Web Application Testing Service

Three Things to Know Before Looking for a Web Application Testing Service

So, you think you’re ready for a web application testing service? Congrats!

That means your web application is almost ready!

You and your team have busted your buns over the past few weeks and you’re almost ready to launch.

You’ve tested it yourself already and it looks pretty darn good.

But, maybe you’re a little bit worried that you might have missed some bugs.

This launch is important to you and you want to make sure it works perfectly for every visitor, prospect and customer.

So, you’re looking for just a little help to make sure you have all the bugs and nasties worked out of your web application.

You searched for “Web Application Testing Service” and. . .

  • The endless lists of services, technologies, systems and industries doesn’t help you.
  • The bullet points of “standard” benefits doesn’t help you.
  • The forever scrolling web page of reasons to test doesn’t help you either.

You don’t have the time to sort through all that nonsense just to see if those folks can help you.

OK, try this.

Do a little homework so finding the best web app testing service for you will be like a piece of cake.

Below is basic information to help you get focused. If you want more detail, check out the brief guide we’ve written about web application testing services.

Web Apps Have Three Primary Areas of Risk

There are more than three, but these are the biggies.

Functional Testing

Do the inputs and outputs of your web application behave correctly each and every time? If your team has already done a good job of testing this and you are confident in their work, then you can skip this service.

But, if you aren’t confident – even if it’s just a small or hard to test area of your web application – speak up and let us know. Your confidence in your web application is the biggest criteria.

Load and Performance Testing

Will your web application respond quickly enough when a lot of people visit? You probably haven’t considered this and it shouldn’t be a big concern unless you know that your web application is going to get hit pretty hard due to a planned marketing program. Even then, most modern technology stacks and cloud-based servers will let you adjust your web application server settings to quickly respond to a rapid increase in usage.

Testing Load and Performance will give you a definite read on when and where your web application will degrade under different loads. In most cases, you’ll be OK without testing this until you have a large user base or complex functionality in your web application. If you think you might have a high load or high usage situation, say something so we can include the best and most appropriate aspects of Load and Performance Testing in your test plan.

Cross Browser Testing (XBT)

Will your web application behave properly on all of the different devices, operating systems and browsers out there? This is the big one because browser technology is changing almost daily. Additionally, most mobile users give you about three seconds to lose their attention and desktop users will only give you about 5 seconds before they give up and move on. Said another way, This is the highest risk and least understood quality problem with almost every web application out there. And, the defect and bugs discovered in this type of testing are the sneakiest to ferret out.

Lastly, there are just too many different combinations of browsers, operating systems and devices to test every one economically. If you *know* your customers’ most common devices, operating systems and browsers, you’re off to a perfect start on Cross Browser Testing.

Three Things to Know Before Looking for a Web Application Testing Service

  1. Do you need functional testing and if so, which areas concern you the most?
  2. Do you expect a high user load and worry about performance?
  3. You Need XBT! If you know the most common browser versions, you’ll save a lot of time and money.

Here’s a case study that looks at how TESTCo’s web application testing service prevented a major fiasco and business failure.

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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software qa services

Software QA Services Ignored Value

When is the value of software QA services lost or ignored? More often than you might believe.

In many software testing projects, there is a large chunk of real-world value that is left laying on the floor – ignored or overlooked. It’s a shame really, because software testing is actually just a small part of delivering the software QA services that result in the top-quality software that your customers expect.

And, here’s the kicker, that real-world value that was just left on the floor?  It could be had just for the asking – at no additional charge! In some cases, it is even offered and declined!

The Ignored QA Report

Insane at it seems, recommendations for improving the software development process are often ignored when provided along with the defect report by a software testing company. Here’s why this crazy thing happens.

Very few people wake up and decide to make a strategic decision about their software quality. Most people wake up, go to the daily stand-up meeting and get whacked with a software quality problem. Then, they either change their plans to stay late for the rest of the week, OR start looking for help with the specific software testing services they need to solve the problem that whacked them that morning.

