QA Services

QA Services for the A-Team. A Founder’s Dream Comes True.


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As a founder myself I know first-hand how agonizingly difficult it is to build and retain an A-team of talent to run and grow my business – to make my dream a reality. If you’ve started a company that develops mobile apps, software, or websites you’re feeling the same pain every day. The pain is especially acute in the area of QA services for small companies.

It’s not just the shortage of talent that’s the problem. It’s the shortage of smart talent. You know, the proactive problem solvers and opportunity achievers. The type of people that bring a lot to the table. In short, the A-team.

Putting All-Stars At Every Position

In 80% of the conversations I have with founders and CEOs they point with pride at the skills and innovativeness of their engineers. But when the conversation turns to their QA services team, whether internal or outsourced, the mood changes. By and large most founders believe they have competent people in the QA slots, but they don’t have enough A-players in those roles to take the QA function to the next level.

The really savvy founders I know understand that the dev cycle is streamlined in direct relation to just how sharp their QA team is and how well they work with Engineering. Those same founders know that the quality of their product becomes their brand and defines their dream. On the other hand,  bad reviews, poor customer loyalty, extensive support costs threaten to destroy their dream. No wonder a lack of QA talent causes more than a little anxiety for these folks.

Your Dream is My Dream

The dream I’ve built–my company–actually helps founders build and maintain their dreams by providing the smartest, most goal-driven QA service teams on the planet. Give me a shot at a project and if we don’t perform according to plan, you pay nothing. You understand correctly. That’s an old-fashioned money-back guarantee.

I’m not desperate for your business. I’m confident. Confident in the ability of my teams to delight.

You don’t hear the word “delight” associated with software QA much, do you? Well, that word and many like it surface in our customer reviews. Here are a few reviews from founders of small companies like you.

Attitude, Consistency, Intelligence - The TESTCo Difference

What makes TESTCo different? After all, the world is filled with software testers and outsourced QA services companies. Some of which even proclaim to serve small companies.

First, I like to describe us as a boutique software QA company. We’re not a QA factory. I have no interest in running that kind of business. We provide highly personalized services, crystal-clear communication, and top-drawer project leadership. (At affordable rates I should add). TESTCo's nimbleness and size dovetail well with small and mid-sized companies.

Second, I employ only A-team caliber people. My QA Managers (provided with every project at no additional cost) are brilliant at setting the right testing strategies to deliver value to you every day. They are true leaders.  Our Test Engineers are bonafide engineers who love to test. They don’t sit back and wait to be told what to do. No way. They work closely with the QA Manager to develop and implement the perfect test plan to achieve the project goal.

Third, we are awesome communicators. You receive status reports twice a day. My QA Managers participate in (and often lead) project postmortems. The feedback they provide to Engineering actually helps shorten the Dev cycle. The QA Managers are fluent in English. Plus we’re available to chat, email or talk when you are. TESTCo QA Managers are located in the Central time zone.

Fourth, we deliver expected results because the results are expected. That’s a clever way of saying we really excel at understanding the business goals (not just the testing goals) and creating test plans that support the business goals within the known restraints. Your team knows what to expect by when. And we deliver.

When was the last time you talked to a software tester who wanted to know about the business goals associated with the project? Never, right?

On-Demand, or On-Going QA Services for Small Companies on a Budget

Here's the other good thing about TESTCo QA services. On very little notice (often as little as one day's notice), we can parachute in to rescue a project. Even for small projects. The other way we provide value is to be an on-going extension of the QA team, or be the QA team for your organization. I have many clients who have relied on TESTCo for all of their testing requirements for years. They receive value, reliability, and intelligence all for 30% - 50% less than an internal team.

A-Players for QA. No Risk. Make the Call.

And that’s the primary difference between B- and C-level QA people and the A-team at TESTCo. We care a lot about your dream.

Earlier in the post I made an offer. I’ll make it again. Try us for a project. If we fail to perform according to the goals of the project, the work is free.

Go ahead, schedule a call with me to see if I stand behind my promises. I look forward to speaking with you – founder to founder. Just click the green button on this page to schedule a conversation. Talk to you soon.

