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.

Testing is Secondary

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.

Test engineers are better than junior developers because:

  • Test engineers can learn your application, write and organize test cases into suites and run defect reports; a junior developer can only run test cases and tell which ones passed and failed. The knowledge and problem-solving abilities separate test engineers from junior developers.
  • Test engineers can keep their test case suites updated to match the applications’ changing functionality requirements; the junior developer can only notify you when test cases no longer work
  • Test engineers can compare their test case suite to their functionality matrix to ensure the right areas of the application are being tested at the right time. This differs from junior developers because they can only run as many test cases as they can get test coverage on.

No QA Manager

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.

Using competent QA managers for your project is vital because normal “project managers” cannot perform the same functions needed to complete a project. QA managers are superior to project managers because of the multiple roles they play within a QA project. Some of the roles a QA manager plays include:

  • Team builder: QA managers are responsible for building teams that consist of test engineers, managers, etc. It’s up to the QA manager to ensure that all operations are going well and they take care of any team needs. This can include training, on-boarding or hiring team members.
  • Project manager: QA managers also fulfill the role of project manager within a QA team. QA managers are responsible for talking with the client, setting project goals and making sure it is completed. They provide reports to clients and act as the client’s ear within the QA team.
  • Expertise: QA managers also are responsible for providing expertise for the team. At TESTCo, all QA managers have at least 5 years of experience and 1 year of working within TESTCo. This industry and TESTCo experience makes QA managers the most knowledgeable staff within a QA team.

No Strategy

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.

Specializing in software testing and QA is important because it correlates with the service your application will get. General software service providers who additionally offer QA services do not have the expertise or the staff needed to do QA for your application at a high level. Specialization in software testing and QA is one of TESTCo’s unique value propositions. The industry experience and the talent at TESTCo ensures your application will have the correct strategy and testing for all your needs. How does TESTCo specialize in software testing and QA?

  • Over one million test cases completed since 2002
  • A team of software engineers that can be available to work on your project within 24 hours
  • Software test engineer, not testers, assigned to test your application
  • Software testing services to fit any QA strategy

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.


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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