Software App Testing cCompany

Three Criteria to Select the Best Software App Testing Company

It seems there is a new software app testing company born every week. That can be good or bad depending on your situation.

It’s good in that newer companies can bring innovation and higher levels of customer service to a very mature market. This can give you a broader set of choices to meet your unique needs.

It’s bad in that there are so many choices! Pages and pages of them and then more websites to help you evaluate their particulars. It’s been proven that too many choices can actually make it harder to make a wise choice.

Why Bother? The Risks of Making a Bad Choice for your Software App Testing Company

There are many risks in business and technology. Testing your app properly will identify these risks so you can make a smart decision about what to do with the risk. If you fail to identify and eliminate the risk, your business will suffer the consequences.

Selecting the best software app testing company also has risks. The three biggest risks you face when selecting a software app testing company are:

  1. Your software app testing company is not really a testing company. They primarily build apps but do offer testing when they don’t have enough work building apps. Your risk is that your app won’t be properly tested by trained, professional Test Engineers. Rather, your app will be tested by junior developers who’d rather be building something than testing it.
  2. Your software app testing company provides a “project manager” but doesn’t provide a QA Manager. Your project manager will make sure your “testers” are working but won’t have much information on how to focus or optimize their work. Poor work, poorly led seldom produces outcomes that you’ll be confident in.
  3. Your software app testing company can’t offer an effective QA Strategy or Plan. They don’t specialize in software testing and QA. They can “test it for you” but you won’t be able to see and measure how deep or how broad your app was tested.

At TESTCo, we are built on top of these three foundations – Test Engineers, QA Managers and proven/tested QA Strategies. If your software app testing company is missing any of these foundations, your risk of failure is higher.

Three Criteria for Selecting a Software App Testing Company

You’re going to need at least three really important things from your software app testing company if you want to be successful with your app launch or update.

  1. You will want to Set and Achieve Your Goal. You may not have a goal yet – or you do and don’t realize it. “Just test it” isn’t a goal – that’s an activity. “Zero customer found defects” is a goal. “Zero fatal crashes” is also a goal. You’re building a software app for some business purpose, right? What is that purpose and how can your software app testing company help you achieve it?
  2. You will want to achieve your goal Within Your Constraints. You *do * have constraints! Most probably you have limited time and limited budget to achieve your goal. If you’ll share your constraints with you software app testing company, you’ll avoid a nasty surprise and/or the run around trying to make an overly large proposal fit into a tiny budget and timeframe.
  3. You will want Real and Lasting Value. You probably want defects – bug reports. Yes, those are valuable but only if they are accurate, unique and developer-ready to fix. You can also capture even more value that last much longer than a bug report. That additional value might be a small process change that improves your software development speed or it may be an open source requirements management tool that help you shave a couple days off your product specification process. Insist on and capture that extra long-term value, too!

You have a huge variety of choices when you select a software app testing company to help you complete and release your software project. Making a wise choice will save you countless hours and thousands of dollars that a poor choice will cost you.

Ask us these questions at TESTCo. I’m confident you’ll be pleased with our answers.  I’d enjoy speaking with you about your project. Call me at 888.254.9709 or schedule a call back using the green button on this page.

We’re different from most outsourced qa testing companies in refreshing ways. Browse our case studies and testing tips to learn why.

Bonus – Three Traps to Avoid when Selecting a Software App Testing Company

So, you’re clear on your goals and constraints. You’re on the alert for how your choice of a software app testing company can improve your situation now and in the future.

Now, be on the alert for these three common traps.

1. Price Vs. Cost

Seeking the lowest hourly rate – their price – can lead you into a trap where the hourly rate is low but your project cost is high. This can happen when your software app testing company struggles to attract and find top quality software testing talent. They might also possibly be testers that were originally software developers but weren’t good enough. Be on the alert for “too good to be true” hourly pricing.

2. Missing Manager

software app testing companies can also reduce their hourly rates by “body shopping”. This occurs when you rent or lease a person’s time to perform tasks for you. One of the most common ways to reduce the price of a tester is to eliminate any management oversight or coaching. You get the tester and that’s it. This may or may not work well for you. If you’re an experienced QA Manager with plenty of experience managing remote teams, this might work for you. If you’re not experienced with outsourced testing or QA, you might be disappointed when you find out that you’re going to need to manage and task this person every day.

3. Testers Vs Test Engineers

it is very common to find “testers” available to help you at a relatively low cost. This might work for you if your software app is simple and you already have a QA Strategy, Test Plan and Test Cases. A “tester” can probably run those test cases for you. If you have anything other than a very simple app or don’t have a QA Strategy, Test Plan and Test Cases, hiring a “tester” will lead you to disappointment. Only a Test Engineer is educated and experienced in the art and science of software testing and quality assurance.

If you are on the alert for these Three Software Testing Traps, you’ll make a better decision with a higher degree of certainty. That’s what you’re looking for, right – a Certainty of Success?

Double Bonus – Three Tests Plus One Guarantee to Consider When Selecting a Software App Testing Company

So, now you’re clear on your software testing goals and constraints and you’re on the alert for the traps to avoid.

You’ve “pre selected” one or two testing companies that you think can help you achieve your goals.

You’ve talked with them in depth and shared all of your relevant project information.

You’ve received a “proposal” that tells you what they will do, what it will cost and how long it will take.

Here are four “tests” you can use to make sure you’re getting everything you need to be successful with the software app testing company you are going to select.

1. Repeat Your Goals and Constraints

Your proposal should clearly explain your goal and constraints. This is evidence that the software app testing company *knows* and *understands” your goals. If this is missing from your proposal, you should be concerned that they don’t clearly understand your project or goals.

2. At Least One Strategy and A Plan

Your proposal should show “the math” – just like your grammar school mathematics teachers required. Software and software testing projects are complex and there are many different ways to achieve your goals. Your proposal should show the software QA Strategy that was selected as the best approach to achieve your goals within your constraints. It also goes without saying that your proposal should also include a plan that implements the selected Strategy. Double check that the Plan actually follows the Strategy. Award bonus points if your proposal shows more than one QA Strategy and the thinking behind how the best Strategy was selected.

3. A “Fixed Price” Offer?

You probably won’t see a Fixed Price offer in your Proposal unless you ask for one. So, ask and see what their response is. This will give you an indication of how confident the software app testing company is in their Strategy, Plan, and Estimates. Be aware though, that Fixed Price projects can be more contentious to manage to completion. That said, it never hurts to ask.

4. A Success Guarantee

You almost definitely won’t see a Success Guarantee in your Proposal. But, what types of success guarantees will your software app testing company offer you? Ask and see what their response is. The is a powerful conversation to have with your software app testing company and here’s why. Not every project goes according to plan and your’s may not either. Wouldn’t you rather know how your software app testing company is going to respond now, before the crisis happens, than later when everyone is caught by surprise? You deserve to know if your testing partner is committed to your project and how they are going to help you resolve the crisis – if and when it occurs.

If a software app testing company can pass these tests, you’ve found a partner to help you achieve your goals.

If they can’t pass these tests, you’re taking on additional risks needlessly.

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Mobile Application Regression Testing

Why Regression Testing Must Be Included in Mobile Application Testing

Are your mobile apps prone to breaking after implementing a new feature or update? If so I encourage you to make mobile application regression testing a regular part of your test plan?

You see, after an update or new feature has been added there’s a really good chance that you have some new defects in your older, previously working code. Why might that happen? There are several reasons that your previously “good” mobile application now has new defects after your last update.

Why Defects Appear in “Good” Mobile Applications

  1. Changes in the mobile operating system – it is not uncommon for changes and improvements in a mobile operating system to have a negative impact on your mobile application. This isn’t intentional nor does it happen every time. Testing on a variety of mobile operating systems and devices can help you find these regression defects quickly. Knowing which operating systems and devices to test is where professional mobile application regression testing can help you save time and money.
  2. Changes in code module dependencies – most mobile applications are built by assembling a set of basic software components and then customizing how they interact with each other and your customer. These basic software components are almost always being changed and improved. When those new changes and improvements are included in your new mobile application version, errors are likely to occur. Writing test plans to specifically test mobile software component interaction will help you find these types of regression defects. Professional software test engineers know and use effective test strategies and plans to help you identify and test these “risky” areas.
  3. Human error in development or testing – humans make mistakes – sometimes knowingly and sometimes without knowing. Most regression defects caused by human error are not intentional – in fact, just the opposite! Human errors typically occur when an improvement in one area of the code has a negative impact on some other area of the code that wasn’t foreseen by your software developer. For example, improving the user experience for logging in may have an unexpected impact on how a password reset request works that cause it to fail. QA managers, as an integral part of a mobile application regression testing team, can help you better understand how your requirements/user stories can show you clues to find these types of regression defects.

Smart Mobile Application Regression Testing Begins with a Smart Test Plan

Regression testing doesn’t fit easily into an Agile software development process. And yet, going without regression testing for your mobile application can lead to loss of prospects, customers, and revenue. Working with the right outsourced mobile app testing company certainly goes a long ways to removing the risk associated with rolling out mobile app enhancements.

Go ahead, call me. 888-254-9709. Even if you just want to pick my brain, I want to hear from you. Or, if you prefer, click the blue button on this page to schedule a call back.

 

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Mobile Application Testing Company Selection

How to Select a Mobile Application Testing Company

Mobile application testing is arguably more important than regular software testing.

Here’s why. Most mobile applications are free and most software is paid for. Additionally, most mobile applications are designed to attract new customers and retain your current customers by making it easier to buy from or work with your company. Most software is used within a working environment. See the difference? Mobile applications primarily attract and retain customers where most software is used to accomplish a task.

Now, defects or bugs in ANY software are a problem but defects and bugs in mobile applications have a much higher cost than most defects in regular software.

Why?

Because people seeking help or a new source to purchase from have ZERO TOLERANCE for defects that make it hard to begin or continue doing business with your company. If they find a defect in software they’ve purchased from you, you’ll get a help desk call. If they can’t get your mobile application to work, what do they do? Think about it for a second – what happened the last time you encountered a defect in a mobile application. What did you do? Yeah, you probably closed the mobile application and went somewhere else. I do.

