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It is hardly possible to overestimate the importance of software testing for web and mobile applications. It helps spot and fix bugs, prevent app crashes, and ensure the product works as it should.
But where to start looking for a QA team, and how to choose the right one? It might not be a problem if you turn to outsourcing software testing. The variety of choices here is just insane!
Outsourcing software testing opens many choices among the most incredible QA talents worldwide. But the most challenging part is – you have to choose one.
As a Business Development Manager with 7 years of experience, I’ve helped many co founders to outsource their software testing teams. And with all the years of experience behind my back, I am ready to share the main tips in this article.
So let’s do it!
What is Software Testing?
First things first – what is software testing?
There is a widely accepted myth that software testing is a separate stage in software development, which is only possible after the software is fully written. In fact, this is more relevant for the Waterfall model of software development.
According to the Agile philosophy (which Uptech devotedly follows) a QA engineer is involved in every stage of software development, starting from the requirements analysis to the bugs prevention process in the early stages.
But that’s very simply said. In reality, software testing involves a whole range of activities, like requirements analysis, testing planning, creating test cases, executing tests, and analyzing the results.
Types of Software Testing
There are two types of software testing: manual and automated. The first type is done manually, with the bare hands of a QA engineer. The automated testing is done using automated testing tools.
But that’s not it. Turning to other types of software testing, there are also such kinds as:
- Functional testing – evaluating software according to functional requirements;
- Performance testing – assessing how well a software application performs under a particular workload;
- Security testing – testing software to identify potential vulnerabilities and weaknesses for hackers;
- Usability testing – considering how easy and intuitive it is for users to use a software system or application.
Software Testing: General Process
What does it take to test the software? This is a complex process involving a number of steps. Let’s briefly look at each of the steps!
The first milestone on the way to a bug-free app is requirement analysis. The name talks pretty much of itself – this is the step, where QAs analyze the product requirements to make sure they are clear and sufficient enough to start the development.
It is essentially important to make the requirement clear and straightforward enough, not to bring in any vagueness that can later transform into bugged code.
All the planning is done at this stage before the actual software testing takes place. The QA team reviews the requirements of the potential products to specify the testing objectives, scope of work, and testing strategies.
Creating Test Cases
Test cases are an essential artifact in the QA job that outlines:
- Specific steps to perform to run the test;
- Inputs to be entered;
- Expected outputs of each scenario.
Usually, a QA team would create a Traceability Matrix – a visual outline of the features to be tested within the project. Moving from one feature to another, the QA team aims to leave no blank spots on the matrix till the end of the project.
Test Environment Setup
Before cooking, you should get your worktop ready. This is how professional cooks do it (and Walter White, IYKWIM).
In that, QA engineers and cooks are pretty much the same. The first ones need their environment all set up before diving into the testing process. To that end, the QA team tests the hardware, software, and other necessary tools to see if they are ready to run tests.
This is the stage where the actual testing starts. QA engineers run the test cases created in the previous step to detect the software's defects and issues.
Once the defects were spotted, the QA team couldn't let them go. Now the engineers' primary goal is to track the defects, recording each tiny detail of each. Engineers use a defect tracking tool to follow the defects' severity, priority, and reproducing steps.
Another step will be fixing the defects or the issues spotted during the testing phase.
Perfect takes effort. So more than running one test is needed to make sure everything works well. This is why QAs have the retesting stage to ensure the issues have been resolved.
When developers have made changes to the software, regression testing ensures that the changes have not generated new defects or issues.
The team finally prepares the final test report, including the testing outcomes, defects spotted and fixed, and recommendations for future improvements.
When Do You Need Software Testing Outsourcing?
With the remote work tendency and elaborate instruments for online communication and work, outsourcing is an absolute new normal. Whether it is software development, QA, or design, outsourcing can be a cost-effective solution or sometimes even a better alternative for you.
So let’s see when exactly you should consider outsourcing software testing services.
The first case when you should consider outsourcing software testing is facing time&budget constraints. The cost-effectiveness of outsourcing opens opportunities for numerous businesses that have great ideas but need more money.
Outsourcing software testing is no exception here. By outsourcing software testing to a small QA outsourcing company, you can cut costs up to 20%-30% of the project budget and 10 – 15% of the time-to-market timeline.
You might need more resources when you want to run multiple projects simultaneously. In this case, software testing outsourcing can be your saving hand. Basically, you have two options:
- Hiring QA engineers for your team via a full-scale recruitment process and paying all the employment fees which come along with that;
- Outsource software testing services to get the needed talent and not worry about the employment fuss.
