When You Need Testers Now, Who Can You Trust

Trust MeOptions for getting outsourced testing help when you need it most.

There are times when organizations need to increase testing for a regular release, to meet a deadline or some unexpected occurrence, but it doesn’t justify expanding the inside team. The options are to quickly find someone for a short term contract, or depending on your application, explore crowdsourcing or go with an outsourced / offshore service provider that offers flexible staffing. Here are a few of the considerations that can help you when you need help right away.

Sourcing Options

Filling a contract position is not significantly different than hiring a full-time employee. Going this route lets you be very specific about the requirements and skills, and you have a chance to interview the candidates to verify they have what you need. The disadvantage is that this takes time, and onboarding one or more contractors is not advantageous when you need to ramp-up testing quickly.

Lately crowdsourced testing has gained attention as a way to quickly scale usability testing with a relatively fast turnaround. Crowdsourced testing has been around quite a while. It has been an extremely popular method for final or public beta testing and for testing gaming software. Even now it doesn’t take much more than a challenge to break software and free pizza to get a bunch of gaming fanatics lined up outside your door.

Crowdsourcing has grown in popularity with the explosion of mobile development and the need to test a multitude of devices, operating systems and wireless networks. But like all things, there are trade-offs that must be considered when determining if this is the route to go.

Who are the testers? Testers in the crowd come from different backgrounds, and possess different levels of experience. They can range from college students and employed testers looking to supplement their income, to individuals who previously worked full-time as testers and now prefer flexible work opportunities. Since they are freelancers, they can be available all times of the day, and on short notice.

One of the attractions of crowdsourcing is the potential to test public websites, mobile applications, software, or video games on a wide range of hardware devices, and different software/hardware configurations. However, good results will be dependent upon creating very detailed requirements up front. Even then, the consistency in the quality of the work may vary. There is also the possibility that test reports may not be uniform and contain duplicate bugs, which may require extra time to sort and validate the accuracy of the test results.

Security risks need to be evaluated carefully prior to releasing a project to the crowd. Giving a large number of users access to pre-release products can be risky. If there’s something special about the software, the secret could be blown or if it’s a really cool new app or feature, there’s the risk it gets talked about before you’re ready, giving the competition a heads-up. There’s always a chance the leak about a bug could get adverse publicity. While these are extreme scenarios, they do need to be taken into consideration.

When you have specific requirements and need to get going right away, working with a traditional outsourcing firm can get you to your goals quickly. Outsourcing firms will have testers with skills you are looking for and that likely have experience testing very similar applications. This benefits you by speeding testing, and having testers who are able to accurately identify and report issues. When you have very specific hardware/software requirements outsourcing firms can work with you on the best way to configure them for testing. And, depending on your needs, they may be able to automate a portion of the testing.

Most outsourcing firms are able to perform rigorous testing and help solve engineering problems. They also have standardized procedures and are able to validate workflows and a variety of user scenarios and can work with you to ensure the test coverage you need.

Assuring the Best Outsourcing Experience

Approached correctly, outsourcing on a temporary or as needed basis can be seamlessly integrated with in-house teams. The key is establishing good relationships. The bottom line is that people do business with people, not companies. And the preference is to do business with people you know and trust. Trust starts with confidence. Having open dialogue and discussion with the project managers is a good way to gain confidence that they can do what you expect. From there, starting with a proof of concept will be a gauge of how a larger project will go.

Outsourcing will, in many cases, force organization and process improvement. You need to communicate all aspects of your testing process including your communicating methods, status reporting, test case management and defect tracking in part or in whole to the testers working on your project. In a lot of organizations all of this may be getting done, but may not be well defined. Getting things organized and documented enough is essential to make outsourcing as efficient as possible, and will also benefit current teams.

An often overlooked aspect in outsourced testing is training testers on the application. Testers with excellent testing skills will produce smarter tests and better results when they have a good understanding of the system under test. Training doesn’t have to be extensive, but it can make a big difference in the results you get.

