If you want to create flawless software that your clients will love, you will need to assure its quality first. To do this, IT companies cooperate with QA specialists who know how to identify bugs, analyze if developers have met the qualifications of technical tasks, and prevent potential errors.
If you’re based in the USA, you may try to form your own in-house team of testers. Besides that option, some tech leaders resort to software testing outsourcing that provides access to international quality assurance professionals. To make the right choice, I’ve listed the main pros and cons of both in-house and outsourced QA testing, provided the 5 most powerful techniques to adopt outsourced testing, and shared with you a great alternative to both of these staffing solutions.
Is It Better to Outsource Software Testing Than Building In-House QA Team?
The best way to choose between hiring on-premises QA employees and outsourcing of software testing is to compare the two business-expanding models.
For instance, in-house software testing presupposes recruiting and managing QA testers in your company. This business practice is most suitable for long-term projects.
The main advantages of in-house QA are:
- Minimal security risks
In-house QA testing engineers apply the traditional model of quality assurance that eliminates security breaches. It’s safer to grant code access to on-site QA engineers since you don’t have to worry about the loss or infringement of IP.
- Development of internal expertise
In-house QA testers will adopt your corporate culture, along with values, and be able to come up to your project expectations faster. On-premises testing engineers will also work with your developers face-to-face, hence, more efficient communication and higher-quality results.
The main disadvantages of in-house QA include:
- Increased expenditures
You will have to pay hundreds of dollars to the local recruitment provider to find QA experts for your company. Besides, don’t forget about the salaries of such professionals: $85K for one QA engineer on average in America.
- No operational backup
Apart from recruitment services, you will need to sign a contract with your newly established QA crew and pay taxes to abide by the law, so it’s important to find someone in charge of accounting to control your cash flow. And, of course, let’s not forget about procurements and office supplies that your in-house testers will need.
Outsource software testing means hiring a third-party vendor that will be completely responsible for your project delivery. By the way, this mode of staffing is great for short-term projects.
You may benefit from outsourced QA testing through:
- Enhanced flexibility
If you opt for creating a software testing outsource team, it’ll be easy for you to adjust it at any stage of the project. You may increase, reduce, or fire your temporary QA testers when the task is done without any hustle and bustle.
- Cost savings
You are free to adopt outsource software testing services in countries with the most beneficial market conditions. For example, Ukrainian QA engineers charge from two to three times less for their services than their American colleagues. Beyond that, most of them work as independent contractors and pay only 5% in income tax.
Don’t neglect the following limitations of outsourced testing services:
- Safety issues
Outsource software testing usually involves a cloud-based testing model which can expose your confidential data to risk. This can happen because multiple companies may use the same cloud to store their private information.
- Communication gaps
If you’re based in the United States while your software testing vendor is in India, you will receive a delayed response because of different time zones. Secondly, your Indian provider may not speak English very well, which is why you may fail to build a connection between them and your developers. Lastly, your outsourced QA engineers work on a remote basis, so you will have limited control over their performance.
By and large, outsource quality assurance is most commonly used by IT service firms because they work on a project-by-project basis. It’s easier for them to find a temporary QA engineer to run software tests than hire a tester full-time. Tech product companies, on the other hand, prefer to test their software in-house because they can’t receive the necessary level of security from outsourced QA engineers. To keep their product secure and save substantial costs, many businesses resort to an alternative model of software testing – offshored QA.
5 Software Testing Outsourcing Best Practices
If you decide to get software testing outsourcing opportunities, make sure to consider the 5 most important practices that I have laid out below:
1.Choose a seasoned QA vendor
You certainly don’t have time to teach quality assurance engineers how to work on your project. That is why you should stick with a provider that has valid experience in your field. Professional QA vendors publish case studies and customer reviews on their websites to prove their working experience. If your provider doesn’t have this information on the site, go to Clutch or GoodFirms to do the research yourself.
2. Decide on manual or automation QA
Manual QA is software testing to spot bugs and errors through a quality assurance engineer. Automation QA is about software testing to reach the same goals but via coding automation tools such as Selenium, LambdaTest, and others. Tech companies use both approaches to testing and often combine them to produce the most accurate results.
For instance, when we were hiring a team of QA engineers for Ledger – the leading provider of a hardware wallet to secure crypto assets – we recruited both manual and automation quality assurance specialists. In just a month, we recruited 4 manual QA professionals. A few weeks later, our IT researchers and recruiters also found the perfect candidate for the automation QA lead position.
3. Agree upon working conditions
Fruitful QA collaboration starts with transparency. First of all, your quality assurance partner must provide clear pricing and realistic deadlines. Some QA testing vendors even have pricing calculators on their sites. Secondly, define the obligations of your provider in a detailed SLA (Service Level Agreement) to have guarantees of quality. Your software needs to be 100% secure, so it’d be great to sign an NDA before you give passwords, keys, and other sensitive information to your QA provider.
4. Align the work of outsourced testers and in-house developers
If your software developers and testers have miscommunication, it will directly impact the project outcome. That is why you should use the most convenient communication channels for developers and QA testers and spend resources on team-building activities. Indeed, developers don’t always like to wait until some piece of their code gets tested by QA engineers, but it’s better to troubleshoot the weak spots in the code step-by-step rather than postpone it to the last moment.
5. Regularly assess the performance of your outside QA specialists
You should always be in the loop of the progress in software testing. However, it doesn’t mean that you should micro-manage every single step of QA engineers yourself. Just specify in your SLA that your testing team lead must prepare and share with you a progress report every week or month. This way, you will be able to see if cooperation with this QA vendor works for you and analyze what can be done to improve the quality assurance process in your company.
Consider Alcor R&D Solution
In case you’re wondering how else you can get the top QA solutions apart from outsourcing or in-house recruitment, consider the Alcor model. Our company is a business process outsourcing services provider that helps you set your R&D center in Ukraine.
This is what we did for People.ai, an American product software company that provides an AI platform for sales in B2B. Our client was eager to hire more developers in Ukraine, tried to do it via several vendors but failed to reach this goal. Then their top managers found our model and subsequently we opened their representative office in one month, hired over 25 talents, and provided full operational support for them.
By operational support, I mean BPO services such as IT recruitment, legal & compliance services, payroll & accounting assistance, real estate, and additional functions. We thoroughly handle all of these areas, so you can forget about non-core activities and enjoy the seamless experience of our model.
We are always working to boost our service quality and help companies with even with something like mergers & acquisitions deals. That is why when Luxoft, a provider of enterprise business solutions to companies across the globe, wanted to purchase a tech company with more than 500 employees in Ukraine, they chose our solution.
To help them, our legal specialists prepared a detailed due diligence report, restructured the company that our client purchased, legalized its operation, and developed a long-term partnership with Luxoft.
Software testing is key to creating an error-free product that will bring you lots of profit. You may either set up and supervise in-house QA professionals or hire a third-party vendor to get software outsourcing testing and operational support. And in the case where you need to step up on-premises and outsourced software testing teams, you might go for your own offshore QA hub.
Our BPO company can make it happen and even provide all back-office functions for you: from vetting and maintaining your QA engineers to promoting your brand in Ukraine.