The cost of a defect in a mobile application is higher than the cost of a defect in most software. The cost is a lost customer or new prospect

Mobile application testing is little different from software testing in a couple of  other key areas, as well.

“Walled Garden” Software Distribution Challenges

Releasing your mobile software requires “approval” from a third party prior to listing on Apple Store or Google Play. How will this requirement impact your release dates and software testing schedule? What do you need to know to avoid Apple or Google declining your mobile app?

Inputs & Navigation Vs Display & Calculation

The intense focus on Inputs and Navigation in mobile apps requires different software testing strategies to avoid wasted time and effort. How will you know you’ve tested the most vulnerable areas in your mobile app?

Devices, Browsers, Networks and Emulators

So many and growing every day! Your mobile software will operate slightly differently on various device, browser and network combinations. Which combinations are required and which are optional? Which combinations need testing on a real device or network and which can be tested on an emulator? Making the wrong choice can cost you prospects and customers!

Test Engineers & QA Managers Vs Testers

Almost anyone that has used a mobile device “can” test your mobile app. But should they? Test Engineers coupled with a QA Manager can give you full QA coverage and Risk analysis. Testers can usually do what you tell them to.

Not every software testing company will know these key areas well enough to meet all your needs as a mobile application testing company.

Where to start?

There are many mobile application testing company choices available to you. What should you consider and where should you start to make your selection?

  1. Clearly define your quality goal and your budget for time and dollars. This will help whoever you select to build an accurate proposal/estimate. There will always be more QA work that is needed but business decisions drive mobile software projects. Time and money are key constraints that limit what can be done.
  2. Mobile application testing experience is critical. Mobile application testing is different than testing regular software and requires different tools, patterns and methods. Likewise, mobile application developers are seldom a good choice for testing your mobile application. Software test engineers are your best choice.
  3. The size and recency of the device and emulator library will dictate how successful a mobile application testing company can be for you. The wide variety of mobile devices and operating systems dictates that you make two wise choices.
    • Which devices and operating systems are most important to you and your customers?
    • Which devices does your mobile application testing company actually have? When a particular device/operating system is not available, an emulator must be used instead. Emulators are useful for some testing but almost always fail to provide the complete testing coverage that most modern mobile applications require

The Cost of a Bad Choice

You must already be convinced that testing your mobile application is important and needed – as evidenced by your visiting this page.

Congrats! Some of your competitors either don’t bother to test their mobile application or do it poorly.

Don’t believe me? Just download one of them and see how long it takes before you can crash it. Not long, right?

Here are the big costs you need to avoid when selecting your mobile application testing company.

  1. Price Vs Cost – in software testing, you really do get what you pay for. Low rates/prices are the teaser and longer projects, poor defects, missed coverage and blown out deadlines are the true cost. Compare their calculated project cost instead of the hourly rates. Then,  get a money-back guarantee to make double sure. Even better, get a fixed price for your project.
  2. Talent Vs Availability – not everyone is a talented Test Engineer. In fact, most “testers” aren’t engineers at all. If your problem can be solved by “just get it tested” then almost anyone will do – and there are plenty of those folks out there. If your goal is “on time with zero defects” then you’ll need talent – Test Engineer talent and QA Manager Talent. And yes, the price for a Test Engineer is higher but see #1 above.

The Real Cost of Working with a Bad Testing Provider

When doing mobile testing, there are several strategies you can employ. You can test the application yourself, have developers test it, have a 3rd party team test it or you can choose to not test it at all. Out of these choices, having an expert 3rd party team is generally the most cost-effective option; this allows you to access expert testers and get your application into the market as soon as possible. While the ROI of a good 3rd party testing provider is great, working with a bad testing provider comes with its challenges.

The costs of working with an incompetent mobile testing provider is multi-layered. First, there’s the obvious cost of hiring the testing provider to test your mobile application. Prices for selecting a provider can range between companies, but it’s important to be cautious about providers that may charge well below industry prices or providers that are located overseas. While the upfront cost may be lower than other providers, the back-end cost of failed testing and wasted time in addition to the upfront cost can be enormous.

Working with a bad testing provider generally accompanies working with incompetent testers. This doesn’t mean that the testers are bad in general, but a regular software tester might be unable to see your application from the code and system level. This is why it’s important to have software test engineers because they have the understanding to develop and implement a test plan that achieves your project goals. 

A good provider is generally very cost-effective. The price of the testing done is reasoned by all the facets of mobile testing that is done for your application. This can include functional testing, performance testing, network testing, cross-device testing, usability testing and more. With each type of testing, there’s a subset of testing that is done to make sure all avenues of mobile testing is done for your application. With good providers, all of these services are provided by competent staff that include testing engineers and QA managers. Having that kind of technical bandwidth and expertise for your application would otherwise require full-time salaried staff and an array of testing platforms.


The Keys to Successful Mobile Application Testing

The three key areas where mobile app testing differs from software testing are:

  1. Faster and Simpler – mobile application projects are usually faster to start and complete since they are smaller and more focused. Applications on mobile devices are also usually simpler in functionality than software applications due to limited screen real estate and uncertain connectivity.
  2. Experience and Completion – mobile apps typically focus more heavily on the user experience than most software applications. Also, clear evidence that the transactions made in your mobile application have been completed are more important due to the tendency of mobile applications to lose network connectivity.
  3. All Those Different Devices – software applications and (most) web applications run in a web browser on a desktop operating system. There are a finite number of operating systems and web browsers that need to be tested against a software or web browser application. There is an almost infinite number of mobile operating systems/browser combinations – definitely more than you could possibly test.

With these three big differences in mind, can you see how selecting the right mobile application testing company might be important in the success of your mobile application project?

Questions for Your Next Mobile Application Testing Company

Here are some great questions to ask when you’re shopping around for a company to test your mobile application.

  1. With our very fast sprints, how will you design your testing strategy to help us increase our speed?
  2. Since we have very simple functionality, how much and what type of testing do you propose to make sure we achieve our goal of Zero Defects?
  3. What strategy do you propose to test the usability of our mobile application?
  4. How will you test and validate transaction completion and notification? How will you test graceful failures?
  5. What is your strategy to help us figure out which devices to test on and which devices that an emulator should be OK?
  6. Is hard device testing necessary or will a tool or emulator be sufficient? Which tools/emulators do you recommend and why?
  7. Where does test automation fit into your strategy and why do you recommend it?

Mobile application testing is similar to but different enough from traditional software testing that a slightly different approach to selecting the best mobile application testing company can mean the difference between your success and failure.

Want to talk with someone at TESTCo about how we’d test your mobile app? Most clients, at first, aren’t even sure how much testing will be necessary. We will give very practical advice in the first call. Call and talk to me personally. 888.254.9709 Or, click the green button on this page to schedule a call back.

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Mobile Application Testing Services Choices

How Much Testing Does Your Mobile Application Need?

Mobile applications are different than web or installed applications and deserve some careful thought to make the best choices about what and how much mobile application testing services are really needed.

There is a long list to consider and surprisingly, you probably don’t need all of those mobile app testing services to achieve your goal.

Mobile application testing services can include:

  • Mobile application functional testing
  • Mobile application regression testing
  • Mobile application cross device testing
  • Mobile application test automation
  • Mobile application security and penetration testing
  • Mobile application performance testing
  • Mobile application usability testing

Goals for Mobile Application Testing Services

Here are some questions you can consider to help you determine if one of the types of mobile application testing services I listed will help you meet your needs and achieve your goal.

First, what is your goal for your mobile application?

  • How many downloads or users do you want to use it?
  • What value will your users receive from using your mobile application?
  • How will you know they have received that value?

Now that you have a basic goal for your mobile application, see if the following questions help you chose the best and most appropriate mobile application testing services.

Mobile Application Functional Testing

Does you mobile application contain complex or simple functionality?

Simple functionality with only a few inputs/outputs/screens usually doesn’t need anything other than some basic validation that the inputs/outputs and screens work and flow properly. There are few inputs/outputs/screens so the number of combinations to test will be limited and can be accomplished relatively quickly.

Complex functionality where you have more than just a few inputs, outputs and screens probably needs (and deserves) a more robust testing strategy and plan. In general, you can’t test everything (it takes too long and costs too much) so selecting a smart test strategy will be very important to make sure that all of the “Important Stuff” is tested thoroughly and frequently. Almost any qualified Test Engineer or QA Manager will have a small library of Test Strategies and can help you select the one or two that most closely match your needs and goals.

Mobile Application Regression Testing

Regression Testing helps you make sure that you didn’t break anything that was previously working well. The main goal of regression testing is to insure that you don’t disappoint or anger your mobile application users instead of delighting them with new features and functions.

Mobile applications tend to be updated frequently. One of the benefits of a mobile application is that they tend to be smaller and simpler than other types of applications and can be updated very quickly and easily. This is a tremendous benefit because it allows you to quickly add or change features based on real-time user feedback.

But, being very quick to make changes to your mobile application may also hurt you if you don’t take just a little extra time to complete an effective regression test.

Regression Testing Can Be Challenging

  1. Familiarity breeds contempt. When you’ve seen and tested your mobile applications features and functions every day for the past six months, it’s easy to let your assumptions and urgency take control. This can result in skipping or overlooking some functionality in your haste to release your new mobile application. Using an experienced and trusted third party for your regression testing will insure that nothing is skipped (or assumed to be OK) during your regression testing. “Once over lightly and quickly” is not a good regression testing strategy!
  2. Lack of test documentation. Mobile applications tend to be smaller than web applications and good test documentation is usually the first casualty. And no, your mobile application doesn’t necessarily need a full set of ISO compliant test documentation. But, a decent list of test scenarios and use cases can help you complete your regression testing quicker and with a much higher (and measurable) level of quality and customer delight. An experienced third party software test engineer can quickly and easily help you build and maintain these test documents as a natural part of helping you regression test your mobile application.