The Expense of Re-Applying the Band-Aid

Adding some software testing services will help solve the software quality problem from today’s daily stand-up. More software testing will almost always find more defects that can then be corrected and retested. This will improve your current software product’s software quality.

There’s a catch – fixing today’s broken software will NOT help, improve, benefit or change the quality of your next software release.

If you’re in the software business or build software to run your business, you should know that this strategy is an expense rather than an investment in long term software quality.

And, it could be an investment if you just asked for or read that software quality recommendation report that is often provided by an outsourced software testing company (this is in addition to the usual defect reports).

Extracting the Total Value from Software QA Services

Software testing is only the measurement activity in a larger activity of producing quality software. Again, testing only locates defects and measures your current quality.

If you don’t read and analyze the root causes of the defects discovered, whatever problem that caused the software defect will still be there – lurking in the background to pop up again when it can harm you the most.

TESTCo’s Software QA Services delivers everything you need to find and fix your software defects. What’s more, TESTCo also provides you with the analysis and recommendations (at no additional cost) you need to convert the cost of testing into a long-lasting investment in software quality.

Expense or investment? Just software testing, or QA improvement? You choose.

 

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Make Engineering Fun Again. Improve The Human Stack With The Right QA Service.

In This Post

I’ve worked with software engineers, usually the head of engineering, my entire career. First, as a product manager, and since 2002, as Founder/CEO of a QA service outsourcing company. In that time I’ve gained deep respect for the people who carry the burden of bringing a vision to life in a manner that makes money for their organization. I know what thrills engineers. I know what aggravates the heck out of them.

Engineering Managers are architects and builders. They pull together the people, processes and technology required to build the machine that makes the software that powers the business. It’s a very big job. And it’s a whole lotta fun when the right Technical Stack and Human Stack are in place.

It’s a genuine joy when the process is flowing from specs and stories through code and integration into and out of testing.

It’s not any fun when the right tools or people are missing. That’s when the wheels of the Dev machine get wobbly. That’s when release dates are missed. That’s when irate customers complain about buggy software, apps or websites.

There’s a constant pressure to release robust products faster, and to turn out upgrades more frequently. This pressure eventually stresses the machine and it cracks at the weakest point. Where’s that?

Nine out of ten times the weakness is in the QA team. That’s where the bottlenecks and miscues tend to occur. This is when my phone rings and when I have another conversation with a stressed out engineering manager.

Let me get one thing straight here. I’m not talking about just providing your company with more testers. While having more QA bandwidth may solve some of the QA service issues, I know from experience that the core problem in QA isn’t numbers. It’s intelligence and drive.

You see, most testers are just looking for gigs until something better comes along. They might even be developers who can’t cut it in the big leagues. At TESTCo, I hire only software test engineers. These are people who live to develop and execute strategically-sound test plans.  They not only find bugs efficiently they know how to offer feedback that actually improves the entire Dev process.

What if your software engineers had perfect stories with validation test cases as inputs to work from and then had immediate validation as soon as they finished?

What would your software process, throughput and quality look like if your Test Engineers were on the same “wavelength” as your Engineers. Powerful potential, right?

Inside TESTCo

TESTCo stresses using software test engineers instead of the normal testers on many QA teams. Choosing a test engineer over a normal tester can decide the success or failure of a given QA service project. Although some of their responsibilities overlap, the test engineer and tester play different roles within a QA team.

First, there are several key differences between a tester and a test engineer. A tester can run test cases and just tell whether the software worked or not. In contrast, a test engineer can find the root cause of why software failed and craft a strategy to fix the root issue. A test engineer helps prevent bugs in the development process and is responsible for improving the overall development process of the QA team. The tester focuses more on running test cases and finding bugs before releasing the product to consumers. The test engineer’s ability to fundamentally understand and problem-solve is what differentiates them from a tester. 