Mobile App Performance Testing

Do I Need Mobile App Performance Testing?

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Mobile app performance testing is the process of testing and reporting the time it takes your application to process a request or take an action – especially when large groups of users perform the same or similar action simultaneously.

Performance testing answers the question, “When and where does the performance and speed of my application degrade the user’s experience?” It also answers the question, “How many users can I have before my application crashes?”

Performing “At Scale”

“At Scale” is the current lingo for “many, many, many users and transactions”. Performing “At Scale” is a big concern when building software and especially mobile apps. Mobile app performance testing helps you understand the scale your mobile app can withstand before degrading or crashing. Most software development teams invest significant time and money engineering their mobile apps to perform at scale from the very beginning. This is generally a wise investment but only if you are willing to apply mobile app performance testing throughout the software development process. Otherwise, the software development team will not have the feedback they need during the software development process to measure and correct the scaling assumptions they had to make while building your software.

Performing “Good Enough”

If “At Scale” is not a critical business and technology driver for your mobile app, you still might need to be concerned about performance and mobile app performance testing.

Here’s why:

  • All mobile applications have performance limits
  • When mobile application performance degrades and slows down, users abandon mobile apps.

You’ve invested serious time and money building your mobile application. Don’t you want to know how many people you can satisfy with your mobile application before they become dissatisfied?

There’s a big difference between engineering and performance “At Scale” and “Good Enough”.

Engineering and mobile app performance testing “At Scale” is an ongoing endeavor to insure that your mobile application will always be available to as many users as possible. This is an expensive process but worth it when your goal is performing “At Scale”.

Mobile app performance testing  for “Good Enough” is an end-of-cycle process that determines “How many users can I handle before I need to turn on more servers?” This is a much simpler and less expensive process that gives you a finite number and an alert for when you need to add more servers in your AWS or Rackspace cloud.

If you aren’t required to engineer, build and deliver “At Scale”, then “Good Enough” may work best for you. A short engagement to determine “Your Maximum Number” will help you recognize and avoid a disaster where your mobile application performance degrades and you lose customers. You’ll use “Your Maximum Number” to alert you to add more server capacity before your known performance threshold and prior to any perceived slow downs by your customers.

What Does Mobile App Performance Testing Look Like?

Mobile app performance testing is a simple process but it’s not easy.  Here’s one way of looking at the process:

  1. Build your mobile app features
  2. Add “Instruments” at locations within your mobile app that will measure throughput
  3. Build or find a “Pump” to push specific user scenarios through your mobile app
  4. “Load” the “Pump” with one or more test cases or user scenarios
  5. Tell the “Pump” the volume and timing of test cases to push through your mobile app
  6. Record the readings from the “Instruments” as the “Pump” pushes a measured volume of test cases through your mobile app.
  7. Analyze the readings from the “Instruments” to determine if
    • throughput performance was acceptable – add more volume and retest
    • throughput performance was not acceptable – determine bottlenecks to discuss with your mobile app developers to fix for greater throughput.

Simple But Not Easy

Yeah, it’s simple but it’s not easy. Generally speaking, finding the “Pump”, placing the “Instruments” and building the “Load” of test cases is straightforward. You’ll wind up with a big pile of data from the instruments and you’ll have some early anecdotal evidence of how your mobile application performs under a load.

But, it’s seldom actually that simple because mobile applications almost never just fail due to a high load. It’s the nuances of what happens under one set of load circumstances that look just fine and another set of load circumstances that crashes your mobile app. This is when a trained and experienced Performance Testing Engineer can really help you and your software development team quickly find, test and fix the performance bottlenecks in your mobile application.

Mobile app performance testing can be a critical component of testing and launching your mobile app. Not every mobile app needs performance testing, but when you expect a large volume of users or heavy usage, mobile app performance testing by experts can save you from a major crash and downtime where you can lose customers and prospects.

Look Before You Leap

You want good testing results, of course. Or put another way, you want good testing value. That’s why it’s crucial to define the mobile testing strategy first, which includes performance testing, before thinking about a test plan.