Regression testing is simple but not always easy if you aren’t an experienced software test engineer. But, getting help from a professional, at least the first couple times, can go a long way to helping you release your mobile application faster, better and cheaper.

Mobile Application Cross Device Testing

Your mobile application might be used on a new iPhone or an Android phone several years old. Almost all mobile devices behave slightly differently and the difference in behaviors between iOS and Android can be significant. If you fail to test your mobile application on a variety of mobile devices, you are inviting a catastrophe.

There are two basic methods available for cross device testing. You should consider the pros and cons of both before specifying what mobile application testing services to obtain.

Real Mobile Devices and Operating Systems

Real devices provide the best mobile application testing results since you are testing your application on the actual device. But, Real Mobile Devices are expensive to acquire and maintain. Real Mobile Devices are also slightly more time consuming to test on as they require physical handling. Finding a sufficient variety and availability of Real Mobile Devices is a big challenge as new devices and mobile operating systems are released and updated frequently – and this makes the process of building and maintaining a library of mobile devices very expensive.

Mobile Device Emulators

Emulators are usually on-line services where you can load your mobile application on a variety of specific virtual or emulated mobile devices with specific operating systems and versions. Mobile Device Emulators are very handy but have some distinct challenges. Mobile Device Emulators work well for basic functionality but are seldom useful if hardware functionality testing (GPS, Cellular Vs Wifi Networks or Device rotation) is needed to test your mobile application.

But, We Think There is a Better Way

The TESTCo Blended XDT (Cross Device Testing) – at TESTCo, we take a blended approach to using Real Mobile Devices and Mobile Device Emulators. We will help you analyze your expected customer device usage and the current market share of each mobile device and operating system and produce a matrix that compares your testing needs against Real and Emulated devices. We use this to build a testing strategy that optimizes for primarily Real Mobile Device Testing with a portion of Emulator Testing so that we can give you the highest confidence that your mobile application will work flawlessly on the devices that your customers use.

Mobile Application Test Automation

Using test automation for your mobile application can allow your software development team to build and release your software quicker. But, is development speed really a problem and do you want to invest to solve that problem?

Here’s why I ask. Test automation is the process of writing computer code (for the test automation tool to use) to test your computer code (your mobile application). So, you’ll be building another computer program (to test your mobile application) that does test your software faster but is more complex and expensive to build and maintain. Go into this one with your eyes wide open for the ongoing consequences and not just the initial expected benefit of faster testing.

Another issue with “going faster” when building and testing your mobile application is the approval and update process – which is entirely out of your hands! Sure, you can build and test your mobile application faster but you still have the issue of bottlenecks getting your mobile app approved for Apple or Google store and then, even after it has been re-approved and loaded in the Store, your chances that your users will actually download and install the update are small.

So, instead of “going faster”, you might find that “building smarter” provides you with more benefits and fewer costs. Nevertheless, building and running test automation can be valuable for your mobile application in certain situations.

Mobile Application Security and Penetration Testing

Your mobile application probably has some personal and/or confidential information on it. Hackers are penetrating, stealing and selling confidential data from mobile applications and their servers on a daily basis.  Can you afford for your mobile application to be hacked and your users mad at you?

Thankfully, most mobile applications have a small number of security and penetration points so testing them is common practice.

The security of your mobile application’s login screen probably isn’t an issue. In fact, most mobile applications are naturally quite secure in their user interface as long as the login function is well built – and most are.

The real challenges with mobile application and security lie in the way your mobile application communicates with the world around it and it’s server. Mobile applications use API calls to send and receive information to and from other users and the server in most cases. The robustness, error checking and reliability of these API calls will determine how “safe and secure” your mobile application will be for your users. Mobile application security and penetration testing evaluates your mobile applications login screen and internal functions as well as your API calls to ensure that your customers’ data is safe and secure.

Mobile Application Performance Testing

Your mobile application will need to respond and perform quickly for your customers and prospects to feel confident using your app. Poor or questionable performance can (and does) lead to poor reviews, fewer stars and rapidly decreasing downloads and usage. This probably is not your goal so performance testing may be a risk you want to consider selecting for your mobile application testing services.

There are three critical areas to consider when performance testing you mobile app.

Device Performance  – Your mobile application needs to do 2 things simultaneously – respond quickly when in use and play well among the other mobile apps on the device. Testing the first is usually straight forward. Testing the second will require a smart strategy to get accurate results quickly without wasting a lot of time with invalid test setups.

Server/API Performance – Your mobile application will need to communicate with your server to send and retrieve information. In most cases, the server application is separate from your mobile app and interacts with your mobile app through an Application Programming Interface (API). This server app will tend to behave like most server-based applications and is subject to the same performance testing with one exception. The APIs need special attention to a wide variety of performance loading criteria to make sure the mobile apps that depend on them are not needlessly bogged down. Make sure to remember to test the server under load as well – not just the server application!

Network Performance – There are almost too many mobile networks to even list anymore. Mobile devices communicate either via WiFi or the carrier’s mobile data network. In all cases, even Wifi, the network speed and capacity are going to vary wildly. 2G and 3G networks still exist in many places in the world and the continental United States. Many WiFi hotspots are still using the older 802.11(a) and (b) technology. Network performance testing is tricky and it is critical to understand the user’s environment and goals before building a network performance testing plan.

Lastly, all performance testing requires detailed data analysis to clearly identify and truly understand the performance bottlenecks. Performance testing typically produces massive amounts of data that needs to be analyzed to be understood. Performance Test Engineers specialize in this data testing and analysis and have spent many years learning and building their knowledge.

Mobile application performance testing can be tricky to plan and execute so that you get the full value of the work. There is a lot of performance testing that can be done but typically only a few of the tests are truly valuable to any certain situation. The key is to be perfectly clear on the problems you want to solve and the risks you want to reduce. This approach allows your Test Engineers to perform the exact tests you need without wasting time and money on unneeded mobile app performance tests.

To Be Continued

In the coming weeks I will shed light on the five other types of mobile application testing so you can make smarter testing decisions. In the meantime, check out this post if want tips on how to select a mobile application testing company.

If you can’t wait for me to finish this post (hey, I can’t write all day, I have a business to run), call me (888-254-9709), or request a call back using the green button on this page. I’m happy to answer your questions.

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QA Software Testing Company

Does Your QA Software Testing Company Do Both?

That’s not a typo in the headline. I’ll repeat. Does your QA software testing company do both?

Both? Both what?

Why, both QA (Quality Assurance) and Software Testing, of course.

QA, Quality Assurance, is a goal and process.

Software Testing is an activity, usually inside the QA process.

Is This Difference Between QA And Software Testing Important?

It depends on what you have and what is important to you, of course.

If you already have a rock-solid QA process for your software quality, then software testing help may be all you need.

After all, your rock-solid QA process should inform you exactly when (and how much) you need software testing versus when you need test strategy and planning.

Your rock-solid QA process already has a SMART Goal that drives your software QA and testing team to the right activities at the right time with the right effort to achieve your goal, right?

But, if you don’t already have a rock-solid QA process, then you may need a little bit more than just software testing. A qualified QA software testing company, LIKE TESTCo, can (and should) help you with this as a natural part of their work with you.

Why Would You Even Need a QA Process?

There are three important reasons to consider building a QA process, even a small one, before you start software testing.

  1. You can’t test everything
  2. Testing can be expensive
  3. You can’t “undo” disappointed customers

As you can see, you can’t win in this situation unless you have unlimited time, money and fresh customers.

How can you win against these three big constraints?

Build a simple QA Process with a SMART Goal, clear strategy, and simple plan to achieve your goal.

Unless you already have a QA Process, goals, strategy and plan, you should seek a QA software testing company that does BOTH – QA and Testing.

Note: a QA software testing company CAN’T help you with this unless they assign a QA Manager to your project and they collect the information needed to build a SMART QA Goal. Testers, no matter how experienced, just don’t have the skills and training to build effective QA Goals or QA Processes.  TESTCo provides a QA Manager, at no additional charge, on every software testing project.

How Much QA Process Do You Need?

We think you should have the “Goldilocks” QA Process – not too much, not too little, just enough to achieve your business and quality goals with minimal risk.

Too much QA process will slow down your software development and release process and you’ll struggle to hit your release date targets.

Too little QA process and your customer service phone lines will light up like a Christmas tree.

A “just right” QA process should produce software that meets your business and quality goals and makes your team feel proud of their accomplishments.

Knowing Your Goal

How much is “just right”? That depends on your goals and constraints. If your goal is for ZERO defects, you should know that your budget is going to need to be *very* large. This type of quality is usually reserved for nuclear power plants and military software.

If you don’t have a quality goal and just need to get it “tested” then you won’t need much budget or time. But, your customers will probably experience significant bugs and delete your mobile application based on their poor experience. This type of quality is typically used by businesses testing a market or idea rather than penetrating and competing in that market. New customers are expensive to acquire and bad mobile applications or buggy web apps are one of the easiest ways to drive them away.

If you *do* have a quality goal, then the right amount of QA process is exactly the minimum needed to achieve your goal. This usually means investing in building test cases during your specification phase, designing and building test frameworks during your build phase, quickly executing test cases and reporting defects as soon as possible after it is built (real-time functional testing), and then a brief functional and cross-device regression testing after all the fixes are completed and prior to roll out.

Reaching For The Right Assistance

Helping you design, experiment and build your QA process is something that an experienced QA Software Testing Company can help you with. A mobile software development company can help you build your development process, but they seldom do well helping you design and build a software QA process.

Why? Software developers CREATE and BUILD software to add FEATURES. Test Engineers TEST and attempt to DESTROY software to find DEFECTS in the FEATURES. Test Engineers typically have the same university-level education and training as software developers, but have chosen a different path for their career. Additionally, QA Managers have a library of QA processes and strategies so an effective strategy and process that meets your specific needs is quick and easy to find, evaluate, and implement.

How Can You Know Which Vendor Has Which Capabilities?