The Test Engineer Advantage

A test engineer can learn your application, write test cases and organize the test cases into suites and consequently run them to write defect reports. These defect reports can be sent to your development team and they can fix the defects mentioned. A tester can’t do any of these tasks and can eventually undermine the efforts of your team; the tester can only run tests and tell you which ones passed or failed. The tester’s responsibility is to follow the given protocols and guidelines provided by the QA team. If there was something wrong in the development process, the tester could not recognize or fix the issue. 

Rounding Out the QA Service Team with Extraordinary QA Managers

At TESTCo we provide a QA Manager for every project at no additional charge. What this does for you, the engineering manager, is two things.

First, our QA Managers are simply the best at identifying the right goals and priorities to pursue considering the constraints of the situation. Even if you have a terrific QA Manager already, our team adds serious brain power and objectivity. The test plans we create are designed to deliver real business value every day. Can you say that about your current test plans?

Second,  you’ll never have to ask, “Where are we with the test plan?” This is because our QA Managers provide crystal-clear reports twice every day. You’re never waiting on QA for feedback. Equally important, you don’t have to be awake in the middle of the night to communicate with a TESTCo QA Manager. They’re located in the Central time zone and speak fluent English. You’ll understand each other perfectly.

The Many Roles of Your QA Manager at TESTCo

In addition to setting goals and reporting, a TESTCo QA manager plays many crucial roles in your QA service team. The QA manager is focused on building the most productive, high-performing QA team. Members of the QA team are often focused on the technical aspects like processes, automation and tools; the QA manager helps the members of the team see how their efforts are aligned with business objectives, product development and more. By connecting the individual responsibilities of members of the QA team with primary business objectives, the QA team will be in synergy with driving business results. 

QA Manager as Quarterback

The QA manager is also a key indicator of how well run a QA service team is. The QA manager provides direction, counseling and mentoring to the members of a QA team. This allows the individual talents of the QA team to be maximized which directly improves the success of the QA team as a whole. 

The QA managers at TESTCo are very skilled and have a track record of building successful QA teams. The QA managers are able to manage and direct QA teams towards the needs of the customers. The QA manager program at TESTCo hires and retains the best QA managers that lead the test engineer teams. Every project, regardless of size, accompanies a qualified QA manager that leads a team to execute on goals set out by customers. QA managers at TESTCo have at least 5 years of experience and one year of experience working with TESTCo. If you’d like to find out more about our QA managers, click here

Experience the Difference at 30% – 50% Less

I describe TESTCo as a boutique software QA service company. We’re not a big test factory. We’re certainly not a bunch of strangers messing with your code. We are big enough, nimble enough, and smart enough to meet whatever testing demands a small or mid-sized company can throw at us.

This includes being able to jump on a single project within a day, or handle all of your QA through many release cycles. (We are the exclusive QA service resource for many of our clients).

Below are reviews of our services written by Engineering Managers like you who trust us and benefit from delivered promises at 30% – 50% less than the cost of internal QA resources.



Strengthen the Development Machine With A Single Call

After a few minutes on the phone with me and one of my QA Managers you’ll notice the TESTCo difference. I bet you'll see that plugging TESTCo's QA service into your team will result in faster cycle times and more thrilled customers.

Oh, and you’ll see there’s a very good possibility that your job will start being fun again.

Click the green button on the page to schedule a conversation with me. I’m looking forward to speaking with you.

QA Testing Company

Does Your QA Testing Company Know Your Goals and Constraints? 

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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

 

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.

The payoff for success for using web application QA can be very lasting. This is because web application QA will save you money in the short and long term due to the reduced development costs and the growth it provides.

