Things to Consider When Evaluating Software Testing Companies/Service Providers
February 9, 2021
6 Min Read
No matter how big or small or business is, if you’re planning on releasing a new app/software, you might want to invest in a testing company’s services. First of all, they’ll significantly shorten the release cycle; secondly, they’ll “catch” all the bugs in the code so that you can fix them before the customers send raging reviews. Right now, there are thousands of agencies out there that specialize in QA (quality assurance).
There are outstanding software companies in Singapore, China, Russia, and the Philippines, to name a few. Compared to the American and the West-European companies, they’re a lot cheaper and more available. Still, you’ll need to learn the key aspects that turn an average-at-best team into one that you can trust with your software. Let’s go ahead and check them out right now, shall we?
#1: Start by learning more about the Company
Evaluating potential partners can be a tedious task, especially when it comes to software testing companies. It doesn’t have to be, however, if you know the basics of assessing agencies in the IT industry. So, the first thing to do is to look through big promises that are too good to be true. I’m talking about 70%-off exclusive offers, assurance of premium quality, and more.
Sadly, as soon as you trust a team like that and send them the first check, they fail at keeping the promise. In a situation when you have to release your new software ASAP, missed deadlines can have catastrophic consequences. That’s why I recommend making a list of questions to ask the software testing company. Make it really detailed, too. Get in contact with an official representative (preferably through a video call), and ask away.
Start with simple questions, like when are they going to be available, how many testers they can allocate to your project, and what it’s going to cost you? More importantly, you’ll need to talk about the deadline. Most software testing companies are happy to talk about how they meet deadlines, how they put their clients first, and what kind of platforms/processes the team uses for that. If they shy away from providing clear answers, that’s a really big red flag.
#2: Make Sure They’re Up to the Task
Experience is the number one “resource” in the IT industry. This is equally true for web development, web design, and, of course, software testing. I always try to find a team of testers that have been doing this for at least five years or so. It would be best if they are heavily involved in quality assurance in your particular market/field. Some clients prefer to work with all-in-one types of agencies.
And while I’m not 100% against that, it might be a good idea to find a company that specializes solely in software testing. In most cases, it will be a (relatively) smaller service provider, but one that excels at this one task and is easy to get a hold of and to stay in contact. In fact, high-skilled professionals that specialize in specific fields are much harder to find (and to hire) these days.
#3: Check the Pricing
You don’t need me to tell you how big of a difference the location makes. Say, in the States, they charge 50+ dollars per hour for software testing services. In the EU, the average price-tag is 30-40% lower. The Asian market, in turn, is the cheapest one. It won’t be hard to find a company that’s happy to handle QA for 10 bucks an hour. That’s another red flag, though, and you shouldn’t trust a team that’s available at such a low rate.
Big pros in the field have significantly higher rates, but they do get the job done. When speaking about the Asian agencies, I don’t mean Japan, South Korea, or Singapore, of course. These countries are one of the IT leaders and charge accordingly. Singapore is the “golden middle” for most businesses: local vendors have reasonable price-lists and are great at software testing.
#4: Are They Trusted by Others?
This is another important question to find an answer to. If the players in the industry have only positive things to say about your potential testing partner, you might want to take that into consideration. But how do you check this, exactly? Start by learning how many awards they’ve got, what kind of a portfolio they have, and what businesses/clients they’ve collaborated with in the past.
If you’re ready to take the longer route, I recommend checking out client feedback. There are dozens of trusted websites out there that value their reputation too much to be biased. UpCity, G2.com, Clutch.co, Agency Visa, and CrowdReviews are some of the websites that I regularly visit to read about companies that I’m interested in working with.
#5: And what about the SLA?
Service-level agreements are pretty common in the IT world. First of all, they can protect against potential scammers and fraudsters. Plus, they allow you to outline detailed project specifications, deadlines for each project, and more. In the beginning, I told you to start with simple questions. Well, once you’re done with that and are happy with the company’s price and expertise, the SLA comes next.
With it, you won’t have to be constantly involved with the process or to be puzzled by unforeseen expenses, delays, and stuff like that. In my practice, strong integration is imperative when you’re working with an outsourcing company. The software testers will require access to your protocols, platforms, and software solutions. Your own team, in turn, should be ready to assist them in any way needed.
Quality assurance slash software testing is one of the hardest tasks for any team. Without proper communication, you won’t be able to achieve satisfying results, no matter how skilled the testers are. Now, the best thing about Singaporean agencies – they’re fluent in English and easily adapt to different time zones. It’s always important to know in advance what kind of platform you’ll be using while working together.
In 2021, there’s no shortage of communication tools. We’ve got emails, phone calls, video calls, social media, and more. However, poor management can ruin it all and turn what could’ve been a pleasant partnership into a disaster. One way to make sure of this is to read honest reviews (as I already mentioned), or get in contact with the software tester’s clients to learn how good they are at this.