That’s easy – here are three questions you can ask that will quickly and easily let you find out if the QA software testing company you’re talking to has both Quality Assurance and Software Testing experience you need.

  1. How do you establish and achieve quality goals for your clients? What is a recent example? QA Goals should be SMART Goals and have a clear plan for achievement. QA Goals should also have clear constraints – especially in Budget and Time – no project runs forever for free! Lastly, QA Goals should have clear Business Value – they achieve something useful that moves the entire business forward in achieving its’ goals.
  2. What variety and type of QA strategies do you consider when evaluating a client’s needs? What is your “go-to” strategy? There is always more than one way to achieve a goal – these are strategies and help you quickly determine if your plans can work to achieve the goal within the constraints. Sadly, one of the most popular QA Strategies is “test everything” and that seldom works. It feels good because you can see and measure a lot of activity but it almost never provides the detail and coverage most modern technology applications need. In some cases, it can actually be counter productive and delay a release! A smart QA Strategy should be proven effective and simple enough for stakeholders to understand and support.
  3. How do you document, update and communicate your test plans and percentage of goal completion? What is your goal completion percentage for your clients? Documentation of technology projects can be cumbersome but accurate documentation, reporting and measurement of QA and Testing is critically important. Poorly documented defects are literally worthless if they require developer time to diagnose and recreate the defect. Test plans are mathematical equations for demonstrating test coverage and completion across a technology project. They must be updated real-time to provide the real value a testing team needs to achieve their goal and the quality goal of the technology project. Goal completion is a critical value measure for outsourced software testing providers. Without measuring Goal Completion, your outsourced software testing partner is doing the work but failing to deliver the true business value.

Asking these questions can help you avoid the painful lessons of working with an outsourced software testing provider.

Can Location Choices For A QA Software Testing Company Be Helpful Or Harmful?

Having a QA Software Testing company near you can be helpful – especially of you have hardware closely connected to your project. Technology projects are rapidly evolving to include the Internet of Things.

QA Software Testing companies span the world and you have many choices about where you want your software testing & QA services located. There are two primary considerations when considering where to locate your QA software testing services.

Timezone Considerations

If your project is rapidly evolving and the stories/requirements very fluid, then selecting a QA Software Testing Company in the same or very similar Timezone will probably work in your favor. This will help you avoid some of the communications challenges that occur when a team is working at the opposite end of your clock. If your project is relatively stable, then selecting a QA Software Testing Company in an opposite Timezone will work in your favor. This will allow your QA and Testing team the opportunity to complete their work prior to your local team arriving at work. Fresh code at night and fresh bugs in the morning!

Intellectual Property Considerations

If your company or project has new and highly valuable intellectual property in your software project, then it makes a lot of sense to avoid locating you QA Software Testing Company in a country that does not have reliable and effective IP protection laws. If you’re building a cutting edge artificial intelligence system then locating your QA Software Testing Company in another country with strong IP protection is almost a basic requirement. If you’re building a marketing mobile app, then you probably don’t have much IP to protect (in your app) and the risk of IP theft is very low and the country where you locate your QA Software Testing Company is not nearly as important.

The Nexus Of QA Software Testing

TESTCo is ideally located in Austin, TX, with offices in Mexico and Ukraine. This allows us to work in almost any time zone you prefer. Our offices in Mexico and Ukraine allow TESTCo to work on your project without any state-sanctioned IP risk.

A QA Software Testing Company Should Give You a “Certainty of Success”

This is both a set of facts and feelings that your outsourced software testing company can deliver the value and services you need to achieve your business and software quality goals.

At TESTCo, every team consists of a Test Engineer and QA Manager to make sure you get the Quality Assurance you want and the software testing you need. It makes a difference. Just see what our clients have to say.

Give us a call at 888-254-9709, or request a call back with the form on this page if you want to explore this further with me.

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Outsourced Software QA Case Study

TESTCo Software Testing Solutions Make Life Easy for Journyx Product Manager

Meredith Zachritz, director of product management at Journyx, reviews customer requirements and market trends then turns that analysis into products that add significant, tangible value to the organizations that purchase them. Her work includes everything from research, development and QA to product promotion and follow-up support.

At one point, the company tried to outsource software testing to India, but it didn’t quite work. “There were communication issues,” explained Zachritz. “When new releases hit the customer base, code was incredibly buggy.” The ensuing support they had to deliver almost killed the company.

What Zachritz really needed was quality testing leadership, a clear roadmap for QA, and a solid testing management team that could provide highly-skilled engineering talent plus proven best practices.

TESTCo Delivers Testing Solutions Plus Tangible Customer Benefits

Since hiring TESTCo, Zachritz no longer worries about team management, rotations, hiring and training, and she can focus on release plans, software improvement and customer value. “Before, hiring and training interruptions would throw off all my annual release plans,” she said.

TESTCo delivered a complete solution, with a local Quality Assurance Manager (QAM) and an expert team of Testing Engineers (TEs). With TESTCo, Zachritz sees no interruption if a TE is replaced. “We don’t have to go out and do recruiting, hiring or even training” said Zachritz. “It’s just amazing how few interruptions there are.”

Prior to hiring TESTCo, the training piece alone would create an additional two to three weeks of disruption. With TESTCo’s pre-trained team in place, Zachritz plugs in a new TE within minutes of the previous engineer’s departure. Since that person is already trained and ready to go, there’s no lag in productivity.

For Zachritz, the improvements had a direct impact on her job and boosted her confidence in their software quality. The big development? Their latest release was delivered with zero customer found defects. That helped Zachritz look like a superstar within the company. “People here were saying, wow, nobody’s reporting any bugs!” said Zachritz. “It was a story going around the company. It was the highest quality release I can remember.”

That level of confidence was something Zachritz had never experienced beforehand. “I don’t have to worry about it, and I’m confident that I’m delivering a quality product,” she said.

“I don’t have to fight fires and clean up after a release goes out.”

Before, they used to have customer found defects that would generate a cycle of hot fixes, maintenance releases and general rework which would derail their release plan. With TESTCo’s QA, Zachritz didn’t have to worry about fixes and could focus on new valuable features for customers.

The improvements spilled over into other departments. The customer service department noted significant changes. “A lot of our existing customers tell us what wonderful support we have and how quickly we respond to any kind of an issue,” said Zachritz. “We’re just no longer bogged down with a ton of problems.”

Zachritz can now deliver valuable features faster, and get customer input on code that actually works. The results produce a direct impact on sales, since each new release and upgrade represents an opportunity for new revenues from existing and prospective customers. Journyx sales people also benefit. Their confidence in live demos increased exponentially and allowed them to present to clients with no embarrassing crashes.

With TESTCo as an outsource QA testing partner, Zachritz, Journyx, and the company’s customers all emerged victorious with a holistic solution to software development, testing and delivery.

About Journyx

Thousands of companies worldwide employ solutions from Journyx to track and manage their time, expenses and resources. Employees at some of the world’s largest companies use Journyx solutions to increase productivity and save money.

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Agile QA Outsourcing

The Problems with Agile QA Outsourcing

There are two problems with Agile QA Outsourcing and we have a solution.

Here’s the first problem.

“Testers”, and particularly, outsourced software testers are poorly qualified to provide all the quality assurance services that you need in your Agile software projects.

Surprise! 80% of Quality Related Activities are Non-Testing Activities

Consider all of the quality-related activities in your agile software project:

  • Requirements Generation – missing stories, creeping scope, dependencies, edge cases, acceptance criteria & story gaps
  • Estimations – missing functionality, dependencies, more edge cases,
  • Planning – regression planning, test automation planning, test strategy and planning
  • Documentation – acceptance criteria, test data sets, configuration management
  • In-Sprint – testing, defect reporting, test case creation, test automation, regression testing

You can easily see that 80% of the quality related activities are non-testing activities.

Why are “Testers” the problem?

Most “Testers” have little or no training in technology engineering, software development methods, or team work.

Most offshore “Testers” have been identified and selected as “Testers” because they are not qualified to be “Developers”. They may have experience testing, possibly even in an Agile software project, but they haven’t been trained in software engineering or software quality.

See the potential for issues?

But Wait, There’s More!

The second problem we frequently see with Agile QA Outsourcing is the fact that “agile” is different in every organization – sometimes it’s different on every project!

So….if Agile is different every time, what does Agile QA Outsourcing really mean? Well, we believe that it means that we adjust how we work to match how you work. We start every software testing and QA project the same way – with this question.

“We have a full toolbox but we’re only truly useful if we understand how to work *with* you. So, can you tell us your agile process and how you’d like to see us work with you?”

That’s where Agile QA Outsourcing starts at TESTCo.

Agile QA Outsourcing, the TESTCo Way

TESTCo’s success in Agile QA outsourcing is based on three distinct advantages that most software QA companies do not have.

  1. Test Engineers – are trained and experienced in using the best systematic approach to find and document defects in your software. “Testers” can run the test cases you give them.
  2. QA Managers – are responsible for evaluating and selecting the best QA Strategy, building the test plan with the Test Engineers and reporting quality measurements and statistics each day.
  3. Agile QA Strategies – are used to match our QA Strategies with your team’s approach to Agile Development so that everyone’s work and outcomes are perfectly aligned and in sync.

Business Outcomes to Expect from TESTCo Agile QA Outsourcing Services

The most important business outcome we produce for our clients is a measure of the risk and certainty of your software. We will tell you, on a daily basis, the quality of your software which will allow you to make a business decision about when to deploy your software for the maximum benefit with the least risk.

Mostly this looks like a daily report with a list of defects and recommendations.

But, there are also many other business benefits that you can expect from working with TESTCo on your Agile QA outsourcing project:

  • Requirements are completed sooner with greater detail and fewer missing dependencies.
  • Estimates are more accurate and delivered functionality is more complete.
  • Plans are more accurate and updated more frequently.
  • Documentation is up to date and sustainable.
  • In-Sprint Testing is faster, better and cheaper

If your Agile QA Outsourcing is not making your Agile software projects better, faster and cheaper, then contact us and let’s discuss your unique situation and how we can help you. Not ready to talk, but want to learn more about software testing for Agile projects. I’ve written an informative report you can download here.

