Web Application Testing Services

A Short Guide to Web Application Testing Services

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

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

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

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

The Three Primary Areas of Concern Leading to Web Application Testing Services

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

Other Business Risks to Mitigate with Web Application Testing Services

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

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

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

A Quick Checklist to Help You

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

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

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

A Sample Web Application Testing Project

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Web Testing Company

When “Just Test It” Isn’t Enough

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

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

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

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

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

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

You want defects!

But Wait, Just Defects?

Yes and no.

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

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

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

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

The Hidden Secret of Effective Website and Web App Testing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Crystal Clear Constraints Equal On Time Results

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

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

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

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

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

 

Clear Strategy Equals Repeatable and Sustainable Results

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

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

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

“Testers” Usually Don’t Have a Strategy

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

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

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

Goals, Constraints and Strategy Equal Value and Delight

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

Sure, you can get it “tested”.

But, why?

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

Your boss and customers will appreciate it.

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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

Your web application project is probably important to you and your business. You probably expect to grow your business with this project, right? You’re making an investment in your business and you expect a return, right? This is the Payoff of Success for you!

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

What you probably WON’T SEE is current customer or new prospects that experience a “bug” in your web application. Not a big BUG, but just enough to cause them to feel uncertain or frustrated. They either COULD NOT do what they wanted or they were SURPRISED and CONFUSED when the see an unexpected error message.

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

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

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

A Recommendation from Me to You about Web Application Quality Assurance

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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Web Testing Services

Common Web Testing Services Explained

You’re looking for Web testing services, but we know you’re really looking  for Website testing or Web app testing. Correct? You’ve come to the right place.

We typically see three types of testing when someone asks us to provide Web testing services.

Functional Testing Gets the Inputs and Outputs Right

Does your website or Web app gather data, collect information or calculate any sums?

Does your website create reports or display graphs of data?

Or, maybe your website looks up data or connects with other databases to show the results?

Ever wonder if it’s possible to crash your website or web application with “bad data”?

If you want this type of web testing service, you’ll probably want some Functional Testing to make sure that the inputs and outputs all behave properly. What could go wrong? Usually, not much if your users are behaving as well. But, if they get confused and press the “Back” button one too many times, does your Website or Web app help them or just crash and make them start over? Functional Testing will find these problems for you before they frustrate your prospects and customers.

This is the primary concern for most people that want web testing services.

Cross Browser Testing Requires More than a Tool

Do your prospects & customers use a wide variety of desktop and mobile devices to visit your Website or Web app?

Have you tried your website or web app with something other than your favorite browser?

Can you see from your server logs that your prospects & customers use different browsers and operating systems?

Did your website or web app developers use some “tricky” code to get your site to do something “cool”? Will that “cool” code run on all browsers or only the one your developer uses?

If so, you’ll probably want some Cross Browser Testing (XBT) to make sure that you website or web app displays properly in the most popular browsers, devices and operating systems. Why could this be a problem? Some of the newest browsers and mobile devices won’t display some HTML/CSS code properly. The most common approach to solving this problem is to rent or buy a Cross Browser Testing Tool.

We use this approach as well. However, there’s more to using a Cross Browser Testing Tool than first meets the eye. Most Cross Browser Testing Tools emulate a mobile device/operating system/browser. This usually works but when it doesn’t, you won’t really know unless your very familiar with which tools work best and which devices don’t emulate very well. Additionally, just using the XBT tool is challenging if you genuinely want accurate test results. Sure, almost anyone can use them but we’ve found that an expert can get much more value with much less frustration from the XBT tool than an average or new user.

Load and Performance Testing

Are you worried about your Website or Web app crashing due to too many prospects or customers?

Do you know how many prospects or customers can visit your website or web app before it overloads and crashes?

Adding server resources is easy today, but they aren’t cheap. How will you know when to turn on more servers?

If so, congratulations! We hope the good part of your concern (too many prospects or customers) comes true and we can also help you make sure the “crashing” part doesn’t happen.

Load testing generally answers the question, “How many users can my Website or Web app handle before it becomes too slow or crashes?”.

Performance testing generally answers the question, “When and where does my Website begin slowing down or performing poorly?”