  • Reduced costs: This might seem counter-intuitive because paying for QA services seems to add to your costs. In order to fully understand how QA reduces cost, you must understand the steps within software development where you can be charged. Web application QA identifies and eliminates bugs within your application. Just by taking care of bugs early on, QA starts saving money for your application immediately. With fewer bugs and catching all the other problems early on, the costs for development initially can be greatly reduced.
  • Growth: One of the most important aspects of growth is reducing customer churn. With web applications, customers can leave your app for many reasons. Bugs, slow performance and other user related issues are some of the primary reasons that customers abandon apps. QA can test your application at all stages of development to ensure the least likelihood of customer attrition and churn. With QA, your application will retain more customers because it will not have bugs and it will perform much better.

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.

This can have several multi-layered consequences that can damage your business. The customers that had difficulties with using your application because of a bug can generate bad marketing for your application. This bad publicity with your application can damage your brand significantly. What do these customers and prospects 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?

The first three perspectives focus on the technical side of making your application work. The technical accuracy perspective focuses on ensuring that the fundamental tech stack of your application is right. This is vital because without the right stack, the rest of the application will crumble. The functional accuracy perspective focuses on strategies and actions of your QA team to make sure the application is flawless post-launch. User accuracy focuses on enhancing the user experience and solving other user-based issues, while the fourth perspective focuses on the business and objectives of the project.

These four lenses examine your approach to QA and your application from a holistic perspective. Each perspective addresses a business or technical need that are required to be solved prior to application launch. By viewing this from all of these angles, you will have an answer to any issues that arise during testing and development. These are important questions to pose to any QA provided and your internal team. If they cannot figure out specific questions like why your application is using a specific technology stack or what can your users expect when using your application, this can lead to more fundamental and root issues with your application. The questions provided should be explored periodically throughout the testing and development stages until the application is thoroughly refined and ready for the market

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.

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

Website Testing Companies

Reviewing Website Testing Companies

In This Post

There are three things you should think about when reviewing Website testing companies.

If you have a clear idea of these three critical aspects of working with a website testing company, your selection process will run smoothly and your “best choice” will be very obvious.

  1. What Are Your Website Testing Goals? – Specifically, what outcomes do you need your outsourced software testing team to accomplish for you? Not the activities but the outcomes. The activities may look like testing but the real business value is accomplishing your goal. What is your goal and why is it important? Share that with your outsourced website testing team and see what happens. If they are inspired, then you’ve found a strong candidate.  If they only want to know how much work you have for them, you should keep looking.
  2. What Are Your Budget and Time Constraints? – Sure, the budget is a big constraint. But, are there others? Do you have a promised due date for your next release? Do you need tight coordination with a variety of teams to meet your goal? Is this project big and visible to a lot of people? Share these constraints with your offshore software testing team and see what they say. Are they excited about the additional challenges? Do they offer a variety of strategies to accommodate your constraints? Or, do they just want to know how many testers you need and how long you need them? A lack of testing and quality strategies might indicate they don’t know any testing or quality strategies. If so, you should keep looking.
  3. What Are Your Expectations About Website Testing Outcomes? – Everyone has them but few recognize how we are influenced by them. Your expectations are going to one of the prime measures of how satisfied you will be with the process and outcomes. While expectations aren’t goals, they are very important. To add to the problem, most of us are generally unaware of our expectations as something important. Mostly, we just recognize when they aren’t met. This leads to dissatisfaction and then disappointment. Share your expectations with your outsourced website testing team. Gauge their reaction. Most will be interested in meeting your minimum expectations. A few will ask you to explain and may even question your expectations. This is good! They’re asking those questions so they’ll have a deeper understanding of why your expectations are important and how they can incorporate them into their daily software and website testing process. If you don’t get a rise by sharing your expectations then you should probably keep looking.

Comparing Website Testing Companies

What will it take to win your confidence that a website testing company can achieve your goals? That depends on what you want.

Website testing can cover the very simplest issues like testing for accurate rendering on just a few browsers to very complex issues like load and performance testing. But that’s mostly technical jargon. You probably have some business and project goals that are related to your website that you definitely want to achieve. Explain your business and technical goals to your proposed website testing company and then listen as they explain how they will work with you to achieve your goals.

