It’s easy to claim you are a software QA company. After all, it’s just finding bugs, right? Well, we think there is a distinct difference between a software QA company and a company that provides software testing or QA. It’s actually much harder to deliver software QA than software testing – here’s why.
Software Testing is only a small part of software QA. Just like writing code is only a small part of software development. That’s right! Writing the code and running the tests are the Easy Part.
The hard part? You’ve probably seen it already. In a software project, it’s all the thinking, deciding and planning WHAT to code and HOW to code it. Similarly, in software QA, it’s much more than just “test it”. It’s knowing the software goal, building a QA strategy and executing a smart Test Plan that reduces the risk for your software project. “Just Test It” won’t cut it anymore and you’ll need a software QA company to get the most return from your software investment.
Must a Software QA Company Do Both Development and Testing?
It is very common to think that a good outsourced software development company should be able to provide good software testing – and they might. But, I promise that something is going to be missing or hidden from you. Software QA, especially independent software QA, just can’t be reliably delivered by a company with a primary focus on software development. Software development and software QA have fundamentally different activities and goals.
Testing with a Process
It’s one thing to find a bug. It’s another thing to report that bug in a manner that the software developer can use to recreate and then fix the defect. Doing this well requires a process.
Likewise, there will always be more to test than can be tested in a limited amount of time. How will you know what to test and how to test it and still know you’re doing the best, right thing? Software QA companies use a process to build a Test Strategy so that the most important things are always done first.
We won’t force you into having a quality goal if you don’t want. But, we’ll help you build and achieve one if you’re interested.
Here’s why it’s important.
- You can’t test everything every time.
- If you can’t test everything every time, you need a smart strategy to test what is most important
- Strategies require a goal
- Even plans require a goal
If you don’t know or don’t have a quality goal, we can have a simple 45-minute conversation with you and you’ll have one!
Then, we’ll build a smart strategy to achieve your quality goal while staying within your constraints (usually time and budget).
- We help you achieve your quality goal.
- Your customers are delighted.
- You achieve your business goals.
And that’s how a software QA company makes a difference!
The Consequences of Not Using a Great Software QA Company
Not all situations require the depth and expertise of a software QA company. Many situations can be effectively addressed by a software tester freelancing or working inside a software development company. But, if you chose this approach, you should be prepared to address the following potential consequences – at least you won’t get caught by surprise.
- Hiding Things – when you use a software tester as a part of a software development company, the potential for hiding defects to protect a reputation rises – significantly! How will you know you are getting a clear picture of your software’s quality?
- Testers Miss Things – an ad-hoc or poorly structured approach to software QA can leave significant sections of a software application untested. Test Engineers think like engineers and build structured approaches to software QA that meet the project goals. Testers start looking for bugs.
- Still Worried? – a lack of a structured approach to meeting the quality and quantity goals of a software project leads to a lack of confidence. Here’s a quick test – right now, how confident do you feel about the quality and timeliness of your software development project? If you don’t know – for sure – then you might be using Hope as a strategy.
- Another Day, Another Dollar – when software testing services are performed without a compelling goal or mission then the value of those services are greatly diminished and have a very short half-life. The software testers simply spend the day cranking through test cases or ad-hoc testing with the only goal of “find bugs”. The value of a software defect simply returned to a software developer is only a small fraction of the value that could be available if it was used properly – most don’t.
- Cost & Disappointment – without a goal and a process to achieve your goal, a tester can only continue testing for as long as you can pay them. Every day, the costs increase and you get a couple bug reports. When will you be finished with testing? Was it enough testing? Is it done when there are no more defects? How will you know? In the end, a stack of bug reports and a large invoice won’t help you achieve your goal. A software QA company can show you exactly how your investment in software QA is providing you with the quality and confidence you need to achieve your goals.
What are my Choices and Options for Finding a Software QA Company?
Finding a great software QA company can be easy – you’ve already done that by landing here! Distinguishing a software QA company from the vast list of outsourced software providers on a Google search may be more challenging. Here are some things to look for
- Software QA Methods as tools – a library of software QA processes and methods along with a leadership approach for selecting and implementing the right tool at the right time.
- Testers Vs Test Engineers – a team of experienced and trained Software Test Engineers.
- Software QA Leadership – a leadership and management team focused on software QA and the business benefits available from improving the speed and confidence of your software production process.
Even if you don’t find the software QA company you’re looking for, you’ll probably do OK – even with software testers just finding defects. But, if “just doing OK” isn’t enough to meet your business goals, then I promise it is worth your time to investigate the differences between a software QA company and those that just offer software testing services.
We’d enjoy the opportunity to speak with you about your software QA needs. We’d like to earn the right to work with your team to improve the speed and confidence of your software production process. We’re happy to share what we’ve learned and what we do – it’s not magic – it’s honoring promises!