodologies

Conclusion

Both Kanban and Scrum were created to help teams to increase their efficiency and productivity. The development teams at VentureDive leverage these methods, and are counted as one of the top tech talents in the IT industry. Explore our tech talent outsourcing services to learn more.

Picking between the two (Scrum and Kanban), however, depends on the team, as they can determine the best method or framework that would increase their team’s productivity and save time. 

In a nutshell, Scrum is an agile process that allows the team to focus on delivering the business value in the shortest time possible. Whereas, Kanban is a visual system for managing software development work. With the Kanban method, there is continuous improvement, productivity, and efficiency. Scrum is centered on the backlog while Kanban revolves around the dashboard. The scrum master acts as a problem solver. Kanban encourages every team member to be a leader and promotes sharing responsibility amongst them all. Scrum advises time-boxed iterations whereas, Kanban focuses on outlining a different duration for individual iterations. In the end, the team members should carefully observe all the available methodologies and decide which seems likely to meet their needs. 


Project Management

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Every employed person, regardless of their post, grade, profession, or experience, needs regular feedback on their work performance, so they can continue to improve, grow and evolve as a professional. In this blog, I will narrow down our discussion to software engineering – my expertise – and share some thoughts on how a performance review should be evolved to get the full picture of an employee’s work. 

At VentureDive, we regularly engage as outsourcing partners with our clients. It’s our goal to make sure we fully understand their pain points to deliver impactful solutions to their business needs. To ensure the delivery of high-quality software products and solutions, I feel it’s essential to be empathetic and human about how we measure our own talent’s performance.

Contextualizing a performance review

The great debate about subjective versus objective opinion that revolves around the mathematical mindset of “measuring” everything versus the artistic approach of “feeling” the unmeasurable things has left us with a very difficult yet interesting question of what should be a good performance evaluation system.

I believe this question is too broad and deep to be covered entirely in one article. I would rather limit my words to one core aspect, i.e. how often the “contexts” are neglected or even missed altogether in performance evaluations.

So what do I mean by a “context” here? Simply put, a “context” is the specific environment or the circumstances in which a problem is solved, or a goal is achieved.

The real challenge is how to model the context (to a good degree) in the performance evaluation systems.

Let me explain further by taking an example from the world of sports. 

Cricket is a game which I love to watch and play (if I am allowed!). For those of you who also follow cricket, you know there are different rankings of players like the world’s top 10 batsmen or the world’s top 10 bowlers, etc.

Now, talking about the batsman ranking system – while I do not know the exact details of the current ranking algorithm, I think they do factor in some aspects like total runs scored, overall team’s score, opponent’s bowling quality, etc. 

However, the question is, how sufficiently the context has been factored-in, in this case. As a cricket lover, I know this: to rank any batsman’s specific innings, the following factors are truly important:

  1. Total runs scored
  2. The speed of scoring
  3. Remained out or not out
  4. The team won or not
  5. Quality of opponent’s bowling attack (a contextual factor)
  6. Match condition: when the batsmen came out to bat, whether his team was under pressure (a very important contextual aspect)
  7. Whether he played with a positive intent towards winning or just accumulated runs (another important contextual aspect)
  8. Ground/pitch conditions (context)

A batsman’s inning of 50 runs which has resulted in saving a match is much more valuable than complacent innings of 100 runs.

So without going much into cricket, you can reflect from the above example that other than the simple measures, the contextual aspects are really important to truly judge the quality of any innings.

A software developer’s performance review

Let’s converge the performance review discussion to the field of software development. To evaluate the performance of a software developer in a project, usually, the number of tickets developed in a sprint, code quality (number of bugs identified), code coverage, etc. are considered. These are good measures of performance, but are these enough? Do they factor in the context? Some context-related factors could be: 

  1.  How challenging was the project in terms of requirement clarity?
  2.  Was the technical stack new for the developer?
  3. Was the business domain a different one?
  4. If the developer is a junior one, was he getting sufficient guidance or he has delivered in the absence of a mentor?
  5. Was he getting sufficient support from other stakeholders in the project?
  6. Did the developer just finish his work, or did he help others achieve their goals as well (e.g. helping fellow developers, giving good suggestions to clients, etc.), beyond the call of duty?