It can be difficult to compare two or more items if the criteria are hard to measure. Here are a couple of simple but very important aspects of a website testing project that you can easily use to compare your preferred website testing companies.

  1. Do they understand your goals and constraints? Are they able to repeat them back to you and then show incremental progress as the project progresses?
  2. Do they have several strategies or are they a one-trick-pony? There is almost always more than one way to accomplish a goal and the constraints on the goal usually determine which strategy will deliver the highest value for the lowest cost. Do you understand and agree with their strategy or will they just “test it for you”?
  3. Do they have the talent to execute the strategy? Test Engineers are twice as productive and twice as effective as “testers”. QA Managers add even more value with analysis, reporting and planning to keep the Test Engineers fully productive on your website testing project. “Testers” do what they’re told – usually without any supervision. How much talent and confidence do you want for your website testing project?

A simple Yes/No score comparison between your preferred website testing companies should provide you with an easy solution for picking the best solution for your needs.

What Does it Take to Have Real Confidence in a Website Testing Company?

Are you worried or concerned about outsourcing to a website testing company? How can you know if you’re on the right (or wrong) track to finding the help you need?

If you are seeing danger signs that erode your confidence in the website testing companies with whom you are working, it’s not too late to give TESTCo a call – here’s why!

  1. A 90 Minute Start. We know you’re in a hurry and under the gun.  But, we need a basic amount of information about your website testing project so we can accurately achieve your goals and objectives. (Isn’t that what it’s all about?)  Don’t worry though, we’ve done this before (a bunch) and have a list of questions already prepared so we can get started quickly and effectively. We assign a QA Manager to every project (at no additional cost) so that we always have all the information and access we need for our Test Engineers to get your work completed accurately.
  2. The Basics. All great teamwork requires effective communication. It’s basic stuff really – writing status reports and participating in daily stand ups – like brushing and flossing every day (twice please). Our Test Engineers know this and do it as a natural part of their working process. Testers that other companies use typically just test what they are told to test.
  3. Leverage and Assets. Your website (and the website testing project to launch it) can either be an expense or an investment. An expense is once and done.  An investment creates an asset that provides leverage for future opportunities and produces a regular return (new prospects maybe?). If your website is an expense, then just skip this.

Here are a few more tips about selecting a website testing company.

How to Be Successful with Your Website Testing Company

How can you be confident that you’ll be successful with your outsourced website testing project? What might you do to insure the certainty of success?

Selecting an outsourced website testing company is only the first step. Next, you’ll want to make sure they are successful in achieving your goals for you. Your involvement with the website testing team will be important but it shouldn’t take a lot of your time. Here are some tips for making sure you get the most out of the website testing company that you select.

  1. Before Your Project – your website testing team will need a clear set of goals and constraints so they can achieve your goal. This information is usually covered in a Scoping process prior to building and delivering a proposal to you. You liked and believed the proposal enough to select this website testing company, so take some time and make sure it is accurate. It’s worth a brief 30 minutes to review both, your scoping document and your proposal to make sure that everyone is perfectly, crystal clear on your goals and constraints.
  2. During Your Project – your website testing team should deliver at least a daily status report. At TESTCo, we provide 2 daily status reports – one in the morning and another again each evening. Please, take just a few minutes and read these reports when you receive them. They contain a wealth of important information about the status of your project and can be an early indicator of Things Going Wrong. If you don’t understand or agree with what you see in the daily status report, please speak up quickly so your website testing team can correct their course and get back on track to achieve your goals.
  3. After Your Project – Once your website testing team has completed their strategy and plan, you should have a very clear picture of the quality of your website. In most cases, there will be defects that need to be fixed by your developers. Fixing those defects can cause additional defects! It’s worthwhile to talk with your website testing team about a second round of testing for your website – just to make sure that the big fixes didn’t break something else that was already working. Talk with your website testing company about another round of testing – just to make sure that they can have your website testing team available when you need them next.

