By Alexander Panchenko
But, what advantages do independent QA testing companies provide in comparison to freelancers?
Consider this; the primary reasons for outsourcing is the lack of infrastructure, poor in-house testing team knowledge and experience, limited testing specialists staffed, and cost savings.
Independent QA Testing Companies
The outsourcing of testing services to independent testing companies provides certain benefits.
For example, the availability of a dedicated team. Outsourcing QA testing offers the development of complex systems that include a number of solutions, integrations, and a large scope of tasks and performance suited for a well-coordinated, dedicated team. This is difficult for freelancers to provide, as they often work remotely in different cities or even countries. Companies in search of dedicated teams and testing services on a high professional level—telecom companies, for example—benefit from cooperating with QA outsourcing companies.
Risk mitigation is another consideration. With a software testing company, it is customary to sign a contract, discuss the requirements, deadlines, responsibilities, and budget frames. This approach allows avoiding losses.
Additionally, when signing a contract, companies state the penalties for both sides in case of agreement violation. As a result, both are invested in meeting all requirements of the agreement. Depending upon the project type, the contract can include some additional financial guarantees such as the compensation of profits lost and free task performance in case of low quality.
While the search for a freelancer typically begins with specialized Web sites where ratings, reviews, and online questionnaires are included, looking for a QA vendor is quite different. Once a proposal is put out to tender, a company may consider various QA companies based on company rates and proposed project schedules. This provides an opportunity to choose the best fit before the actual start.
QA companies also provide experience, which may be verified through a quick check of company ratings, client testimonials, case studies—valuable information to aid in making an informed choice.
Experience also ties in with qualification. Often, IT professionals indicate that it is more beneficial to hire freelancers, as they have had a chance to talk with them personally and review their CVs. However, this practice is also widely applied with QA outsourcing companies. If a client wants to talk to team members or choose the team based on their CVs, qualifications, and work experience, this is perfectly acceptable.
Hiring a freelancer also has its advantages.
Typically, they are less expensive, which is particularly attractive for smaller companies.
When the project is small and not too complicated, there is no need for a big project team. For this reason, startups often turn to freelancers.
Freelancers may also offer specializations in areas in which a company does not have a dedicated staff. Often, this includes jobs that are non-typical for the main business activity. However, this ultimately depends on task complexity, solution scope, and team size.
The hiring/implementation process is beneficial to freelancers. Not only is the hiring process for a freelancer easier, but freelancers require less time for adaptation within the organization.
Freelancers are also generally flexible. When the testing service is needed only on a few project stages or from time to time, it is more reasonable to hire a freelancer than a QA vendor, as the latter will have a more bulky, time-consuming procedure in order to kick off each project.
Weighing the Options
When the time comes to choose between a QA company and freelancers, it is critical to first understand very clearly what kind of team is needed. The bigger the team, and the longer and more ambitious the project, the more sense it makes to cooperate with a QA company. Hiring freelancers is more beneficial for small IT companies—meaning less than 100 employees, which allows them to cut costs and increase competition with big companies on the market.
Finally, it is worth noting that, if with a government organization, there is a peculiarity to consider. Governmental projects usually have a set demand for standards and development of specific documentation. The budget for these projects is fixed, meaning the contract terms should be strictly followed. SW
Alexander Panchenko is the head of complex Web QA department, A1QA, a provider of full-cycle quality assurance and application testing services. During his career with A1QA, Panchenko gained a breadth of experience in QA and quality control of various projects including from backup and recovery standalone application to medical social networking. He has also participated in projects involving complex business logic.
Aug2014, Software Magazine