Software Test Outsourcing

Software Test Outsourcing for Small Projects

Most companies need a little help periodically from a software testing company. The requirement for software test outsourcing could exist in a software development company pushing out a new release; in an enterprise with an internal software project at a critical point in development; or in a web app agency rushing to meet a seasonal deadline. One soon discovers that finding a reliable provider able and willing to tackle a small, short-term project is really difficult. Here’s the problem:

A. Most software test outsourcing companies won’t take a small project

B. If they do, the software testing company can’t get started quickly enough to make a difference

Huh? Yeah, in most cases, if your project isn’t at least a couple of people for a couple of weeks (or more), then they aren’t interested in helping you.

Watch Video or Continue Reading

Why Most Software Test Outsourcing Firms Don’t Want Your Small Project

Why? Most outsourced software testing companies have a high overhead with a couple levels of managers. The effort involved to win a sale and deliver the services for a day or two of work just isn’t worth it to them. There’s just not enough profit left over for your project to be worth their time.

When I founded TESTCo in 2002 I purposefully structured the company in a way that enables us to handle on-demand software testing (for small and large projects) as well as the long-term projects where we are the outsourced QA department for the client.
At TESTCo, our minimum software test outsourcing project is 1 Test Engineer for 1 working day.

How can we do that? We keep our overhead very low, and employ the sharpest, most efficient test engineers and QA managers in the business. (That’s right, even small projects are assigned a QA Manager).

If you find yourself needing some help with software testing, no matter how small, give us a call. Here’s a sample of the types of testing we expertly conduct for companies just like yours every day.

Functional Software Testing
Manual Software Testing
Ad hoc Software Testing
Software Test Automation
Software Load Testing
Software Performance Testing
Software Test Planning & Strategy
On Demand Software Testing
Web Application Testing

How TESTCo Can Help with Your Small Software Test Outsourcing Project

Small software projects are different than large ones and need to be approached differently so that as much quality is delivered as quickly as possible. “Just Test It!” won’t quite do it but neither do you need a bunch of quality control and planning overhead.  So, how does TESTCo perform software test outsourcing for small projects and still deliver what you need?

Here’s how

  • We conduct a quick but thorough scoping via a web meeting. No more than 90 minutes.  You show us what you’ve built, tell us the story and your goals (and budget) for the current release.
  • We have our QA Managers work with a Sr Test Engineer to conduct a quick evaluation and let you know the best way to accomplish your quality, release and budget goals. (There’s a whole bunch of details about how we select the best QA methods to give you the most testing coverage but I won’t bore you with that here)
  • If you like our approach and proposal, sign some simple contracts and we can get started the next day.
  • Once we start testing for you, you’ll see at least twice daily status reports so that you are always well informed on where we are in the plan and what we’ve accomplished.
  • We will record any defect we find in your system, and if you don’t have one, we’ll use ours at no additional charge.
  • You’ll see our progress on a daily basis and we can change directions quickly if you need us to quickly retest and defects that you’ve already fixed.
  • Once we’re finished, we’ll ask you to say something nice about us so we can add that to our long and rowing list of testimonials.
  • We are also pretty good at checking back in so you’ll also hear from us approximately monthly to see if you need any more help.

That’s it!  Exactly what you need, delivered within a day or so, with the detail and professionalism that you’d expect from a seasoned software test outsourcing partner!

automate software testing

Automate Software Testing to Deliver Quality Complex Apps

Software and mobile apps are getting more complex every day. Users want more and more capabilities to complete their work quickly and enjoy their lives more fully. As software and mobile apps add features, they grow and require more time to fully test.  If you automate software testing properly, better software and happier customers will result.

Increasing the number of customers that want to use your software is fantastic! Even better, they are actively requesting more features – that means they intend to stick around rather than bail out and use another app.

Watch Video or Continue to Read

But, this growth in features comes with some distinct challenges – here are just a few related to your software and mobile app.

  1. Your software/app becomes more “crowded” with features, links and buttons – simplicity is usually a strong market driver and this complexity has to be managed carefully.  How will you increase features and still maintain a usable application?
  2. Your customers need support for a wider variety of operating systems, browsers, devices.  Again, this a great news but a big challenge to your development team as each operating system, browser and device has “little quirks” that are unique to it.  How will you know?
  3. Your software testing team becomes overloaded.  Not only because of the added features but also because of the number of operating systems, browser and devices that need to be tested.  How can all of the possible combinations be tested?
  4. Your developers begin “refactoring” the code to improve maintainability.  What? At some point in the life cycle of a software application, the developers will begin to recognize repeating patterns and behaviors within the app.  To make it easier and less time-consuming to maintain and improve in the future, the developers will begin replacing several unique code items with a single common function.  This is great and definitely improves both the software application and time to maintain, but it can also break things.  This “refactoring” happens all the time and is the leading cause of functions “breaking” when they worked previously.  Only detailed regression testing will find when this happens.  Automating software testing helps the regression testing go faster and at a lower cost.