TESTCo’s Three Values for Website Testing Companies

At TESTCo, we believe there are three values that are really important for website testing companies to provide. See if you agree.

Safe – Our work and way of working with you is safe. You won’t have any surprises. Our work will follow a well-thought-out plan with twice-daily status reports. You’ll always know where things stand and how we’re doing honoring our promises to you.

Easy – We’re very easy to work with. You can have as much or as little transparency as you like. Our work processes will integrate yours without any interruptions. The defects we discover for you will be crystal clear and ready for fixing. And, we can stop and re-start with just a one days notice.

Reliable – We honor our promises and plans. Our QA Managers will present you with the best strategy and plan to accomplish your goals. Our Test Engineers have the experience you need and we’ll have your favorite Test Engineer ready when you need them again.

TESTCo, One of the Few Website Testing Companies that Delivers Business Value Every Day

If your website is an investment, then you’ll want to make sure you’re getting every bang for every buck you spend. In website testing projects, the test cases and test plan are your assets.  They measure and validate the quality of your website – today and then again next quarter when you update it.

At TESTCo, we believe in honoring promises. Honoring promises produces trust and confidence. You want confidence that your website will meet your quality standards and represent you and your brand effectively.

Once you start talking to us, you’ll notice the difference between TESTCo and other website testing companies. Once we start working for you, you’ll know you made the right choice. Let us prove it.

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Outsourcing Quality Assurance

Outsourcing Quality Assurance Helps In-House QA

There are three things you can get from outsourcing quality assurance, even if you already have an in-house QA function.

I know, the thought of outsourcing may not have crossed your mind lately if release cycles are running smoothly and customers are loving your software, apps, or website.

But, for how long? You know that with each release the testing gets a little more complex; a little more time-consuming.

The Impact of Regression Testing Debt

Every time new features are added, the quality assurance cycle get’s a little longer…and longer…and longer.

Why is that? It’s called regression testing debt and it occurs because the amount of things that need to be tested increases each time new features are added.

Yes, the new features need to be tested, but the old features need to be tested as well to make sure the new features didn’t bungle them up and break them.

Kicking the Can Down the Road

Of course you’re thinking there’s probably no real budget to add additional quality assurance staff – the internal team is just going to have to do the best they can.

This approach might work for a little while but it won’t be sustainable unless you find some *leverage* to make your quality assurance team more efficient.

Outsourcing quality assurance – even for a project or two – can bring your in-house QA team a ton of learning, new techniques and better strategies to overcome the increasing workload that comes with regression testing debt.

The leverage and ROI on this approach is very high – and not just in terms of dollars or time.

Three Benefits When Outsourcing Quality Assurance Resource for Your Internal QA Team

Here’s how your in-house QA team can benefit from working on a couple software testing projects with an outsourced quality assurance team.

  1. New software testing techniques – the art and science of software testing and quality assurance advances significantly every year. A well qualified outsourced quality assurance partner keeps their team well trained on new and effective testing techniques. They can easily teach your in-house QA team some of the best techniques for your unique situation.
  2. New software testing strategies – software, websites and applications are growing in size and volume every year. The old strategies for making sure your software has adequate quality assurance coverage may not work anymore and may even lead you in the wrong direction. New quality assurance strategies are being built, tested and used to great advantage – wouldn’t your in-house quality assurance team benefit from learning some new strategies?
  3. New quality assurance tools – last but not least, the tools!  All the tools! Almost too many to chose from – and how would you chose anyway? Choosing and implementing the most effective software testing tools can be daunting if you try to figure it out yourself. Adding to the confusion – those sales guys selling the tools! Give yourself (and your QA Team) a break and let the experts tell you (and even show you) which tools work best in which situation. This alone can save you weeks of time!

The Cost of QA Leverage

It should cost you less than $10K to engage with a well qualified and respected quality assurance partner for a project that runs a week or two.