All these factors are essential to consider when conducting an engineer’s performance review. They account towards creating a human-centered work culture, where empathy is at the heart of everything. When your employees are happy and satisfied, it brings a multitude of benefits to your organization as well. Here’s how workplace compassion can be of benefit to you:

by-products of workplace compassion - performance reviews

Long story short

Creating a code of 1000 lines in a relaxed environment cannot be compared to the code, having a similar number of lines, but coded under tough deadlines.

We all know, developing software when you are challenged intellectually – beyond a certain level – is tough but what if you are challenged emotionally at the same time? It makes the situation much more difficult. 

So you see, the contextual aspects are quite important to properly judge the performance of a developer. The challenge is how to model and factor these in our performance management system properly, I will leave this for some other time, but currently, just wanted to highlight that numbers without the right contexts are just insufficient facts.


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Businesses around the world succeed based on the quality of services they provide. The easier it is for customers to navigate and use the developed products & solutions, the happier they are with you as a service provider. Quality assurance plays a major role in making your products bug-free and intuitive. This means, once you deliver a pristine product to your customers, there would be a lesser number of do-overs or revisions, hence, saving time and resources for your business. 

Let me share an example of how a bad-quality product affects business, as well as, human lives:

NASA’s shuttle, Challenger, exploded just after minutes of taking off, resulting in the death of seven astronauts who were on board that space shuttle. The mechanical cause of this failure was the Solid Rocket Boosters ’O’ rings. An extensive report by Jeff Forest, from Metropolitan State College, points to a flawed Group Decision Support System which misinterpreted the risks and failed to communicate concerns surrounding Quality Assurance. The whole project was shut down at the time.

In light of this incident, we can say that Quality Assurance of hardware, software, or any product of any kind, plays a very important role in business growth. Lack of it causes a waste of effort, time, and money. Before knowing how Quality Assurance is profitable for any business, let’s first have a little background of the term ‘Quality Assurance Testing’, and explore the whats, whys, and hows of it.

What is quality assurance testing?

Quality Assurance is about making sure that your software conforms to the requirements set by the client, and it works without any defects and failures. QAs/testers should run the program by keeping in mind every possible scenario to detect any defects, ensuring a successful run of the program. Now, what do I mean when I say defect-free software? For that, we have to define the term “defect”.

Defect/Bug: A defect is an anomaly in the product, something that deviates from the expected behavior. For example, you want to log in to the website on your browser. The login button is supposed to direct you to the login page but instead, it takes you to the help page. This unexpected behavior is called a defect or a bug as it is not conforming to the requirement.

What does a tester do and why do you need them?

A tester is someone who assures the quality of the product by running the program for every possible scenario while testing.

Basically, this is what a QA tester does:

software quality assurance life cycle

To ensure the quality of software under development, there is a series of processes followed to deliver a product — It’s called Software Testing Life Cycle (STLC).

STLC includes the following stages:

  1. Gathering requirements
    Requirement gathering is the first and foremost step in the STLC. In large-scale projects, it is vital for the project team, i.e., project managers, developers, designers, and QAs, to know exactly what the client is expecting from them. The bigger the project, the more extensive the requirements. Requirements are gathered from the clients and their stakeholders in the form of a written document or prototype, generally. 

    Time is money. With poor quality requirements, projects either fail, are completed late, or go over-budget. This is a reason enough for any business to pull off their projects from a software company, hence costing you money.
  2. Test planning
    Test plans are written to define the testing strategy. Test planning is done by the Test Manager or the Test Lead. It tells us how and when the testing activities will be carried out. It is done to plan the time, effort, and cost consumption of testing for the entire project.

    Test planning not only gives us a strategy for testing activities but also helps us estimate the budget of the project. Poor test planning leads to failure in reaching the milestones. In a fixed-cost project, it can cost you your time, effort, and money.
  3. Test case development
    After test planning, test case development is the next step. In this phase, the testers create test cases that cover every possible scenario in a very detailed manner. Test cases are developed to ensure even the edge cases won’t cause problems in the workings of the software.