Load Testing will typically be your biggest concern. Load Testing will give you a quick analysis of the user loads (number of simultaneous users of your Website or web app) that show performance problems. With this data, it’s a straight forward task to build reserve capacity for your Website or Web app that will engage when specific user loads are reached.

API Testing, or Not

API Testing can be included or ignored in your website testing services depending on how you use them.

How connected is your website or web app to other websites and web apps? Maybe more than you realize!

Is your “front end” separate from your “back end”?

Is the “back end” used by other website or web apps?

Sometimes, your website or app is built so that the “front end” is separated from the “back end”. This means that the “front end” website or app, where you input information and read responses, is unique, separate and autonomous from the “back end”. The “back end” is also a unique and autonomous system where your server application and databases store the user info, combine or compare it with various other data sets and then send outputs back to the “front end”. This front end/back end situation is largely a technical decision based on your unique situation and preferred technology.

The “front end” communicates with the “back end” by using API calls. API stands for Application Programming Interface. APIs provide a simple and effective method for communicating between the “user side/front end” and the “server side/back end”. This allows development (and testing) to occur at different times without impacting the end users.

Do you need to include API testing in your website testing services?

Sometimes and it depends.

If you only have a single front end and a single back end, then your APIs are primarily a convenience connection and don’t typically need testing.  Why? Since you only have a single front end and single back end, the only time the APIs are used is through the front end and front end testing can usually provide you with the quality and confidence you’re looking for. The possibility of overlooking an API in this situation is very small.

But, if you have multiple front ends or your front end calls multiple back ends, then you’ll definitely want to get your APIs tested. In this case, the possibility of overlooking an API call that is faulty is quite high if you only test through the front end.

Each API testing situation is unique. The decision to include API testing in your website testing services is your choice. We’re happy to take as much time as you’d like to explain our approach and recommendations.

Web Testing Services, Web App Testing, Website Testing — Call It What You Want

Yeah, there’s really no such thing as “web testing” but we know what you mean and we’re happy to help with our Web app and Website testing services.

Sure, you can do this yourself , but our clients have told us time after time that we find bugs they miss, and we do it faster. Better and faster wins every time.

Ask for help. You will be surprised at how easy it is.

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Web Application Testing Service

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

So, you think you’re read 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.

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website testing services

Website Testing Services for the Average Bear

When it comes to website testing services, you might not be smarter than the average bear. Or, you might not know if you are.

That’s OK, I can help you sort through some of the techno-babble about getting some help with website testing so you can quickly become smarter than the average bear.

You see, when it comes to software testing, hunting, farming, being a Dad, or training a dog I am smarter than the average bear.

If you ask me about psychology, event management or finance then I’m definitely not smarter than the average bear. Best we stick to the subject of website and web app testing right now, okay?

Cutting Through the Clutter of Website Testing Services

As I scanned internet articles to see what was being written on the subject, I noticed a few things that could be confusing or misleading to the average bear.

Let me sort through those things now to help you find an outsourced website testing company that work best for your unique need and business goals.

Set the Right Goal

First, set a goal. Know what you want.  A SMART goal  is great – even if you don’t know all of it.

But, you may not have a “goal” and that’s OK, too. Use these simple questions to figure out what you really want from your website testing services.

  1. Do I want website testing because it’s something I “should” do or because I’m concerned about the cost of losing customers and prospects to bugs and glitches? This answer will help you (and us) understand why you want website testing services.
  2. What does it cost me to get a new prospect to visit my website or eCommerce store? What is the lifetime value of one of my customers? This answer will help you understand the risk of loss from bugs and glitches that website testing can help you prevent.
  3. Do I have time before I need to release my website to fix the bugs and glitches that the website testing finds? This answer will help you understand if you will get real value from your website testing work.

There are not any right or wrong answers to these questions. The answers are important but the thinking and reasoning you do while answering those questions will shed light on what you really want and we can easily help you turn that into a website testing services goal.

Here’s why knowing your goal is important. Testing is an activity – and it can be performed for as long as you want it performed – regardless and without respect to your goal.  You’re probably more interested in the outcomes of testing – defects, bugs, test plans, test cases, etc – than just knowing someone is testing it. If you know your goal before you start looking for help with website testing services, you’ll get the outcomes you’re looking for. Otherwise, you’ll definitely get some “testing” but you won’t know if it is helping you achieve what you actually want.