Outsourcing software testing services can be a great option not only for early-stage startups but also for those startups that are aiming to grow. When your product is about to scale, the need for more QA resources can hit hard. You need a fast team extension with minimum fuss and expenditures in this case. And you know what? Outsourcing testing services fit the bill perfectly.
Outsourcing Software Testing Team: 3 Myths Busted
Outsourcing software testing is trendy among startup co founders, Yet, myths and unrealistic expectations surround this process. In this block, I want to examine the most widespread myths I encounter when walking to co founders.
Myth 1. A QA team is involved at the last stages of the project
The commonly held expectation is that a QA engineer should be involved in the project once the software is coded. However, this is a mistaken view. To explain it better, let me tell you how a bug is usually created:
- It all starts with the requirements. If there is a mistake or some ambiguity at the planning stage, the chances are high that the code written according to this requirement will be bugged;
- Code. Not spotted at the planning stage, the bug passes on to the development stage. Now, at the coding phase, the mistake requirement is transformed into an error;
- If still not spotted even at the development stage, the error passes on to the next stage – the product deployment, where it finally results in a failure of the app.
Result: a massive overspending of cost for finding the bug, eliminating it, and rebuilding the app’s architecture.
Things might turn out easier (and cheaper) if the QA team is involved in the project's early stages. Thus, the QA engineer can spot the bug when it is only a mistake in the requirements and prevent it from failing.
Eventually, the co-founder saves a lot of costs and effort while making the time-to-market timeline much shorter.
At Uptech, we follow the Agile product development process, smoothly integrating testing at every stage of the development.
Even at the Discovery, the QA engineer can be helpful at, for example, identifying whether the product is compliant with all the niche requirements (like HIPAA in healthcare apps). This approach helps our clients to optimize costs and get a product of exceptional quality.
Myth 2. With automated testing, there is no need for manual testing
Another myth in outsourcing software testing is that automated testing is enough to provide quality assurance. Well, in most cases, this is wrong, especially for startups. And here’s why.
The startup development is iterative – it envisages many changes and improvements until the final product is launched. In such a dynamic environment, testing the product at every iteration is necessary to avoid any errors. And, usually, only manual testing can provide that.
Automation testing is more applicable for classic Waterfall models of development, where testing follows the product development and changes are rare. Yet, manual testing prevails when it comes to dynamic, for it gives closer access to the app.
At Uptech, we usually combine the two approaches (manual and automated) to adapt to the dynamic flow of startup development while optimizing the client’s resources.
Myth 3. Software testing guarantees 100% bug-free products
This myth might be difficult to bust. Indeed, it is hard to admit: you’re outsourcing the software testing team, paying them for the job, and still do not get the perfect result.
We are totally with you here. But QA is not about testing the software against any possible scenario. Instead, it is about testing the software against our expectations of user behavior. Yet, these expectations are never overwhelming enough.
And this is where we have to accept the harsh truth – we cannot predict every tiny problem that can happen when using the app, as we do not know how the user will act and what their next request will be. Yet, we can always do our best to prevent the maximum of them.
At Uptech, we can provide a stable 99% crush-free result. Read about how we ensure that in the article How Uptech Keeps 99% Crash-Free Sessions On Aspiration App?
3 Concerns About Outsourcing Software Testing and How to Tackle Them?
Outsourcing software testing services can be a great option in terms of cost-efficiency, a large pool of talent, and flexibility. Still, a few common concerns usually hold co-founders from outsourcing. And that’s a pity, as each of them can be simply tackled via good management and streamlined communication.
So let’s look at the main “red flags” in the context of software testing outsourcing and see how you can deal with them.
Communicating with the outsourced software testing team?
Communication is the key to successful management. And software testing outsourcing is no exception. Yet, differences in time zones, language barriers, and cultural values hinder smooth communication when outsourcing.
However, choosing the right outsourcing partner with organized management processes and English language proficiency can easily cover these issues.
At Uptech, we have gathered a team of experienced developers with advanced English language skills. So you can rest assured of being heard and understood.
Also, our project managers take on the whole responsibility for the operations of the projects so that you do not have to control the QA team all the time. This is a perfect option if you want to focus on business development.
Quality of software testing
Trust is hard, especially when outsourcing your project to a remote team in another part of the globe.
Luckily, today this concern is handleable. Before outsourcing the software testing services, you can surf through gigabytes of information about the preferred company. To make a better choice, you can:
- Review cases on the website (check Uptech Work);
- Check the company’s profiles on outsourcing sites (for example, check Uptech Clutch Profile);
- Check the company’s reviews from clients (for example, this one);
- Read the company’s block to see its domain expertise.
With the homework done, your chances of outsourcing a perfect software testing team are significantly higher.
What about security aspects of outsourced software testing?