    Test case development, if done right, can save you money, because, in this particular step, you are making sure the software does not break at any step. Hence, this assures that no further effort of the developers is required and the product is credible. A credible delivery brings in business, which brings in money.
  4. Test environment setup
    Setting up the test environment is a vital part of the STLC. Basically, the test environment decides the conditions on which the software is tested. This is an independent activity and can be started parallel to the test case development. In the process of setting up the testing environment, the test team is not involved in it. Based on the company’s policy, it could be that a developer or customer creates the testing environment.
  5. Test execution
    In this phase, the testing team starts executing all the test cases in a particular test environment that was set up by the development team or the customers. Each test case is marked ‘passed’ or ‘failed’, depending on its failure or success. Some test cases can be blocked for execution due to some system constraints, and hence, marked ‘blocked’. If the test case is blocked, the relevant bug is reported.
  6. Bug reporting
    When a test case fails, the reason is that it is not working as expected. Thus, a bug/defect/issue is logged using a preferred tool and planned in the test plan.

After going through all the phases of the STLC, the final test execution summary report with exit criteria is prepared to show the stakeholders whether the software is ready to be launched or not. So, testing the software by following the STLC will save you money as it takes care of your estimates of the effort, time and money you are putting into it.

When to start testing?

It is always preferred to start testing alongside development. An early start to testing reduces the cost and time to rework and produce error-free software that is delivered to the client. However, in the SDLC, testing can be started from the requirements gathering phase and continued until the deployment of the software. 

SDLC and STLC go side by side in a project. The diagram below can better explain how they are being done simultaneously while the software is being developed.

software development life cycle versus software testing life cycle

What impact does SQA have on your business?

In Software Quality Assurance, a defect is the stitch which resolved on time saves you time, money and effort. Allocating some of your resources to QA Testing can actually reduce your total development costs while also stimulating more growth.

SQA brings the following benefits to the business:

  1. Quality product
    Quality is everything for a customer. It is achieved through proper testing of a product. If you want your product to survive in the industry, that will be possible when it has gone through testing.
  2. Reduce developmental cost
    Finding defects in the earlier stages of development can save you a lot of effort. In that way, you do not continue building upon faulty code. A faulty piece of code can be longer than the one written upon fixing a defect. Reducing lines of code reduces the developmental cost.
  3. Save time & cost in fixed budget projects
    In a fixed cost project, finding bugs and fixing them in the early stage of the project proves to be beneficial because when the deadline is here, there is no room for defects and efforts to be made. There will be a spill-over.
  4. Customer satisfaction
    A happy customer is not a myth when a quality product is delivered. It helps you gain a larger number of customers. If you are a product-based company, when you deliver the software and customers use it, it will bring more customers and more customers to bring more money and business. When clients receive defect-free software, there will be positive feedback and positive feedback will bring a large number of projects to the business.
  5. Less promotion, more recommendations
    A customer would love to use a good quality product. A product won’t need much promotion if a happy customer starts recommending it. So, the cost of marketing is saved as word of mouth will be the source of it.
  6. Profitable
    Surely, the idea of hiring QAs does not seem profitable. It makes you think that you are spending more money. However, testing a product before selling it in the market will only increase the number of buyers. Nothing throws a software company out of business than an unsatisfied customer who regrets buying a product that does not work. It’s a long-term gain.
  7. Client confidence
    Retaining your client-base so they bring in more projects is only achieved if the very first software you deliver is defect-free. The quality of the product leaves your client satisfied and they will always confide in your ability to deliver a quality product every time.
  8. Saves corporate-level data hazards
    If you are deploying your software in an enterprise-level company that involves high-level security of data, without proper QA of the software, it may result in a defect that results in leakage of sensitive data. It is a hazard that’s difficult to overcome on this level of deployment. All of this could be avoided by testing the software beforehand.

All in all, the benefits of quality assurance are significant. Your software and your services gain customers, recognition and market value.

Debunking the myths

Over time you might have heard some myths about Quality Assurance and how it is not necessary or how it adds to the cost and time of the project. However, as of now, these myths have no meaning because almost every software development company hires not only developers but QAs for the projects too. QA reduces costs instead of adding to them. It is surveyed that a product delivered without testing costs a business more than hiring a team for it. A non-tested product is usually buggy, and may not cover the initially set requirements or direction.

Another myth is that QA is only done by the Testers. This is a big no. It is not only the responsibility of the QA but the developer as well. Developers have to give a working code to QA for testing and it cannot happen unless the developer tests it first.