Don’t Be Over-Sold by Tool Vendors

Second, Tools! (Hat tip to Tim the Toolman, who always got excited about tools and machines.

Almost everything I read on the internet about website testing services seems to be about how a great tool can solve your problem.

Yeah, like having a hammer get’s you a birdhouse. Not so much. Tools are only as good as the person using them. So, this begs two questions.

  1. How long will it take to learn how to use the tool?  They seem easy in the demo but have you actually tried using it?  It may not be as easy as you think.
  2. Even if you know how to use the tool, will you know where to use it most effectively? Just because you can easily and quickly run a bunch of tests, how will you know they are the right tests applied to the right place in your website?

Humans are more important than tools. Tools help humans be more useful.

The Human Element in Website Testing Services

Third, Testers! Now we’re getting to the heart of the matter.

I’ve learned that there is a difference between a Tester and a Test Engineer. We don’t hire testers and you should look very carefully before you hire them yourself.

Here’s why.

Testers do very well when they are told what to do. They don’t do so well when given a testing problem to solve.  They just don’t have the mindset, education and ongoing training to come up with good alternatives or judgment to select the best course of action.

Test Engineers are seekers, finders, and solvers of quality problems. They have university level degrees in math, engineering, and computer science and are actively engaged in ongoing training in quality assurance and control. Sure, they cost a little more – so does a nice car – for a great reason. They both deliver more value per dollar than a less expensive choice – like a tester.

Name Dropping in the Buzzword Jungle

Fourth, Buzzwords like Services, Technology, Systems, Industry, Functional, Performance, Security, Usability can lure you into a trap. Remember, you’re hiring website testing services, not a copywriter.

When it comes to website testing services, having deep knowledge and experience in some set of buzzwords is far less valuable than having seen and completed hundreds of website testing projects.

If you’re looking for a match between your situation and what the website testing services company can provide, look to the references and testimonials and give them about 10 times the weight you’d give to their buzzwords matching your buzzwords. Even better, reach out and talk to the reference/testimonial yourself!

Trust Your Brand to a Crowd of Strangers? Really?

Lastly, there’s the whole crowdsourcing thing.

Sure, some things might be better, faster and cheaper when crowdsourced. But, when what you’re interested in crosses the line from “opinion” to “expert advice”, you’re probably going to get better and more valuable results from an expert rather than “the crowd”.

I know (and so do our clients) that a dedicated QA Team with a QA Manager and a Test Engineer, even for a tiny project of a day or so, can deliver a far more valuable set of results than a semi-random group of internet users.

At TESTCo, we believe in honoring promises. We take the time to make sure our testing work focuses on and delivers the value you need to achieve your business goals. Here’s a page about our website and web app testing services.

We’d like to help you achieve your business and technology goals.

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Web Application Testing Case Study

How Comprehensive, Tightly Managed Web Application Testing Enabled PDS to Keep a Critical Commitment to Customers.

 

 About Pharmacy Development Services

Pharmacy Development Services helps pharmacies develop critical and fundamental business principles that allow them to operate successfully. Their services, systems and software allow pharmacy owners to strategically plan and execute pharmacy-specific operational, training and marketing programs.

Event Deadline and a Project in Shambles

Pharmacy Development Services was in a difficult situation. They were trying to create a new member services platform to improve the way their clients access key information, cooperative resources, communities and connections.

The software project, dubbed PDS Advantage, was to replace an antiquated seven-year-old platform that wasn’t living up to the needs of their pharmacy clients.

After months of development, the look and feel of the new web application was on target, but the functionality wasn’t there yet. “It seemed like there were a lot of elements working . .  until they didn’t,” said Kelley Babcock, Chief Operating Officer at PDS.

“It was difficult for me to sift through all the technical stuff and determine who needed to be responsible for what and who was letting us down on our team – both internally and externally.” The company’s marketing agency should have been conducting web application testing during the development process, but they overlooked some key people and process issues.

Adding to the stress, was that the new software needed to launch at their yearly business development conference in Orlando, Florida. The February conference was only a month away, and they had scheduled their CEO to be on stage, demonstrating the new software and promoting its virtues. Client attendees were already looking forward to the big reveal.