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Web Application Testing Services

A Short Guide to Web Application Testing Services

Web application testing services is a general term that can quickly spiral down into a techno babble of software testing methods and practices. That perspective misses the real point about why you want to test in the first place.

In this short guide, I’ll help you understand what those terms mean and how to get what you really want – Certainty of Success.

Testing evaluates and minimizes risk exposure. Testing shows you where there are faults in your web application that might cause you or your business injury or harm.

Software testing answers this question – “Where or how might I suffer a loss or injury to my business with this software and how might I prevent that?”

Web Application Testing Can Be Your Most Valuable Investment

Modern web applications are no longer a simple or inexpensive business tool. They typically take many weeks or months to build and can easily cost tens, if not hundreds of thousands of dollars. As a business owner or manager, you need and want to make sure that your investment is successful and produces the business value you expect – increased sales, reduced expenses or even more customers.

Not only have you invested a lot of money, you’ve also invested a lot of time, energy and thinking in your web application project. It should go right but you know there are many, many moving parts and it’s possible that something might not work right.

Here’s How Defects Cost Your Company

  1. Customers frustrated by a web application defect will either stop their interaction with you or call your support phone number. This is either a loss of revenue or an increase in expenses.
  2. Prospects who can’t purchase or order from you because of a web application defect will probably not pursue the additional steps needed to be your customer – they’ll shop somewhere else. This is a loss of revenue.
  3. Your staff or team members who can’t complete their work due to a web application defect WILL PROBABLY continue working on that task and consume much more time to complete it. They may possibly stop working on that task because they can’t complete it. This is an increase in expenses and also probably a loss of revenue.

In short, web application testing can help insure the value you’ve built in your web application and prevent any unexpected risks or losses to your business. This might be one of the most valuable investments you can make!

The Three Primary Areas Of Concern Leading To Web Application Testing Services

  1. Does your web application do what it is supposed to do? “Functional Testing” in web application testing services is the process of evaluating the behavior of your web application to determine if all of the “functions” in your app perform as you expect them to perform. Examples of functional behavior include everything from accurately calculating and processing transactions to gracefully and politely denying access to anyone without valid log in credentials – and everything in between. Functional testing can take several forms – from writing formal test cases and test plans to ad-hoc or exploratory testing.
  2. Will your web application work on the web browsers and mobile devices your customers use? “Cross Browser Testing/XBT” or “Compatibility Testing” is the process of evaluating the behavior of your web application to determine if it performs properly on a variety of operating systems, web browsers and mobile devices. Examples of XBT include testing on the last three versions of IOs or Android (not everybody takes the updates!) to testing on the last three versions of Windows with Firefox, Chrome, Safari and whatever Microsoft is calling their current web browser. Don’t forget iPads and other tablets!
  3. Will your web application crash when a lot of your customers use it at the same time? “Load Testing” is the process of determining the “break points” in your web application as the number of simultaneous users increases. Very few web application crash anymore and this is due to the way that servers are typically provisioned and managed. Gone are the days of getting “slash dotted” when your web server couldn’t keep up if your web application or web page suddenly got national attention or “went viral”. Load Testing will evaluate a variety of usage scenarios and report the simultaneous user count at which your web server begins to slow down and annoy your users. These are the “break points” at which you will want to make sure that your servers are increased to effectively handle the additional load.

Other Business Risks To Mitigate With Web Application Testing Services

Depending on your type of business and your willingness to accept risks there are other justifications for web app testing.

  1. Can your web application be hacked? “Security Testing” will explore a variety of different hacks or penetration schemes to determine if, where and how your web application is subject to loss of data or inappropriate access. Most security testing is focused on external penetrations but internal cross penetration of privileged capabilities may also be a risk area.
  2. Is your web application too slow? “Performance Testing” is the process of determining your web application’s the speed of processing transactions. These measurements are taken in a variety of places within the most widely used scenarios and then reported to your development team for speed improvements where necessary. In most modern web applications, this is no longer a big concern.
  3. Is your web application legal? “Compliance Testing” is the process of comparing the behavior and display of your web application to the rules and regulations that your business is subject to. This can be a complex process, primarily because most regulations are subject to some degree of interpretation. An example of compliance testing that you should take into consideration is ADA compliance.

Web application testing services can look complex and baffling when you’re just given a web page full of techno babble. But, it can also be safe, easy and reliable when you can easily understand your options and select the services that are most valuable for you and your business.

A Quick Checklist To Help You

Even after you understand what web application testing services are, it can still be daunting to get the help you want and need for web application software testing your project. So, here’s a quick checklist of questions you can consider as you decide what works best for your web application testing project.

  1. What is the goal for my project?
  2. What are my constraints for my project?
  3. What are the top 3 risks for my project?
  4. What is the vendor’s goal for my project?
  5. What strategies did the vendor recommend based on my goal & constraints?
  6. What does the vendor offer or recommend to reduce the risks on this project?

This isn’t a complete list and there are a lot more questions that can help you improve your chances of success. But, if you know the answers to these six questions and make your selection based on those answers, you have an extremely high probability of selecting the best web application testing services partner and having a successful testing project.

A Sample Web Application Testing Project

Everyone’s web application testing project is different. But, with the hundreds of web application testing projects we’ve completed, it possible to show you an outline of what you can expect for your web application testing project.

Monday – you just got out of a product meeting and your web application project is nearing completion – you need to be ready to test in a week!

Tuesday – you Google “web application testing” and find our website. You send us a contact form asking for help with your project. We write back within an hour and agree to talk on the phone on Wednesday.

Wednesday – we talk on the phone for 30 minutes and discuss your web application testing project’s goals and constraints. You’re clear that you need help and you need to get it right the first time. We answer all your questions and you’d like for us to provide you with a proposal and quote. We schedule a 60 minute Scoping Session on Thursday with a QA Manager and Senior Test Engineer.

Thursday – you meet with our QA Manager and Senior Testing Engineer in a web-based “show and tell” to demonstrate your web application and show us the details of where you are concerned. We describe several different strategies that match your goals and constraints so we can get an idea of which strategies appeal to you.

Friday – we deliver a quote and proposal that clearly shows which strategy we recommend along with a detailed work plan and price quote that meets your budget constraints and timeline. You agree and ask us to begin work on Monday.

Monday – you begin by meeting with your QA Manager and Senior Test Engineer to discuss any last minute changes. Your web application testing project has begun! Your first Daily Production Report arrives in your Inbox early in the evening for you to review.

Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday – You receive a Daily Plan in your Inbox with full details of the day’s work. You can also expect a call from the QA Manager if anything is unclear or we are blocked in our work plan. You receive a Daily Production Report each evening that details the testing work completed with links to all of the test cases we’ve built and defects we’ve found.

Most web application testing project are completed within 3-5 days.

Lastly, after your web application testing project is completed, you’ll receive a Final Report with a detailed list of our work and links to outcomes (you own the test cases we build for you). You’ll also receive a list of recommendations from our QA Manager of things that you might improve to lower your risk and expenses in the future.

That’s it! This process took two weeks but can be compressed to a single week if you find yourself in a rush.

TESTCo provides on-demand testing services for websites, web apps, and software. software testing services that are Safe, Easy and Reliable so that you can delight your customers and eliminate any nasty surprises when you release your software.

Tips For Product Managers

Many of our clients are Product Managers and we’ve collected a few Best Practices for Web Application Testing that should help you get more of what you want with less hassle and worry.

  1. Write and publish a Goal for your web application project. Almost every web application project requires a team. For a team to be successful, they’ll have to know and work towards a specific goal each day.
  2. Start testing now! Even if you don’t have any “code” yet, you can begin testing by building test cases and test scenarios from your stories and use cases. A little known secret is that software developers actually appreciate test cases and scenarios included with the story! Why? Ever had someone explain something to you that almost made sense? If you had an example, would it have made more sense? Yeah, your software devs will appreciate your forward thinking.
  3. Plan for quality and start early. Most project plans focus on getting the deliverables completed – usually with the assumption that they will pass testing.  Here’s a Pro Tip – most deliverables DO NOT PASS TESTING the first time. Plan more time for quality DURING your project and your project will complete much more smoothly and on time. If you wait to the end to test, you’ll almost always need more time in your project plan.

If you’ll do these three simple things, your web application project will complete Faster, Better and Cheaper!

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Web Testing Company

When “Just Test It” Isn’t Enough

If your goal or the goal you give to a web testing company is “go fast and break things” then you should skip this.

But, if your goal is to build websites and web apps that delight your clients and that propels your company to achieve its goals, then there is something for you to learn in this post.

We’re occasionally asked to “just test this for us” and we’re happy to do that. After all, we’re a software and web testing company. It would be silly not to.

But, if you knew a little more about what is possible with software testing and quality assurance, would it influence your decision about which web testing company you choose and what you asked them to do?

OK, then, here’s what’s possible that you might be missing when you ask a web testing company to “just test” your software.

You want it tested to find the defects that will cause your software or web application to ABEND (any old JCL/Cobol programmers out there?), crash or disrupt your customer from achieving their goal.

You want defects!

But Wait, Just Defects?

Yes and no.

Yes, you want as many defects as your web testing company can find for you. After all, it’s better that we find them than your customers and prospects, right?

And, all software has defects, right? It just goes with the territory and that’s why all software needs to be test.

But, what if you could also reduce the number of defects your team produces and figure out how to build software faster?

Would it help you, your team and your company if merely by having your software tested, you also found out how to measurably improve your software production speed and reduce your software development costs?

The Hidden Secret of Effective Website and Web App Testing

Here’s a secret that few people take advantage of – your web testing company should also have a QA Manager that can help you pinpoint broken places in your software development process where you are building your web software inefficiently or ineffectively. The QA Manager should help you see where you’re either doing it poorly or doing it wrong.

And yet, most people never take advantage of this hidden gem for one of two reasons.