Quality assurance is vital throughout a project’s life cycle. It always adds value to your business and saves you money by making sure that after a product is delivered, it is defect-free and doesn’t cause any problems to the client. Quality assurance and quality control, both fall under quality management and are essential to the STLC process. Testing and development should be done in parallel to avoid the defects found there. Quality delivery builds consumer-client trust, enhances customer satisfaction, and reduces developmental costs, which, in turn, adds money to your business.


Quality Assurance

Are you planning to create a high-quality mobile app? Learn more about our quality assurance expertise!

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Intuitive user journeys are at the core of aesthetic, functional, and impactful products. It’s simple: if users find it easy to use & navigate, and get to experience bug-free, secure software, they will be your happy customers. The way to achieve that is by ensuring that as your software goes through different development phases, all the quality standards are maintained. The easiest way to do that is to hire an outsourced QA partner.

Quality assurance (QA) testing guarantees the best user experience under secure conditions that protect users from hackers attempting to access their private information. While the developers make changes on the back-end of the software, QA testers ensure that the front-end experience is unaltered and functions properly. Now there are two ways to have a team for QA onboard: hire an in-house team, or outsource QA testing to an external team. It is deemed best in many scenarios to outsource QA if you do not have the best resources in-house. In this blog, I’m going to discuss the best ways you can manage your outsourced QA team, and how can it benefit your business.

Quality assurance is a practical solution for catching the major and minor errors before the product is released to the client, and hence, the people who are actually going to be using that product. Most of the time, the in-house staff does not have the time or resources necessary for comprehensive and complete QA testing, which leads to small errors leaking into the end product and becoming major issues. This leads many companies to outsource QA activities.

There are many benefits of outsourcing QA testing, including lower costs, highly skilled workers, and improved products. The outsourced QA vendor may have many industry-leading tools that can help release a good quality product. However, you should outsource your quality assurance testing strategically to ensure maximum output.

If I list down some of the pros and cons of outsourcing a QA team, they could be as follows:

Pros:

  • Lowered costs of dedicated resources
  • Focused & expert resources for QA testing
  • Save team management time

Cons:

  • Miscommunication occurs as teams aren’t co-located
  • Disturbance of delivery deadline(s) due to broken workflow coordination
  • Risk of privacy & confidentiality breach

What’s the best way to tackle these issues? One word: Outsourcing QA. There are a number of companies around the world that outsource their QA teams to businesses that are in need of a short-term QA engagement. It is becoming popular with global businesses, obtaining more marketability as it evolves into a complete, standalone industry. QA outsourcing has been in practice for a long time, and its prevalence depends on the value it offers to the customers, as well as the practicality of the business model. It is still very early to comment on how far QA outsourcing can build its foundation, as a whole separate service in the industry, but it will not be wrong to say that the stats are showing a promising future.

Choose the right outsourced QA partner

The success of your product is determined by how smoothly it runs, and quality assurance process plays a major role in it. So, it makes sense that you choose a QA vendor that agrees with your company’s vision, mission, and goals. When it comes to onboarding a vendor for your project or business, you need to go for the one that works in line with your business model, work practices and one that owns their work. In addition, there are a number of factors that you have to keep in mind when conducting market research for potential candidates for outsourcing. I’ve compiled a few of these below:

Cost-effective
The most common factor that urges businesses to outsource resources is the reduction in cost. However, don’t let this factor let you choose a firm based solely on the lowest price. Here’s where you need to be objective, go out into the market, do your research extensively and then decide. Always keep in mind: you don’t want to compromise on quality. 

Reliability & expertise
When choosing a vendor, it’s good to pay attention to the vendor’s references and success stories. A good vendor respects processes and documentation (test planning, test strategy, testing scenarios, cases & reports), provides access to test artifacts & templates. You can always judge a vendor’s competence by analyzing the skill set of the resources provided to you, their experiences with different companies and the number of successful project deliveries.

Availability of resources & services
Before finalizing a vendor, make sure that your outsourcing partner has around double the testers on their bench than your requirement, and that bench is managed effectively. Your partner should be an expert in performing all types of testing (manual, automated, web, mobile desktop, functional, performance, usability & compatibility, security, and API, etc.), so they may cater to your needs as your projects scale up.

