In This Post
- The Weakest Link
- Strong QA Managers
- Test Engineer Advantage
- Roles of QA Manager
- 30% – 50% Less
- Reviews by Engineering Managers
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.
Fix The Weakest Link (In Your QA Team)
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?
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.