  1. You just don’t ask your web testing company how they could help you build better software. In most cases, this is because most web testing companies simply sell you a tester. When you have a Test Engineer on your project, you’ll have the confidence and opportunity to ask where they think your process could be improved.
  2. Your web testing company doesn’t provide an experienced QA Manger on every project. An experienced QA Manager has seen and successfully completed hundreds of software testing projects. They’ve seen it all! An experienced QA Manager has an enormous toolbox just packed full of QA and Testing methods, processes, tools, tips and tricks that they’d love to share with you. And, you’re hearing from your web testing team every day (you do get daily status reports, right?) and these are the perfect opportunity to get advice and feedback from your web testing company’s QA Manager on how you might improve your software production process.

You should expect more from your web testing company. More than just defects or bugs. You should get help to improve your process so you spend less time and money in the future.

Give Your Web Testing Company Clear Goals If You Want Clear Outcomes

You will almost always need more testing than you can afford. It’s just the nature of software and the art/science of software engineering. You already know this. I’m sorry that it is this way and hope you’ll find some hope and relief in this article.

Since there is more testing work than you can afford, your web testing company will need to decide what to test and how to test it.

Clear goals prevent wasted time and money chasing the wrong thing.

Clear goals for your software testing company will ensure that you are satisfied with the outcomes and value they produce for you.

Clear goals are the #1 factor leading to effectively achieving your goals.

Crystal Clear Constraints Equal On Time Results

You can only afford so much. Budgets are budgets and we all have to make do with less sometimes. Sometimes, even your patience and available time are a constraint – you hired a web testing company to help – why are they asking all these questions?

That’s fine and expected. But, you still need to get the testing coverage you need in the timeline you’ve got so you can achieve your business goals.

Clear constraints (money, time, talent, patience, etc) will help your web testing company make accurate promises, plans, and estimates.

Clear constraints help us further understand your goals and how we can help you.

Lack of clear constraints is the #1 reason most projects end abruptly without completion.

Clear Strategy Equals Repeatable and Sustainable Results

For TESTCo, Strategy is the process of assembling a set of assets with advantages and actions relative to achieving the goal. A solid Testing Strategy will help us achieve your goals within your constraints.

There is always more than one way to skin a cat or test your software.

“Just test it” is a strategy but it ignores almost everything you need to be successful.

What is a Software Testing Strategy and How do We Use It to Help You?

Very simply, a strategy is a collection of assets that have a specific advantage that can be put into action to help you achieve your goal within your constraints.

A strategy helps you fill the “How will we do this?” gap that sits in between your goal and your constraints.

Most goals are aimed at Zero or very minimal defects when the software is deployed. Most constraints are time and budget – it needs to be done by a certain date and within a certain budget.

Once you know the goal and the constraints, you can begin to find and organize your “assets” to work (within the constraints) to achieve your goal.

There are three challenges in this approach that you’ll need to be prepared for.

  1. Which software testing strategies are relevant and effective to your goal and constraints?
  2. Of those relevant strategies, which will give you the biggest outcome for the least cost and risk?
  3. Do you have all the “assets” you need to pursue your strategy?

If you’re a seasoned QA Manager, you probably already have a list of “go-to” software testing strategies. If you’re not a seasoned QA Manager, your web testing company should have a QA Manager that can walk you through this easily.

At TESTCo, we typically evaluate two or three strategies before selecting and recommending the best for our clients to achieve their goals within their constraints.

“Testers” Usually Don’t Have a Strategy

“Test Engineers” and “QA Managers” have a library of different testing and QA Strategies they can employ to achieve your goals. That’s why TESTCo only employs test engineers. That’s why a QA Manager is assigned to every project. Your web testing company should provide these for you!

“Just Test It and Hope For the Best” is also a strategy, it’s just not a very good one. That’s one reason you want to be careful about hiring a company to test your software, website and apps.

Lack of a strategy is the #1 reason for looking foolish to your boss or customers.

Goals, Constraints and Strategy Equal Value and Delight

You know you need testing for your software, website, or web application and you also know you have a limited budget.

Sure, you can get it “tested”.

But, why?

If you’ll share your Goals and Constraints with us, we’ll show you that you can have more.

Your boss and customers will appreciate it.

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QA Testing Company

Does Your QA Testing Company Know Your Goals and Constraints? 

In This Post

Why does it matter if a QA testing company, hired for a quick project, knows your goals and constraints for the project?

You know it needs to be tested, you’re already behind your plan and waiting for testing to be completed seems like a waste of time. You just need it done.

We’re frequently asked to “just get this tested out by tomorrow”. We can do that and we’re happy to do so. You’re in a rush, we know it and we want to be helpful to you.

But taking a few minutes up front can have a huge return.

Pause, Take a Deep Breath, Write Down Your Goals and Constraints

Just do a little bit of thinking about Goals and Constraints (or spend just a few minutes talking with us). You’ll dramatically increase your Certainty of Success. It works every time.

You’ll also get about 10X in increased value from the work of your QA testing company if you can explain your goal and/or constraint in a way they can understand and achieve.

All this can be a little tricky because software quality can be a goal or constraint – or both.

If you are clear about which one, you have an opportunity to either reduce your expenses or increase the return on your investment.

If you aren’t clear about which one, you’ll probably be disappointed with either the cost or the outcomes.

Here’s why:

Software Quality as a Goal

If software quality is a goal, is it specific and how much are you prepared to invest to achieve your goal?

What return do you expect for your investment after the QA testing company finishes the project?

For example, “No critical defects” is a software quality goal. “No customer-found defects” is another, but different, software quality goal.

One of these goals focuses on the types of defects and the other focuses on the availability and likelihood of defects. They appear similar but require different software testing approaches. Not all QA testing companies can recognize or build a strategy and plan to achieve these goals.

If your selected QA testing company isn’t clear on this type of goal, you’ll get as much testing as you can afford but you might not achieve your goal.

This is why it’s important to define and measure your software quality goals. Both defining and measuring your software quality goals are vital to assessing software quality as a goal. In regards to defining your goals, one of the first things you can do is to figure out if the testing is sufficient. Without enough testing on your product, the quality of software will be inferior by default. Some quality goals you can strive for in your software include:

  • Reducing the number of non-executed test cases (ideally 0)
  • High severity on open bugs/total bugs
  • Un-targeted bugs

The metrics provided by these quality goals can determine the overall quality of the software for your application.

Software Quality as a Constraint

If software quality is a constraint, what is the most you’ll spend and the minimum you’d accept?

Will meeting the constraints be sufficient to achieve your business goals? You don’t want to come up short.

For example, “No previous features broken” is a type of goal and constraint. “Must fail gracefully without data loss” is another type of constraint.

Your unique constraints have an impact on the type of software testing strategy that your QA testing company chooses. Some constraints are very easy to accommodate and others can be a real challenge. Many QA testing companies skip this step and wind up disappointing their clients when they fail to achieve the goal AND the constraint.

When Software Quality is Both a Goal and a Constraint

When software quality is both a goal and a constraint, how will you measure the boundaries of expense versus investment?

If you limit your expense as a constraint, will the investment be sufficient to achieve your goal?

Yeah, those are some tough questions. It really helps to have a trusted QA testing company as a partner to discuss the scenarios and risks.

What is Your Quality Goal or Constraint?

If you don’t know, you’re not alone – most of our clients don’t have a clear idea when they first come to us for help.

At TESTCo, we prefer the “SMART” goal format and can easily help you “sharpen” your quality goal.

When software quality is  viewed as a constraint, you should be able to clearly define the limits. We see this frequently with new clients, “We need this tested within X days and for $Y price, can you do that?” At TESTCo, we work with this situation frequently.

What is a SMART Goal?

Smart Goals are built on the S.M.A.R.T Criteria and stands for:

– Specific

– Measurable

– Achievable

– Results Focused (or Relevant)

– Time Bound

If you’ll use this short checklist when writing your goal, you will reduce the amount of time you need to build a good goal and your QA testing company will have an easier time understanding and achieving it for you.

Why Do I Need a SMART Goal?

You don’t need a SMART goal for working with a QA testing company, but if you can build one, you’ll get much more value and have better outcomes than if you don’t build a Smart Goal.

Many QA testing companies are happy to work for you without any goal at all. The problem that occurs without a goal is that all you can get is some testing activity and a list of defects.

While that sounds OK, you can and should expect more. Just testing and reporting defects can’t tell you much about the quality of your software or the team building your software. The most it can tell you is that you do have software defects.

If you do have a goal and you find one of the few QA testing companies that can help you achieve your goal, you’ll be rewarded with software testing, a list of defects and best of all, some real metrics, feedback and advice on specifically where you stand towards achieving your goal. Additionally, you’ll get expert consulting advice on how you can more easily achieve your goals in the future.

Otherwise, and without a goal, you’ll just get some testing and a list of defects.

The SMART goal format is advantageous because it provides measurable and detailed goals that account for both quality goals and any constraints you might have. This is extremely beneficial because if you fall short of your SMART goal, there is an objective reason as to why and you can know exactly what you need to fix. Meeting with TESTCo QA managers or senior test engineers can be helpful when crafting a SMART goal for your project. After discussing with the TESTCo team, everyone is on the same page as to what exactly the goals are for a given project. With the assistance of the daily reports provided by QA managers, you can track the progress that you are making towards achieving your SMART goal on a daily basis.

Plans Vs. Planning

Goals are used to create plans that are clear so that everyone on the team can help achieve the common goal. Plans are frequently seen as very important since they are typically used to measure the progress of a project – especially a QA testing project when everyone is waiting anxiously for the launch! At TESTCo, we’re experts at building plans and here’s why. QA testing projects very seldom run exactly according to plan. Why? Primarily because testing is done at or near the end of a project and there’s ALWAYS something else that someone wants included in the current release.

And, that’s fine. We’re bigger fans of Planning than Plans because we’ve learned that the critical thinking required to formulate and build a plan is the most valuable aspect of the plan. What? Yeah, it’s the thinking behind the plan rather than the plan itself that’s most important.