Self-management
The motivation behind outsourcing, for businesses, is to contract out the time consuming & conscientious testing processes to a qualified external team, so they can focus on high-level quality management, code creation, and software design. From assistance with developing specified requirements to continuous testing during the whole application life cycle, a vendor should be self-managed to cover everything that comes under an efficient QA process. In addition, you need to ensure that there is an assigned QA manager on the vendor’s side so all related questions are addressed to the responsible person.

Understand who you’re working with

Like any business partnership, it is essential to understand who you’re engaging with. You need to know the other party before letting them in on the inside workings of your organization, and your trade secrets. The core of vendor management lies in understanding what drives your vendors. A QA vendor experiences constant pressure, operational costs, talent acquisition challenges, problems with other projects. Thus, you should keep in mind that excessive demands for price discounts may result in insufficient resource allocation to your project – the vendor may try to reduce the price by cutting their actual expenses (e.g. assigning insufficient or inexperienced staff, etc.).

Another thing to remember is, never dread to share information with your testing vendor (as much as the non-disclosure agreement (NDA) allows for). To deliver high-quality testing services, an outsourced team needs to understand your software, business, specific technical requirements, and user experience.

Choose a vendor that provides you a demonstration of their services followed by a report of presenting its methodology and the demonstration of test results. It’s the best way to understand the vendor and create a relationship based on trust and confidence.

Check-in with your vendor regularly
Assessing an outsourced QA vendor systematically helps ensure that your company gets exactly what you have aimed for. Thus, if the quality of service provided by your vendor doesn’t live up to the mark, you can promptly take necessary actions to mitigate them and ensure your targets are achieved.

QA performance management
In order to keep track of the team’s progress, it is essential to monitor how far and how well has the assigned project or software been developed. The smooth working of the deliverable will show if QA is performing well or needs to be redirected. Essentially, an outsourced QA team’s performance is evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Number of missed bugs or bugs slipped into production
  • Quality of defect description (bug reporting)
  • Correlation between testing efforts and outcomes
  • Efficient use of testing tools
  • Quality of testing documents

Is working with multiple vendors a good idea?

Hiring multiple vendors for multiple tasks can become hard to manage, and it’s seldom beneficial. It’s not cost-effective and there could be regular conflicts of interest. It’s better to hire a single skilled vendor rather than hiring multiple vendors and work closely with them. Regular performance assessments of the vendor can help in determining if your target is achieved or not, and if the vendor performance is not up to the mark, you can start searching for a better vendor.

For a situation like this, it’s better to have a list of vendors always ready with you. If at any point, you see that the team may not be performing up to the mark, you can always take a supplementary team onboard to pick up the lags.

Keep your outsourced QA partners happy

The quality of a team’s output is directly proportional to the satisfaction they have in fulfilling the demands of your business. It’s basic human nature; once you feel appreciated and valued at work, you put in more effort and hard work into your work, and never hesitate to go that extra mile to make brilliance happen. So, as a business, it depends on how you make your teammates feel; it is important that they know the importance of their role and the value they’re adding to your business. When your team works hard and is recognized as an integral part of your success, it develops a work-family culture and removes any alienation stemming from them being an outsourced contractor. I’ll conclude with a few pointers on how you can keep your outsourced team happy.

  1. Give them a clear idea of your objectives and business
  2. Respect them and their knowledge and skills set
  3. Provide them training and constant coaching
  4. Make ample room for the learning curve
  5. Provide required infrastructure
  6. Respect their values, culture, and time
  7. Provide a budget for rewards and benefits for overtime hours
  8. Recognize their achievements
  9. Pay them well

Stepping towards success

We all know that technology is advancing across industries. Why not go ahead and apply it to your team management as well? You can leverage technology like video chats for regular sync-ups with your outsourced team. In order to make sure that everyone is following the same playbook rules, you need to help your outsourced team understand your business goals and workings. Once that’s clear, a well-established vendor would work with you according to your ways. Lastly, respect is an essential factor when two teams are from different cultures or are not located in the same place. Be it respect for their time zones, or using a certain project management software, both teams need to show mutual respect to ensure successful project delivery.


Quality Assurance

Are you planning to create a top-quality digital solution? Learn more about our Quality Assurance services!

