When it comes to software quality assurance, the main factors that commonly determine your choice  are quality and cost. Making a decision about whether a company should test their software projects in-house, offshore, or nearshore is not that easy.

Not every business is able to find, hire, and retain an in-house team of highly skilled testers. And to be honest, this makes no sense, as you will have to pay higher rates to the employees whose work is not required all the time. Software quality assurance usually makes up about 20% of the whole development time frame of the project. What will your in-house QA engineers do for the rest of the time? How will you distribute the workload if you only develop one app?

Concurrently, creating and maintaining an internal Quality Assurance team demands a lot of time and resources. That’s only a few reasons why you should consider outsourcing software testing. However, one of the main questions a lot of businesses ask is:

Do I really need a Quality Assurance team and why do I have to pay so much? I can test my app by myself!

In fact, you cannot.

To ensure the highest quality of your product you have to perform a whole range  of tests at all stages of the development process. This includes functional, non-functional, and regression testing, which involve dozens of different testing methods, as well as cross-browsing and cross-platform testing (if your app has to run on various operating systems).

As a QA you will have to:

  • create and document test plans and procedures;
  • create user stories;
  • execute, analyze, and report test results;
  • possess modern testing tools;
  • be fluent in various OSs, as well as scripting and command-line tools;
  • know (at least) the basics of different programming languages, like C/C++, Java, Python, PHP, JavaScript;
  • have an understanding of different development methodologies (e.g. Scrum, Agile, etc.).

On top of that, the process of testing mobile apps differs from testing desktop or web applications. This job requires a tester to be up-to-date on mobile trends and have a firm knowledge of mobile OSs.

Unless you are a professional QA engineer, the quality of product is very likely to be compromised, because there are bugs that are not obvious and will work only in some scenarios.

Main reasons for and benefits from outsourcing software quality assurance

  1. Outsourcing your app quality assurance to an experienced team gives better product quality and positive business outcomes;
  2. Your QA team will cooperate and collaborate closely with the developers.
  3. QA outsourcing allows you to focus on the core business goals, as you don’t have to keep your team members to be on hand at the office 24/7;
  4. Building up an in-house specialized QA team is not a simple task. This gives a company reduced in-house efforts and increased cost benefits;
  5. IT outsourcing brings a new-level value to the product due to an effective team whose primary focus is high quality testing and on-time deliverables.
  6. As a result of  offshoring or nearshoring you get access to many other platforms and devices, which  won’t be possible when working only with an in-house team.

Of course, there is the other side of the coin. Here are some cons of QA outsourcing to keep in mind.

Because there are too many software service vendors on the market, especially in Ukraine, sometimes it is really hard to find a trusted custom software development . That is why there is always room for risk in outsourcing, in particular, of quality assurance. The result may simply not meet your expectations. So you need to do a good research on finding a true IT partner.

Generally, concerns like the lack of control over the process and cultural barriers are obstacles you may face. But, these are common disadvantages, associated with IT outsourcing in general, not only quality assurance.

A few tips on how to make QA outsourcing more efficient

  1. Involve testers at the very beginning of development.

In our recent discussion of the main mistakes companies usually make we mentioned underestimating the value of QA. No matter what project you are building, quality assurance should be an integral part of software development from the very start. Continuous testing of your product guarantees you’ll have it completed and clear at the final stage of the app development process and the launch itself.

“As a matter of fact, a tester should be involved in the development from the very beginning, otherwise you will have a ton of bugs in the end.”

  1. Take a look at your product from different angles.

Testing gives you additional opportunity to see the app from various angles. Engaging a QA team at the early stages of development allows spotting and correcting errors in the requirements, before the initial development stage. In the end, this means reduced development costs and time, as well as increased bug fixing effectiveness, product quality and reliability.

  1. Give clear requirements to your QA outsourcing team.

The other aspect of successful QA outsourcing lies in giving a deep insight of the product to your QA team. A team of testers should know:

  • your business objectives;
  • how the end-users expect the software to work.

The more you understand the product, the better you can test it. Of course, efficient testing demands knowledge about the software development methodologies and workflow itself. That’s why it’s vital not to make these crucial mistakes when looking for software development outsourcing company.

The final word

On the one hand, the decision to outsource or to hire an in-house team depends mostly on your specific case . It is impossible to give a universal recipe for the optimal  approach. On the other hand, whether you are looking to outsource the whole software development process or just testing, the benefit of achieving better quality remains stand firm. Moreover, outsourcing quality assurance brings your product independent points of view. The dedicated team of testers may notice and highlight issues you’ve never considered in your product. And this is vital for the overall success.