November 26, 2013 | By:

Assuming: The Mother of All Screw Ups

Right now, everyone, even the President, is talking about the massive HealthCare.gov website fiasco. Unfortunately, it appears they overlooked a very important step in the web development process: quality assurance. Because HealthCare.gov is such a complex site involving so many different factors, quality assurance should have been huge priority on their list. They may have performed some quality assurance, but it obviously wasn’t enough.

Creating quality, reliable websites is a tedious process that requires many different steps. The first moment a developer thinks he is done, he isn’t. It is guaranteed that something has been overlooked, done wrong, or is not up to working standards. This is why a website needs to go through several quality assurance checks before it is ready to go live. The most unexpected things happen at the most unexpected moments when sites aren’t checked thoroughly. As a web developer myself, I check and recheck and recheck a site before I consider popping the champagne. After I feel I have exhausted all checks I can think of, then I ask my fellow team members to break it, and every time there is something that needs to be changed. And that’s okay, that’s part of the process of creating a website.

After many thorough quality assurance checks are made internally, checks need to be made externally. A great way to have that done well is have the website set up on a sample link that can shared. Then have many different people use it, test it, and even try to abuse it. It’s also great to have a variety of people from different walks of life and demographics try the site as well. A teenager may not notice something that a 40 year-old would.

When all the t’s have been crossed and the i’s have been dotted, the developers work is still not 100% done. Inevitably there will be some minor error or bug that happens and that’s when the developer must quickly respond and fix the issue.

Quality assurance helps remove assumptions and guarantee the best website possible.

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