Another issue that comes up when starting to outsource software testing services is security. Well, this one has the ground to be – we often see the news about sensitive data breaches, so you have all the right to be concerned.
However, today's digital possibilities and legal efforts on data protection (especially in Europe and the U.S.) make the issue less distressing. According to the research, the majority of the E.U. countries (70.7%) have low rates of exposure to security risks.
In the U.S., in its turn, there is a whole array of legislation protecting personal data on both federal and state levels. Among them:
- The Federal Trade Commission act, which sets forth the executive mechanism for the breach of data protection rules;
- The U.S. Privacy Act of 1974 established rules and regulations regarding U.S. government agencies' collection, use, and disclosure of personal information;
- Domain user data protection acts (HIPPA, GLBA, FERPA, COPPA).
Moreover, at Uptech, we use security measures and protocols to keep your data safe and sound.
How to Find the Right Software Testing Team to Outsource?
So what does it take to outsource the right software testing team for your project? Well, a few steps and a little homework.
Step 1. Clarify your business needs
And homework is exactly what you should start with. Take a while, and do some self-reflection:
- What are your business goals at the moment?
- Are you a striving startup seeking investments?
- Or a growth-stage business seeking to extend your functionality?
The answers to these questions will determine your expectation from the potential software testing team and help you find the outsourcing partner with the necessary domain expertise and skills.
Step 2. Choose the outsourcing destination
Time to swirl the globe – where will you outsource your software testing team? Luckily, you have a broad geographical choice. Outsourcing companies from US and Central/Eastern Europe to Asia offer QA specialists of diverse expertise, qualification, and price ranges.
But the trick is that you can find a super-qualified software testing team for a reasonable price if you start looking in offshore regions like Central and Eastern Europe. For example, you will see developers and QA engineers in Ukraine or Poland for a much more affordable price than in the US or Western Europe.
But let the affordability not disappoint you – the quality of development and testing services does not yield to the high-cost regions, but the cost of living is significantly lower. This is how you get a lower price without compromising the quality.
Step 3. Create a list of favorites
The competition on the market is so tense that even after deep research, you will have a hard time choosing the one. Yet, narrowing the broad choice to a list of favorites might greatly help.
Once you pick the preferred ones, you can start doing the actual talking (setting up meetings with the Sales Managers).
Step 4. Choose one and talk the deal through
You are a few steps away from the contracts. Congrats! Now take a while to know your potential team better. Discuss the terms and conditions, and learn about the company’s values, working philosophy, and culture.
Hard skills are essential. Yet, the development might get into a better place with shared values, business approach, and communication style.
At Uptech, we get how challenging the decision-making process can be. So we are always as meticulous as possible during negotiations to clear out each detail. The sale cycle can take from a week to months, depending on the availability of specialists and the decision-making time.
Why is Uptech a Sound Outsourcing Software Testing Provider?
At Uptech, our experience makes us who we are. Since 2016 we have been a reliable and proactive product development partner for startups and mature companies. We are proud of our long-term and sound relationship with such clients as GOAT and Aspiration.
Behind our backs, we have years of experience and impeccable domain expertise in Fintech, Proptech, Healthcare, Social Media, etc. Besides being excellent product development partners, we also build our products (Plai, Rozmova) using the most advanced and popular technologies (like AI in DYVO.ai).
So what makes us solid product development partners? Well, let’s ask our clients!
“They’re very organized and transparent.” – direct speech of our client. Does anyone else have anything to say?
“Uptech’s communication ability and technical acumen are impressive.” – another direct citation of another client.
Well, transparent and smooth communication is one of our priorities when working with clients. And judging from these citations, this effort pays off very well.
Outsourcing a software testing team can benefit your business in many ways. Besides being cost-effective, software testing outsourcing can open a broad choice of tech talents and save you time.
In times like these, cost optimization is not a choice but a must. Outsourcing software testing services can help with that.
So if you are thinking of outsourcing a team – contact me, and we will gather a team that will boost level up your project.
What is software testing outsourcing?
Software testing outsourcing involves a whole range of activities, like requirements analysis, testing planning, creating test cases, executing tests, and analyzing the results. All done by a 3rd party provider.
What does it take to test the software?
The software testing process involves several steps: requirement analysis, planning, and strategy, test case creation, testing environment setup, test execution, defect tracking and fixing, retesting, regression testing, and test closure.
When do you need to outsource software testing services?
With the remote work tendency and elaborate instruments for online communication and work, outsourcing software testing is an absolute new normal. You should consider software testing outsourcing when you have an extra project and lack people to perform QA, when you have time&budget constraints and want to reduce costs, and when your business needs to scale fast.