Today, software engineering is defined by speed. As companies strive to achieve weekly, or even daily, releases, QA and development teams must combine their efforts to deliver a high-quality product on schedule. This is not always easy, as both teams contribute differently to the project. Developers are concerned with developing and delivering the product on time, and QA engineers are tasked with testing and ensuring its quality. Oftentimes, these teams are completely separate units. With proper coaching and guidance, you can unite both teams in pursuit of a common goal: a solid product release that meets customer requirements.
Over the years we have been asked, and have answered, nearly every possible question about QA. The one recurring question that no one can answer clearly is, “What is the right mix of QA engineers to development engineers?” We admit it: we don’t have a firm answer, either. The ideal ratio of QA to dev depends on several key factors, each of which may change on a project-to-project basis. For this reason, we recommend starting with a small team and scaling up or down as needed.
Our clients tell us they paid a lot of attention to company culture when they were comparing offshore QA companies. They were convinced, based on prior experience, that culture is the critical difference in companies that integrate successfully with the development team and consistently find critical bugs. No amount of tools, methodologies, nor bug reporting processes can overcome a weak company culture when outsourcing QA. Nor can these resources contribute as significantly as company culture to the motivation of the QA engineers doing the work.