Intelligently Automate Software Testing

What does this mean? Very simply, it means that you will need to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your software testing team.  Here are some tips to help you improve the effectiveness and efficiency of your software testing team.

  1. Make sure your requirements and test cases are TIGHT!  Take a little extra time to make sure that you have accurate requirements with specific test cases.  This prevents much uncertainty when building and executing your software testing plan.
  2. Manually test the newest features.  New features are subject to change.  Older features tend to be more static.  Manually test new features until they stabilize enough to invest in test automation.
  3. Use Software Test Automation to handle the majority of your regression testing for older, more stable features.  A best practice is to treat your software test automation effort just like you would a software development effort.  You will reduce risk and improve your likelihood of achieving your goals if you take this approach. Tips on maintaining software automation testing suites.
  4. Hire a Software Test Automation expert to guide you through selecting the best software test automation tool set and strategy.  The learning curve for test automation is steep and expensive.  A proven, experienced expert can help you quickly select the best tools, strategy and plan to achieve your software quality and customer satisfaction goals.


Mistakes to Avoid when you Automate Software Testing

It’s easy to get in a mess when you automate software testing.  Here are some of the problems we’ve seen when we were asked to fix a “broken” software test automation system.

  1. Pick the Wrong Software Test Automation Tool – selecting the primary software test automation tool (or platform) is challenging.  You’ll need to compare your current technology stack AND future application/technical growth plans with the very long list currently available tools.  Hint – don’t automatically select the one your QA Team has used before – it might not be the best for your situation.
  2. Just Start Writing Scripts – Test Automation Scripts are the fuel that is fed to the test automation engine when you begin to automation software testing.  If you fail to use test cases and a test case management system, you run the risk of building an un-maintainable system to automate your software testing.

At TESTCo, we have been helping companies automate software testing since 2003.  Let us help you pick the best path to achieve your customer satisfaction and software development goals.

Software Automated Testing for Business Risk Mitigation

You worry about your business every day. Do you worry about the software that runs your business every day? Testing the software that makes your business run makes good business sense. You give employees performance reviews. It’s time to test the performance of your mission critical software too. In many cases software automated testing can be used to ensure top performance.

Watch Video or Continue Reading

If you’re in business then you almost certainly have software of some kind. It may be a simple store front eCommerce application or it may be a large and complex order processing system. Either way, I bet there are times you wonder and worry about your software. Will it work okay for everyone all the time?  Will it crash under a high load of customers? What if a new prospect can’t get what they need?

But, what if you didn’t have to wonder and worry? What if you could know, at any time, how your software is working and performing? What other (better) purposes would you use your thinking time for?

Most small and medium sized businesses do not invest in software quality. Most large companies invest heavily in software quality. The failure rate for small and medium sized businesses is approximately 50% after 5 years. The failure rate for large companies?  Almost Zero! Is investing in software quality the cause for this?  I doubt it. But, consider that a broken ecommerce or order processing system can definitely cause your business to fail.

We’ve shared a lot about what we’ve learned about this type of software testing. Here are more of our thoughts about software test automation.

Manual and Automated Software Testing for SMBs

Generally speaking, there are two aspects of software quality that are important to small and medium sized businesses.

  1. Does it work right when it is first built?
  2. Does it continue working properly as time goes by?

Item #1 can be addressed by using a dedicated software testing team to work with your team during the time you are building, improving or upgrading your software.

Item #2 can be address by using automated software testing that monitors the performance and accuracy of your software over time as you make enhancements and take upgrades.

The typical budget for investing in software quality using either functional software testing or software test automation is about 15% of your total project budget.

From a risk premium standpoint, 15% may appear to be large, but when you consider the consequences of a software failure and losing business during the down time, it may be a worthwhile investment.

If you wonder and worry about your software and how it will impact your business, please contact us and we’ll be happy to share what we’ve learned over the past 13 years of automated software testing, manual software testing and outsourced quality assurance.