The crisis ramped up even more in early January, just a month away from the show. “It became painfully apparent to me that we didn’t have an internal project plan, and we lacked a scope of work that would allow us to confidently hit the milestones necessary for a show date launch.” explained Babcock. They also wanted to have PDS members try the solution right after the conference.

“If we failed to meet the show deadline, the level of customer dissatisfaction level would have been astronomical,” said Babcock. “That may sound melodramatic, but even if 20% to 30% of our members were highly dissatisfied, it would have been catastrophic. If we lost 20% of our member base, for example, that kind of outcome was just unthinkable to us.”

TESTCo Rescue

In early January, PDS sent up an SOS signal to TESTCo. “Our credibility and the reputation of our CEO and founder Dan Benamoz was on the line,” said Babcock. “Fortunately, the minute I raised the alarm, Dan said, ‘I know who we have to call immediately!’” Benamoz and TESTCo’s founder, Jeff Hotz, belong to the same business strategy group, so the timing and support relationship were impeccable.

The companies made the proper introductions, and things went into crisis management mode. Babcock led daily meetings to navigate TESTCo employees through the challenges at hand. “I was driving those meetings,” said Babcock. “In non-crisis times, the COO is usually not the one drilling down to that level.”

“I was protecting our dedication to the user experience,” she continued. TESTCo’s Cristina Nistor led a team of developers, strategists and web application testing experts to manage the project.

“Cristina and her team worked continually behind the scenes to make sure the member experience was seamless and flawless,” said Babcock. “Cristina was our white knight in shining armor.”

A Comprehensive Web Application Testing Solution

TESTCo made sure every link, every function and every click behaved exactly how it should in the PDS Advantage application. They tested the application on every known browser and device, including Firefox, Chrome, Safari, Internet Explorer, desktops, tablets, iPads, iPhones, Androids and Windows Phones.

“I felt like the testing process was extremely comprehensive,” said Babcock. The project management software includes message boards, a resource library, implementation tools and internal communication features that each pharmacy can use. It’s pre-loaded with more than 40 turnkey programs designed specifically for pharmacists. If one of the pharmacies wants to implement a free children’s’ vitamin program, for example, the system makes it really easy. They search for ‘free children’s vitamins,’ and up comes a template with every step and resource needed to launch a comprehensive program. The resources include team training processes, marketing collateral, policies and more. All the user needs to do is search, download, assign tasks to their team and put a due date on the project.

“Our clients went to school to be pharmacists,” explained Babcock. “They didn’t go to school to become trainers, marketers, and operations managers. With our software solution, they don’t have to reinvent the wheel and do all heavy lifting on their own. That’s a huge benefit. They get to do what they do best – pharmacology.”

Just In Time

Even though they were working on a tight deadline and the tasks were highly technical, Babcock was easily able to follow their progress. “TESTCo put things into a language that was easy to understand and describe,” she said. “We were getting into the weeds, but our collaboration was delightful. You never thought about it as drudgery. I liked the personal connection.” That personal connection even went so far as to include changing languages. “When TESTCo found out that our marketing strategist for service delivery, Omar Avila, spoke Spanish, they started holding those meetings in Spanish, which was nice.”

When the PDS business development conference finally arrived, they were ready to go. CEO Benamoz took the stage and introduced the app, their marketing lead paced through some of the new features, and customers were able to test drive the new application right there at the show. “The confidence we felt was a direct result of TESTCo’s efforts,” said Babcock.

“Without that final push, we would have had to apologize, iterate and continue developing the software well past the conference,” said Babcock. “Because of TESTCo, we didn’t have to do that.”

Key: A Strong Project Lead

Babcock credits a lot of the project’s success to TESTCo QA Manager Cristina Nistor. “She’s highly competent with great attention to detail, follow through, and execution,” said Babcock. “She could look at our processes and people – all the moving parts of the project – and isolate, identify and advise on next steps. Her level of expertise allowed me to have confidence that we’d get it done right before the show.”

The weeks leading up to the business development conference were tense for all involved, but everything worked out. “It was an unparalleled, exceptional experience in terms of service, competency, and advisory guidance,” said Babcock. “We couldn’t have done it without the TESTCo’s web application testing team.”

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