News from the World of QA — April 2016

apr qa news

QA plays a vital role in how software gets developed no matter the industry. Here is a look at a few interesting news stories from April related to software quality assurance. If you also want to check out last month’s news, take a look at the March blog post.

QA should have the Power to delay the Release of Video Games

The video game industry obviously depends on the QA role to release a product free of bugs and other gameplay issues. Considering the social media-driven gaming world, news about a buggy title spreads like wildfire within a day or two. The dustbin of video gaming history is filled with companies who gave short-shrift to testing.

A leader of a video gaming testing firm feels QA needs to have a say in when video games are finally released. Andy Robson of Testology spoke earlier in April at the TIGA QA, Localization and Customer Support Summit held in London. “QA should have the power to say this game isn’t ready. We’ve had times when there has been hundreds of issues still logged on our database – but the game has still been released. We need to be given the time to fix these,” said Robson.

Robson notes that marketing pressures ultimately force games to be released before they are properly vetted. It is an arguably unnecessary risk taken by major video game publishers. Many companies simply treat gamers as another QA layer; making final fixes to bug-laden software using post-release patches.

VR Gaming Interfaces complicate Quality Assurance

Ever since The Lawnmower Man hit movie theatres over two decades ago, virtual reality has been expected to enter the technology mainstream. Recently, VR control has reappeared in the video gaming world, and its presence is adding complexity to an already difficult QA role.

Because of these new controller requirements, QA departments have to redesign their testing labs to account for VR headsets and other associated hardware, which is slowing down the quality assurance process. “The VR testing space has been redesigned and rebuilt multiple times throughout the past 12 months and we expect that there will be more redesigning and reconfiguration throughout the next year,” noted VMC’s Kirstin Whittle. 

Considering the applications for VR outside of gaming — the military, surgical, and CAD use-cases are notable — expect QA shops in a variety of industries to consider adding VR testing capabilities to their toolbox over the next few years.

NASDAQ introduces New “Validator” QA Platform

When QA problems happen in the world of stock trading, the financial risks are paramount — an issue we previously noted on the Betica Blog. As one of the world’s largest stock exchanges, NASDAQ is taking the steps to ensure these problems are mitigated by launching a new API-independent QA platform known as NASDAQ Validator. The platform’s audience is expected to be various financial exchanges, clearinghouses, and depositories.

Validator includes a suite containing both manual and automated test tools suitable for the capital markets industry. It focuses on speeding up the manual testing process while also simplifying its use, allowing for validation by a larger stakeholder group. The system interfaces with different securities trading systems from NASDAQ and other providers.

Lars Ottersgård, NASDAQ’s Executive Vice President and Head of Market Technology, commented on the new platform. “By offering Nasdaq Validator to marketplaces worldwide, we are squarely addressing the absolute necessity for robust QA processes, while reducing expenditures and shortening the go-to-market timetable,” said Ottersgård.

Stay tuned for future looks into the wide world of software quality assurance in News from the World of QA here at the Betica Blog.