At some point, your QA testing plan is probably going to blow up when you least expect it. If your QA testing company doesn’t have planning experts or experience, how will you ever get your software project launched?

Planning allows for adjustments to be made for your project and it allows the QA team to be more agile. If a project doesn’t go according to a specific plan, it doesn’t necessarily mean it failed. Since QA tests don’t always go according to plan, it’s better to sit with the QA team and do a rough outline instead of coming with a specific, detailed plan. The QA manager and senior test engineers will help provide a roadmap for your application in order to aim for the best release time for your application.

Why All These Hard Questions?

At TESTCo, we have a strong team of experienced and talented software test engineers. We can “point” those talented engineers at almost any goal and they will achieve it. They like this a lot! We can also ask them to “just test it”. They don’t like this as much but they’ll do it gladly.

If we understand your goal, we can help you achieve it.

If we understand your constraint, we can meet it.

If we know both, we can deliver the “Sweet Spot” – high quality that delights your customers and a cost that delights your CFO.

Curious about avoiding pitfalls of outsourced software testing? This article highlights some important lessons.

The point of asking these thought-provoking questions is to help both you and TESTCo reach your software quality goals. By critically assessing factors like goal settings, key performance indicators and other metrics, a better strategy can be designed for your application. If you’re having a difficult time answering a question about your application, this is a great discussion point because the TESTCo engineers and QA managers will help you identify root causes of issues and solve them.

It’s also important for you to compile your most relevant and pertinent questions before you meet the QA team. This doesn’t have to be a long list of questions, but you should bring up the most pressing questions in regards to your application. These questions can be based on turnaround time, bug-related, functionality testing, performance testing and more. By asking questions that are specific to your application and the goals pertaining to it, you can give the QA team a better understanding of your needs.

This QA Testing Company Will Get the Right Answers in 45 Minutes

Our Scoping Process, a 45-minute conversation with you about what is important to you and your project, is designed to clarify your goals and constraints so that we have a perfectly clear picture of exactly what you need and want.

If you’re talking with a QA company and they aren’t asking about your goals and constraints, please give me a call and I’ll help you figure them out – and then achieve them! Here’s my number, 888-254-9709

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Web Application Quality Assurance

Four Perspectives, One Recommendation for Web Application Quality Assurance

Building an excellent web application is hard, especially if your web application quality assurance isn’t what it should be.

But, you can make it easier if you do a little thinking and preparation about QA prior to starting your web application project.

Your quality assurance and testing methods will determine how efficiently you and your team deliver your web application project and achieve your goals. That’s right. QA is often the critical factor even though it is typically the last or next-to-last phase of a web application project.

The Payoff for Success and the Cost of Failure

You might be wondering, “Is web application QA worth it?” This is a great question, particularly in light of the limited budgets that we all have for our projects. Your web application project is probably important to you and your business. You probably expect to grow your business with this project, right? You’re making an investment in your business and you expect a return, right? This is the Payoff of Success for you!

But, your web application project could fail, too. You probably won’t see a complete and total crash of your server. In fact, it’s what you WON’T SEE that will hurt you.

What are your biggest risks without web application QA? In most cases, losing current customers is your biggest risk and not converting new prospects is your second biggest risk. What you probably WON’T SEE is current customer or new prospects that experience a “bug” in your web application. Not a big BUG, but just enough to cause them to feel uncertain or frustrated. They either COULD NOT do what they wanted or they were SURPRISED and CONFUSED when the see an unexpected error message.

What do these customers and prospect do when this happens? They LEAVE your web application and your business suffers from that loss.

Web application quality assurance can help you find and correct these before your customers and prospects get a nasty surprise.

And, It’s Easier than You Think

How hard is adding web application QA to my project? Adding  testing and quality assurance to your web application project is much easier than you think – even if you’re nearing the end of your project.

Here’s how TESTCo makes it really easy:

  1. Contact us via our webform and we’ll get in touch within 1 business day – sometimes within a few minutes!
  2. Schedule a 30 minute phone call with us so we can answer your questions and learn a little more about your project.
  3. If you like what you hear as we answer your questions, then schedule a 90 minute scoping with us where you “Show and Tell” us about your project. We also have a list of questions we’ll ask so we can prepare a custom proposal for your project.
  4. Within a day or so, you’ll receive our proposal that contains several strategies that we’ve evaluated and a recommended strategy, plan and estimate for your project.
  5. Tell us when you want to start!

Your investment of a couple hours could turn into a game changer in the quality of your web application project. We ALWAYS find defects.

Consider These Four Perspectives to Dramatically Improve Your Success

  1. Technical Accuracy – is your web application built on a technology stack that is mature and aligned with your project goals? What risks does my technical stack add or remove from my web application? Or is it based on your lead developer’s most current fascination with a new technology? Proven technology stacks that are purposely built to match your project’s goals can eliminate up to 50% of your web application quality assurance time.
  2. Functional Accuracy – are your requirements and specifications documented and stable? Word-of-mouth testing (where your developers tell your testers what needs to be tested) is a terrible strategy and almost always results in post-launch defects. Usually big ones! Documenting your requirements and specifications provide a road map for your web application quality assurance team to build accurate and meaningful test cases that reflect exactly what you web application does.
  3. User Accuracy – what do your users expect when using your web application? Are they Mobile First or are the desk-bound Knowledge Workers? Do they already know everything they need to successfully use your web application? What kind of prompts, help, support or training might they need? Can those basic user needs to eliminated through features in your web application? What browsers and operating systems do they use? Knowing how your users will use your web application can reduce your web application quality assurance time by as much as 25% by eliminating unnecessary scenarios.
  4. The Cost and Certainty of Success – You want to achieve your goal. You’ve invested time, money and a little bit of yourself in the pursuit of your goal. You’re close and now you want or need some testing to finish and launch your software. Web application quality assurance reduces the risk of failing to achieve your goal. Do you know what you’ve invested, thus far, to achieve your goal? Does each unique user represent a potential sale? Would a defect prevent that potential sale? You don’t “have” to test your software if you’re OK with the potential cost or revenue loss of a defect. And, you (or we, or anyone really) won’t catch and prevent every defect. How many defects can you afford before you fail to achieve your goal?

A Recommendation from Me to You about Web Application Quality Assurance

Get talented help! – You wouldn’t ask an inexperienced designer to build your UI/UX, would you? You wouldn’t hire a HTML coder to build your web application engine, would you? Of course not!

We recommend that you hire the best software testing talent you can find. Be aware that there is a difference between testers and Test Engineers.

If you’re in the middle of a web application project and need quality assurance help, we can help with on-demand testing.

We’ve saved more than one development project at the last hour.

If you’re just starting or just thinking about your next web application project, give us a call. We’re happy to share what we know so your QA plan will contribute to the success of the project.

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Website Testing Service

DIY Website Testing Versus A Website Testing Service



 
You have a website – an important website –it represents your company (or is your company), and you want to make certain it works properly. You know the site should be tested, but should you consider a website testing service, or gather a few employees, friends and relatives together for an afternoon of testing while munching on pizza? One option costs money, the other doesn’t (okay, you have to spring for a few pizzas).

You might ask yourself, what do other companies do? The sad truth is that too many businesses either don’t test their websites or just do it poorly.

They pay for it on the back end — high bounce rates, abandoned shopping carts, customer complaints and not enough lead forms or converted sales.

Some folks just semi-test it on their own computer/phone and call it done. Who needs outsourced website testing services, right?

While that’s  better than nothing, it leaves you wide open for delivering a user experience that hurts your business. Let me make it simpler and easier for you with this report.

What follows is great advice for setting up a test plan for your website. I’ve even included a link to a free report, “Website Testing Cheat Sheet”.

What Does It Take To Test A Website Yourself? The DIY Method.

First, you’ll need a Goal, a Strategy, and a Plan.

Sure, you can just sit down and start testing but you probably won’t get what you want. Why? Because you’re just performing semi-random testing to see if you can find some “bugs”. Sure, that’s helpful but not very economical or efficient. Additionally, if you aren’t careful with documenting and reporting the “bug” you find during your website testing, you won’t be able to determine if and/or when that “bug” was fixed.

Set The Goal For Your Website Testing Project

Zero defects? Works okay for 90% of users/visitors? No critical defects but some annoyances are okay? You’re about to spend your time or money in a business activity, so you DO want a return or positive outcome for your time and money, right?

If you know what your quality goal is, then you can easily determine how much time and money it’s wise to spend in achieving that goal so that it does produce the outcome or return that you desire.

This holds true for doing it yourself or using a website testing service. Knowing your goal helps you determine the best budget for your website testing project and achieving your quality and business goals.

Make The Goal Realistic

Your quality goal for your website testing project needs to be realistic and relative to your budget for time and money. If you have little time and little money, you won’t be able to achieve a stringent quality goal. A “Zero Defects” quality goal for your website testing project can be expensive and time consuming to achieve. This type of goal is worthwhile for moon landings and space shuttle docking but doesn’t always make sense for a website.

A better goal for your website testing project may be “Works on 90% of known customer browsers and devices”. With this type of goal, you can easily calculate the number and variety of web browsers and devices that need to be tested within a small website testing project budget.

Now That You Have Your Goal, What Is Your Strategy?

A Quality or Testing Strategy is a collection of Assets (people, resources, time, money, etc.), each with a unique Advantage that can be used or perform a certain Action to achieve your goal.

One strategy is DIY Website Testing – Use your time (Asset) where you are experienced with your application (Advantage) and is already paid for (Advantage) to run ad-hoc tests (Action).

Another strategy is Outsourced Website Testing Services – Use trained professionals that you pay (Asset) who have and use an industry standard testing strategy (Advantage) to build and run a regression testing suite (Action).

These are two very simple examples among countless quality and testing strategies. The best strategy is the one that achieves your quality goal for the lowest cost with the highest outcome or return.

It might help to think of strategies as various ways to optimize Faster, Better and Cheaper!