In return, you should expect that your immediate testing needs are well covered and your in-house QA Team should get a range of the following benefits in addition to the software testing.

  • New software testing techniques with guide sheets and personal instruction on how best to use them.
  • New software testing strategies with coaching on the costs and benefits of the selected approach.
  • Introduction to software testing tools you haven’t used but might benefit from – along with demos and examples of how they can work for you and what the true costs of implementation are.

Where else are you going to get that kind of ROI and leverage? Keep your internal QA team sharp. Keep your customers (and your boss) happy. It’s all possible you choose an outsourcing quality assurance strategy for raising the level of performance in your internal QA team.

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!

Time zone considerations will largely depend on the needs of your business. Generally, teams with the same time zones are more standardized and work together more efficiently. This is the more popular way to work and you don’t have to accommodate other teams that work during strange hours. If your team is focused on a continuous delivery model, having different time zones can be an advantage. This is because one team can work on the project in the morning and at night the other team picks up where they left off. This allows projects to be done around the clock and can be very advantageous. Take a look at the nature of your projects and you can decide whether it’s better to share the same time zones or not.

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.

IP considerations for your mobile app might seem tedious and unnecessary at first, but the long tail consequences are enormous. Without proper IP considerations, your business intelligence is liable to be stolen at virtually any time. Locating your business in a country with strong IP laws protects your data, branding and everything else related to your mobile app. Aspects of your mobile app like logos, patents, trademarks, etc. are protected under countries with strong IP laws. This protects you from having copycats steal your entire business model, name and brand.

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.

Our physical locations enable your mobile app to have both quality assurance and software testing. With TESTCo you can customize your QA and testing process. You’ll be given a QA manager that will help you design SMART QA goals for your mobile app and guide you along your entire QA process. In addition, you’ll also be provided with test engineers that will identify and solve defects within your application. The several locations of TESTCo allows you to choose a location that accommodates your time zone and IP preferences. With the talented QA staff and multiple available locations, your application will have the human and technological bandwidth needed to succeed.

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.

Seeking a software testing company that does both QA and testing will be the most cost-effective solution for your business. This prevents you from incurring additional costs associated with each service and the final invoice amount would be much larger. Also, choosing two different companies to do these services can cause a disconnect; some parts of QA and testing overlap and having one provider for both is the most optimal solution. This creates a seamless integration for both of these services and you’ll get access to all the talented staff that work on QA and testing.

When consulting with a vendor, asking the right questions provided above will enable you to see the important details in both their QA and testing processes. If your QA and testing provider can’t answer those specific questions, you should seek a different provider. A competent QA or testing provider will be able to answer all the pertinent questions related to your project and provide some consultation to help you choose the best path forward.

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.

software testing services company

How a Software Testing Services Company Helps a Software Development Company

If you aren’t releasing software as quickly and effectively as you think you can maybe a software testing services company can help.

Or maybe not.

There are 3 key leverage points that you should be getting from using a software testing services company.

  • Speed – delivery times for software project should be faster.
  • Quality – defects should be found more frequently and earlier in the development process
  • Sustainability – subsequent software project should start and end much quicker with higher predictable quality.

Here’s how to know if you are getting the most value from your software testing services company.

It is very easy for a software testing services company to get disconnected from your software development team and then take the blame for late releases or poor quality.

Daily meetings are good but agendas get stale and the value of the meeting can begin to decline. Daily reports are also good but it is also very easy to just glance over or even delete a status report email. Add to that, the fact that software testing outcomes are a lagging indicator – not a leading indicator – and it is easy to find yourself with a software team that struggles to release quality software on time. Is there a simple fix? Not hardly, but there are 2 simple things you can do that will pull your software testing company closer to your software development team.

Two-a-Days Keep Both Teams Sharp

We have found that software services testing companies that report twice daily and adjust once weekly seem to produce the most benefit in keeping their software testing teams aligned and in sync with software development teams. But, there are some subtle elements to these reports and adjustments that make them very powerful tools you can use to meet your software product release and quality goals.