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At VentureDive, we pride ourselves on our ability to innovate to improve lives. What sets us apart from other technology solutions companies is our underlying mission to solve real-world challenges through cutting-edge services, products, and experiences. 

Our technology solutions span web and mobile design and development, consulting, and data and analytics. To provide potential clients with insights into what it’s like to work with us and the results we’re capable of delivering, we often direct them to our Clutch profile

Clutch.co is a rating and review platform based in Washington, D.C. covering web, software, and mobile app development companies around the world. 

Clutch lists IT organizations across the world, rating them on their market presence, industry experience, and proven ability to deliver excellence and results to their clients. Instead of clients merely leaving reviews or star ratings, the Clutch team speaks directly with current and past clients to hear first-hand how each firm performs and delivers. 

This comprehensive approach gives users and buyers a realistic understanding of each service providers’ strengths and weaknesses.

It’s very important for us to receive honest and detailed feedback from our clients. This feedback helps us upgrade our strengths and correct our weaknesses. We are thankful to all our clients whose words will continue to inspire us to work, create, and evolve.

Many of our clients have given us amazing reviews on Clutch and shared their experience of working with VentureDive. They’ve rated us out of 5 in different categories; below are some insights from a few of our clients.

Kashat

Our most recent five-star review comes from Kashat, the first digital nano lending company in Egypt. They approached with a unique challenge, to deliver a cutting-edge solution to their customers which would be the first of its kind in Egypt. Considering the project and the regulatory requirements, it was paramount that the highest level of quality and security was maintained for this project. 

The client was thrilled with our team’s high level of understanding throughout the process and their professionalism ensured that the build process went smoothly and finished on time.

GoRead.pk

GoRead.pk, an educational startup that’s working to improve literacy and develop a love for reading amongst children in Pakistan, left us our first review on Clutch — along with a perfect 5-star rating! 

The startup approached us to develop their mobile app. A core part of GoRead.pk’s initiative is to have volunteers read stories aloud to children in underserved communities.

The startup wanted an app that would help facilitate volunteer registration and serve as the primary communication tool amongst all stakeholders in the program. They also hoped that eventually, the app would give children independent access to stories. 

Although the client had a short two-month deadline, the team was up for the challenge; we worked quickly and ensured effective collaboration between our teams so that the app was ready on time. 

When the app launched, it immediately generated a lot of interest, and GoRead.pk reports that it’s become a beneficial tool in their program. They appreciate that our team has come to their offices to help volunteers download and troubleshoot the app.

Tez Financial Services

We recently received another glowing review from Tez Financial Services, the first fully-digital and licensed financial institution in Pakistan. They wanted to provide frictionless financial access and aggregate various financial accounts, from insurance to savings, into a single mobile app — and they hired us to do so. 

The first order of business was to meet with Tez Financial to discuss their business goals and determine what end-user needs the platform had to fulfill. Then, we got to work developing a robust, comprehensive, forward-looking, and user-friendly mobile app. We designed the app and did both front-end and back-end development.  

Tez Financial reports that we played a pivotal role in the launch of their company. The app has a healthy NPS and a high rating in the Google Play Store. 

The client appreciated that our senior management provided full support throughout the project, which helped to ensure that all of the project objectives were met in a timely manner. They also commended our efforts to align with their vision.

Unilever

One of our recent high profile projects was the Munchies project with Unilever Pakistan. This was an important project as this was the first time that Unilever got into a joint venture with a tech-led company in Pakistan. 

The challenge was to build a delivery platform from where a consumer could order and get ice cream delivered in 10 minutes. Unilever initially approached us for a google sprint to the entire model and then moved on to partner with us to develop the entire framework.

A month after the launch, Munchies was downloaded over 7,000 times and the system had received 3,000 orders. The client appreciated our organization and attentiveness when it came to the project as we successfully met deadlines.

We strive to provide our customers and partners with solutions that perfectly match their requirements and these amazing reviews are a testament to our commitment and drive. If you want more information about our work and approach, feel free to visit our case study section, read our blog, & follow us on our social media pages.

We look forward to growing our Clutch presence and delivering more successful projects to our clients. If you have a business challenge that you’d like to run by us, don’t hesitate to reach out! We love taking on new partners and challenges.


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