Want to discuss your situation? Call me 888-254-9709. Or, click the blue and green button on this page to request a call back.

offshore software testing

Offshore Software Testing: What, How and Why

Offshore software testing is on the verge of being “commoditized”. If you subscribe to this notion and are not a software QA expert, you may be making a costly mistake.

The Maturity of Offshore Software Testing

Offshore software testing – where software testing services (and many others from manufacturing to IT support to legal work) are delivered from another country and possibly another timezone – is at least 30 years old. There is very little that is “new” in the pursuit of better labor and lower costs.  In fact, some aspects of offshore services have seen a “recall” to the home shores in the recent years as cultural challenges reduce labor quality and prices increase in other countries as the standard of living rises. Almost everyone has a personal horror story about an aspect of offshoring. The relentless pursuit of lower costs has now met and must confront the quality and value of the services received.  In most, cases, the value received no longer justifies the cost paid. But, there are still nuggets of gold to be found – if you know how to find them!

What is Offshore Software Testing?

The “What” of offshore software testing – writing, running and reporting software tests – is a simple one. The desired outcome from software testing is a positive or negative indication on a test case. Almost anyone can be trained to do all or some portion of this work. In most cases, the goal of the work is some volume of activity and outcomes – test case and test run coverage are commonly used metrics for this activity.

“No Defects Found” Does not Mean that Your Software is Good Enough for Your Customers

The problem with using “What” as your primary criteria for offshore software testing is that it relies on a false assumption that some “number of defects found” based on “test cases run” results in high quality software. This is not always the case and the fundamental difference between software testing and software quality! It is almost impossible to write and run test cases for every possible combination of features within your software application. Just because no defects were found does not mean that your software is good enough for your customers!

How is Offshore Software Testing Done?

The “How” of software testing covers methods, standards, tools and procedures used to perform the writing, running and reporting of software tests (the “What”). When software testing work is performed, how it is performed, who will perform the testing and where it is performed – all influence the value of the outcomes. There is a big difference between a newbie running a set of tests someone else created during a normal workday and an experienced Test Engineer building and executing a manual functional test plan over the weekend.

Both produce standard software testing outcomes (the “What”). One is more valuable if you are in a situation where money is more important than time. The other is more valuable if time is more important than money. Clearly understanding this is critical to making a wise choice for an offshore software testing partner.

Sure, methods, standard, tools and procedures are useful – we use them frequently at TESTCo. But, using methods or procedures as a primary selection criteria has a big potential flaw – not all methods or procedures are implemented the same and your definition of “Agile” may not be the same as someone else’s. Putting an offshore software testing partner’s Agile Software Testing method into your Agile Software Development Team’s process may or may not work!

Why Use Offshore Software Testing

There are two good reasons to considering using offshore software testing.

One reason is to pay as little as possible for a commodity service that you need. We don’t subscribe to this notion for several reasons.

  • The lowest cost seldom equates to best value – this results in an expense rather than an investment.
  • The talent required to deliver lowest cost service is typically not experienced and trained in software testing – you can do better.
  • Low cost talent delivering commoditized services does not allow us to deliver the Real Value Every Day that we are committed to.

We optimize for talent first and cost second so that we can offer very talented software test engineers coupled with QA managers at a reasonable price.

The second reason is to honor your promise to deliver software that your customers love and depend on.

We believe that all software has an inherent promise to the customer of distinct value – increased revenue, cost savings or enjoyment in exchange for some amount of money.  Bold promises are needed to attract and retain customers in today’s crowded marketplace.  Bold promises require investment and talent.  Weak promises don’t require much and seldom survive very long.  Building great software requires unique talent – analysts, developers and quality assurance.  Scrimp on any of those three aspects and your delivery on your promise will suffer.

The TESTCo Difference

At TESTCo, we believe talented software test engineers trump software testers at least 2 to 1, if not more. We only test software and we only hire experienced software test engineers.  If you are struggling to release quality software that your customers appreciate and depend on, we have the people that can help you honor your promise to your customers.

If you think you need help with offshore software testing, we’d enjoy the opportunity to learn more about your needs and explain how TESTCo can help you honor your promises to your customers. A quick 30 minute phone call is usually more than enough to learn about your situation and answer all of your questions about how TESTCo can be your offshore software testing partner.