The individuals in-house who will be managing and/or working with offshore test teams can also benefit from training in the area of communication. The tech sector is highly cross-cultural. Being aware that there are differences in how communication is interpreted can avoid misunderstanding and friction.

Summary

From all the industry reports, the need for software testers will continue to grow, which means a lot of competition for skilled testers. For testers this isn’t a bad thing, but it can make it difficult for organizations to ramp-up testing quickly. In this environment it’s likely more organization will need to explore an outsourcing option at some time or another. Understanding your options and the key considerations will help you put together the right plan when you need testing talent in a hurry.

 

 

Joe Luthy, Marketing Director

Joe has over 15 years product marketing experience in technology and Internet services for major companies including AT&T and Verisign.

TestArchitect for Visual Studio is a keyword authoring platform extension designed specifically to enhance coded UI test automation in Visual Studio 2012.

Joe Luthy
Joe has over 15 years product marketing experience in technology and Internet services for major companies including AT&T and Verisign.TestArchitect for Visual Studio is a keyword authoring platform extension designed specifically to enhance coded UI test automation in Visual Studio 2012.

The Related Post

Ingenuity reigns as the Vietnamese prove that cars are second best when it comes to transporting heavy loads and entire families.
Software Testing to Software Engineering According to analysts, the growing dependence on software testing to improve product quality is resulting in greater IT budgets getting allocated to the testing activity. In fact, it is being suggested that in the years ahead, software testing will make up nearly 20-25 percent of the software budget. Forrester Research ...
LogiGear Magazine – September 2011 – The Offshoring and Outsourcing Issue
 LogiGear_Magazine_December 2014_Talent_Sourcing_The_State_of_Outsourcing_Today
The 2014 Outsourcing World Summit, organized by the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals (IAOP), shed some light on the technology trends that are shaping the outlook for outsourcing. Here’s a list of most significant drivers that are shaping “what’s next” for the future of technology outsourcing.
Using an outsourcing firm with technical know-how and sound processes adds value from the very beginning. Flexible outsourcing, in particular offshoring, can make the difference in achieving business goals within the boundaries of time and budget. Organizations rarely have a predictable, steady flow of work. Most test teams are under extreme pressure to get new products ...
Today, many test team leaders must continue to successfully ensure the quality of their applications under test (AUT) while dealing with the increased challenge of having some or even all of their team members located offshore. This article, part 1 of a 2-part discussion, will take a look at the unique risks faced by a ...
Tết holidays is a celebration of family, food and a favorable new year. February third celebrates Tết Nguyên Đán, or otherwise known as Tết, the Lunar New Year holiday welcoming the year of the cat. The holiday varies from late January to early February officially lasting three days. More recently, China and Vietnam celebrate Tết ...
Hong Mai has always been interested in computers since the beginning. She recalls having written her first script and thought it was amazing. “Writing a script and having it run successfully is a good feeling,” says Hong Mai. Hong Mai’s parents were high school teachers but have since retired. It was certain that their two ...
BJ Rollison, Software Test Architect for Microsoft, is planning to speak at the Viet Nam International Software Testing Automation Conference 2010 (VISTACON 2010) hosted by LogiGear Corporation from 20 – 22 September 2010. Mr. Rollison started working for Microsoft in 1994, becoming one of the leading experts of test architecture and execution at Microsoft. He ...
Well publicized offshore outsourcing challenges, a narrowing labor-cost gap, and political considerations have some rethinking how to approach outsourcing. Enterprises elect to bring offshore or outsourced operations in-house for a number of reasons. While performance certainly can play a role, motivation also includes strategic business reasons and a belief that the enterprise can perform the function ...
An Interview With Hung Nguyen, Founder and CEO of LogiGear Corporation This interview was published by Saigon Entrepreneur Weekly (Issue 186, February 2, 2007), the most respected and widely read business magazine in Vietnam. Hung Nguyen is a well known author of best selling books about software testing in the United States and is a ...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Stay in the loop with the lastest
software testing news

Subscribe