Networking conferences and meetups for coders are a dime a dozen. But where can a software testing professional find a place to meet, network and learn from fellow QA engineers? If you’re anywhere near Silicon Valley, you’ll find it at the East Bay Agilistry and QA Meetup Group.
By now it’s common knowledge that QA is an essential part of the software development lifecycle. But when the need for expanded testing arises, many companies still debate about whether to train their in-house engineers or outsource those services. Like so many other problems in the software development and testing industry, there is no clear solution. The only real answer is, “It depends.”
Agile processes have been adopted by most software testing companies to keep up with rapid release schedules and customer demand. Gone are the days of slow but big results under the waterfall model -- Agile requires dev and testing teams to work hand-in-hand to produce fresh, fast results on a weekly basis.
There’s no way that this approach is working without a significant of automated testing in place, so let’s make that first on the list.
Think fast! How much are repetitive manual tests costing you by the hour? By the day, week and year? Probably a lot. Certain manual testing techniques have their place in the software development lifecycle. But overall, automation is winning the day. A well-designed automation framework can boost your team’s productivity, help you release at lightning speed and, best of all, cut a big chunk off of your testing budget.
Why do most product companies hire a QA partner? The details vary, but the main reason is this: it’s a great insurance policy. Testing ensures that your product meets your quality standards and is ready for use in the market. This protects your customer from a poor user experience and you from bad PR and revenue loss.
When it comes to selecting a dedicated QA partner the choices are plentiful. But selecting the partner that will be a perfect fit for your company, product and existing team takes research and deliberation. The right partner is responsible for much more than providing high-quality testing -- they create a sustainable testing infrastructure, learn the product as well (or better!) than the developers and serve as a true extension of your onsite team.
There’s no substitute for skilled developers. They’re the powerhouse behind the product. The chief creation officers. They’re tasked with engineering your product’s architecture, coding the new features that will captivate your users and expanding the market reach of your organization. But, as humans are used to, developers also make mistakes in their pursuit of greatness.
For many product companies, QA remains a grey area. Maybe there are a few QA engineers onsite, thinly spread over a bunch of different projects. Maybe the developers double up and test as they code. Maybe they use a nearshore vendor that eats up the testing budget, or an offshore provider delivers a bug-ridden product. What is the solution for a company looking to strike a balance between quality, cost and great client experience?
Automation testing is ubiquitous in today’s market thanks to improved tools and methodologies. But it takes expertise to implement, execute and maintain automation over time. Many companies continue to shy away from automating because their team lacks experience or the necessary training is too costly. Hiring a QA partner to implement is the perfect solution: you’ll get the thorough test coverage you need while keeping resources lean and improving team productivity.
The ability to do more with less is a hallmark of success for product companies. CEOs and Product Managers want to release new features rapidly to remain on the competitive edge of their market, but they also want to keep their resources lean. How to reconcile these two goals without sacrificing the quality of the product?