Every strategy needs a plan to coordinate the Actions of the Assets with Advantages (Strategy) that you’ve selected.

Is It The Plan Or The Planning?

Plans are important for every website testing project. But, at TESTCo, we’ve learned that the planning is much more valuable than the plan. Why? Most plans blow up within the first 10-20% of the time allotted. The requirements might or might not change but some of your assumptions are almost guaranteed to be wrong or change. The environment or situation around you is the most common change that impacts a plan for website testing projects. Someone always seems to need something sooner than they thought previously. Or, your best and most important technical person goes on an unexpected vacation. What happens to the plan when something changes or goes wrong?

You replan–and quickly!

But, the second (and third and fourth, sometimes) time you replan, you’re smarter and more effective in your planning. Why? Because you’ve already thought through most of the requirements and assumptions and you’re simply factoring in changes. You get a little smarter and a little better every time you need to replan. And, almost every replan provides better outcomes and greater accuracy.

At TESTCo, our website testing service plans tend to be very accurate, but only because we’ve done so many of them and already have backup plans and test engineers ready to go if (and when) a change happens.

So, Why Plan (or Replan) If It’s Going To Blow Up Anyway?

Great question – because your project and team need your leadership and management. They (maybe just you sometimes) need and want to be told what to do to achieve the goal they’ve agreed is important. They need to know you have some level of confidence and certainty in the project and your plan is a primary component to communicate your confidence.

Website testing services appears to be quite simple. But, with mobile devices and browsers changing and upgrading frequently, a plan to achieve your specific goals will always your best friend.

Planning is even more powerful. A plan just communicates the timeline and the outcome. The process of planning involves (or should involve) almost everyone on the team. Planning provides the opportunity to raise, discuss and resolve issues and doubts about achieving the goal. Talking and discussing how you will achieve a goal will almost always trump a Gantt chart or project plan. Sure, you need the plan but the gold is mined in the plannING!

So, go ahead and replan that rascal if your current plan isn’t on track!

A Quick Checklist To Cover the Basics Of Website Testing

Does it work properly?

  • Does every input form correctly save the data and send the appropriate emails?
  • Does every link go to the right place?
  • Does every page and form work properly, even when you use the Back button on the browser?

Does it display properly?

  • Does every page load quickly and fully?
  • Does every graphic render fully and completely?
  • Does every animation display properly?

OK, that’s it.  Congrats, you’re done.

Oh, Wait a Minute. What About Mobile?

Which browser did you use when you tested?

And that browser was running on which operating system?

Oh, you used your phone…great!

OK, which mobile browser did you use?

And what type of mobile device do you have? Apple or Android?

And what operating system version does it have?

Wait! Why are you asking me all these questions??????

Well, here’s a dirty secret about websites and today’s web browsers on desktop and mobile devices.

They’re all different and they all have different “issues” with how they try to display your web designer’s newest and coolest graphics and display treatments.

What does that even mean???

It means that your website may look perfect on a Mac with Safari but render terribly on an Android phone or iPad running the previous operating system.

There are literally hundreds of different possible combinations.

Selecting The Right Browsers And Devices To Test

There are two references to consider when deciding which browsers and devices to test in your website testing project.

  1. Browser and mobile device market share information is frequently published on the web.  Find the most recent research report (I won’t link here because they change frequently, just Google it) and note the most common browsers and devices.
  2. Check your website server logs (or a web analytics application) and find the one that tells you which operating systems and browsers your visitors are using.  No need to test for browsers that aren’t popular and aren’t visiting your site.

Match list #1 against list #2 and pick the combinations that are most popular in the market and most used by your website visitors.

Now, you have your list of devices and browsers (we call them flavors).

You should probably have about 6-12 flavors.

Now, you simply run the same tests on this list of browsers and devices that you ran on your own browser. You can begin to understand why hiring an outsourced website testing service makes sense in a lot of cases.

But I Don’t Have All Those Flavors!

What, you don’t have all those devices and computers on which to test?

Not a problem, there are a bunch of “Cross Browser Testing” tools available. They are very handy and while most use emulators instead of the real devices, you will be able to see and correct most of the defects that occur on the actual devices.

Now you’re ready to test your website.

How Long Will It Take? Counting The Hours.

How much time will you need to complete your website testing project?

The math is easy.

Count or estimate the number of pages and forms on your website.

On average, it takes about five minutes to fully evaluate and test a single web page on a single device.

Now, multiply number of pages and forms by five minutes and then divide by 12 to get the number of hours it should take to test your website with EACH flavor.

Then, multiply those hours by the number of flavors you want to test.

Now, you have a good rough estimate of the amount of time you’re going to be spending at night or on the weekend testing your website.

A Small Note On Regression Testing And What It Means

Regression testing means “testing it again” after fixes have been completed from the bugs you found during your last round of testing.

Yes, you will find defects when you test – almost every time. If you don’t find any defects, you should be very suspicious about the quality of the testing.

After you find the defects, your developer or software engineers will read your defect (write it very carefully and thoroughly so they can quickly reproduce it and then fix it) and make changes to prevent that defect from happening.

This will need to be rested to confirm that it has been fixed. This is called validation testing – you are validating that the defect you found has been accurately fixed.

There is also the possibility (or even probability) that your developer or software engineers accidentally caused another defect somewhere else when they were fixing the defect you found. Make sense? They fixed something but that fix caused another defect.

You need to find these and chasing them down can be maddening sometimes. This is called regression testing – testing again to make sure nothing else was broken during the latest round of fixes.

And, theoretically, you can keep doing this until you have Zero Defects. But, you should consider that performing regression testing until you achieve Zero Defects will probably be very expensive. Think ahead and plan for at least one round of regression testing (they do tend to go faster than your first round of testing) and possibly two rounds depending on the number and severity of the defects you find in each round of testing.

That’s Too Long!

Yeah, I’m sorry.  I knew you’d probably be surprised when you actually did the detailed math for testing and regression testing.

Website testing is relatively simple but it’s not easy. There’s a LOT of ground to cover, a lot of repetition and it requires an intense attention to detail – especially when you’re looking at the same pages over and over, just on slightly different devices.

If you have a small(ish) website and/or you aren’t very busy, you can certainly do this yourself.

Be careful, though, and make sure you’re paying close attention as you do it – website errors can be sneaky and hard to notice. Maybe get a pot of coffee ready?

Rather than consume more caffeine, seriously consider outsourcing your website testing project to a website testing service that can run the necessary tests while you and your team focus on other priorities that build and grow your business.

The Ultimate Question – Can I Afford A Website Testing Service?

Building a website or a business is partly the process of making wise investments – particularly with your scarcest two resources – time and money.

Just within your website project, you have to decide several times whether you’re going to invest AT ALL or if you’re going to spend your scarce time and/or money.

If you don’t have a solid goal for your business or website project, your decision on whether to invest is going to be hard. After all, how can you decide how much to invest if you don’t know what you really want?

But, let’s say you do have a goal for your website. Let’s say it’s to increase your sales by $50k/month within six months. That’s a solid and worthy goal!

And, let’s say you spent around $10k with a website design agency to get your website built to achieve your goal.

You’re small and that was a big chunk of money to spend but you knew you couldn’t do all the research, design and coding yourself. Sure, you can roll a little HTML/CSS but a modern production/commerce ready website is beyond just HTML/CSS. You made the smart call and got expert help.

And, they’ve completed their work and your website is new and shiny. You can clearly see that your investment of $10k for a monthly return of $50k in the near future is going to be achieved. You’re excited!

Your website design agency says they tested it and it looks good to you. You’re ready to launch it.

But wait – how well did they test it?

You’re not sure so you decide to spend an evening testing it yourself.  Just to see.

And, yup, there it is – a small error on your order screen when someone clicks the dreaded “Back” button. Yeah, they’re going to do this no matter how many times you tell them not to.

Now, you’re a little concerned. If there’s that bug that they didn’t catch, might there be others?

You’re going to invest another $10k in advertising and promotion when you launch your website. That’s another $10k investment but it’s needed to get the word out so you can achieve your goal.

You can’t afford to have any website errors after you’ve spent $20k on building and promoting it.

Should you spend more time or money testing?

Let’s Do The Math

If you do it yourself, it will cost your direct time and it will also cost lost opportunities that you could have been pursuing while you spent time testing your website.

And, you’re a business owner or manager and you’re not an experienced website tester. You’re going to be only marginally efficient and partially productive simply because you don’t really know what you’re doing!

So, if your average annual earnings are near $75k and you’re only half as productive as a trained Test Engineer, your cost to test your website is nearly $75/hr and it’s going to take you twice as long to finish. And that doesn’t even count the other business opportunities (and problems, we have those, too) that you missed while you were trying to get your website tested.

Roughly speaking, it will take  about six days to thoroughly test your website for full functionality and across all the browsers and mobile devices that your users have.

The math says $75/hr x (6 days @ 8 hrs/day) = $3,600.

If you asked TESTCo to scope this project our proposal would be closer to three days (because we do this all the time and know what we’re doing) and the cost would be closer to $56/hr x (3 days @ 8 hrs/day) = $1,344 and in half the time! Much less than half of your direct cost and without the lost business opportunities!

Save time.

Save money.

Achieve your most important goals.

A Website Testing Service Is Sounding Pretty Good Right Now

I understand. We have a number of clients who came to us after they tried testing their site in-house.

We can help in a number of different ways:

  1. We can answer your questions. Just ask, and we’ll be happy to answer.  No charge!
  2. We can help with your research. Don’t want to figure out the right flavors? Let us tell you what we’d propose!
  3. We can test it for you. You’ll be surprised at how affordable we can be – we definitely cost less than what it would cost to do it yourself!

Here’s additional information about the TESTCo website testing service.

At Least Do Something!

Please, at least do a little testing on your website.  The rest of us who visit your site will be thankful.

If you can’t do it yourself, we can help you with our website testing services. It doesn’t hurt to talk. Click the green button in upper right of this page to request a call back, or reach out to me by phone right now. 888-254-9709

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