  • Report what you plan to do and why – each Test Engineer should do this daily as a part of their daily personal planning
  • Report blockers immediately and then assign someone accountable to solve them – the software testing company QA Manager should be responsible for managing the resolution of blockers
  • Report the deliverables you actually created and why each one is valuable – a list of defects or test cases is important but the “why” behind them is ultimately more valuable
  • Meet to adjust the test plan weekly so that it is in sync with your product release date and quality goals – not all weeks need adjustment but most do

Here’s good reading if you’re interested in learning
how scorecards keep your software testing services company in line.

A Dedicated QA Manager Makes Magic Happen

You just can’t test every thing every time. And, you need to release quality software on time. This is where a dedicated QA Manager makes magic happen. In order to release software on time with the highest quality possible, a huge number of trade-offs need to be made to meet all of the constraints. This is part of release planning and a dedicated and experienced QA Manager can make your life easier and products better. Here’s how a dedicated QA Manager can help you get all the value you expect.

  • A Playbook of Software Quality and Release Strategies – A QA Manager has seen more software releases than you will ever probably see yourself. Learning all the little tips and tricks to plan and navigate a software package into a stable release is only one part. The real learning comes from experience – seeing and doing it many, many times. Every software package and business situation is different and requires a slightly different strategy to be successful.  Do you know which strategy will work best for your situation?
  • Test Planning – there is always more to do than can be done. How and when you select and run tests can have a huge impact on your developer’s productivity and quality.  Learning Test Planning is straight forward.  Actually building and running a successful Test Plan requires experience.
  • Software Quality Process Improvement – One definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results.” Process evaluation and improvement allows your development team to build better products faster. Only an experienced QA Managers have seen enough software processes to help your team make the changes they need to make to get better.

Hidden Benefits Behind the Scenes

There are three big benefits going on behind the scenes that may not be immediately obvious.

  1. The process of planning and discussing the “why” of the goals is much more valuable than the actual plan. Every Test Engineer should be taking a few minutes at the start of each day to plan their day – and insure they are working on the highest value items in the right order. Planning requires thinking to make sure that each person is making the most of each day in support of the product release date and quality goals.
  2. Blockers are nasty and get in everyone’s way. Get someone outside of the daily software production process to resolve them and your plans will run much more smoothly.
  3. Reporting value is subjective but immensely valuable. Why? Without a clear idea of value, work is just work – activities to accomplish an outcome. Value implies that the outcomes are worth more than the cost of the effort. In today’s fast moving world, it is almost impossible to complete all the tasks needed. Forced triage becomes the norm and value judgments become requirements. Don’t you want everyone on your team working on the most valuable outcomes? Wouldn’t you want to know if one of your team members thought something was valuable but you didn’t? Report value every day and you’ll quickly find your team is one the same page and in sync with each other.

What You Should Expect from a Software Testing Services Company

At TESTCo, we believe in honoring promises. You make promises to your customers about the quality and reliability of your software.  We can help you honor your promise to your customers.

At a minimum, you should expect that your software testing company is exclusively focused on software testing and software quality. It’s just that simple. You just can’t get the same level of software testing service and experience from a software testing company that does not specialize in software testing. If you’re doing this to save money, you probably won’t.

Your second indicator about the quality and capability of a software testing company can be seen in their Test Case Management System.  Just ask, “How do you keep track of your test cases and test plans?” If your software testing company (or even your software development company) doesn’t use a Test Case Management tool then they aren’t well equipped to provide you the service and software testing outcomes that you need to honor your promises to your customers.

A Software Testing Services Company Should Deliver Value Every Day

At TESTCo, we know that simple processes that produce real value every day result in software products that meet their release date and quality goals. If you are having trouble meeting your software product goals, we’d enjoy the opportunity to share what we’ve learned and implemented for our clients every day.