Software Testing Company As A Partner. What's The Point?

If you came across this article you probably consider, less or more, cooperation with the software testing company.

I’m not going to give you objective truth. I am the Co-Founder of a QA company, so I will present my point of you view of why it would make sense or not look for a third-party vendor. That’s fair to be clear about it.

Testing Outsourcing - Fear Of The Dark

During the conversations we had with potential clients, the first call was always about their technical needs. Over and over again, we were being asked about the same things before we signed up for the agreement. And that's ok. 

Founders and Product Leaders, they all have similar fears about cooperation with the software testing company.

There are many doubts and many questions:

- Why choose a Polish software testing company?
- What is better: a company as a partner or a freelancer?
- Are we still going to have an excellent cooperating team with external QA Engineer/s?
- How to start with a third-party provider if we didn't have any QA processes before?
- Are we going to have to deliver testing documentation to them?
- How to manage the development process and how to track bug reporting?

Often we are one of a few validated vendors by startups and businesses. Each of them has their style and rules of cooperation. 

I am not sure if we are exceptional with our answers. Maybe we are giving boring arguments, just like everybody. Who knows? :)

In today's words, we all use the same set of tools to communicate and software development methodology (which is often something between Scrum and Kanban). And we can all check our competitors to copy fresh ideas into our company services or sales-marketing approach. 

Being exceptional ain't easy.

Software Testing Company from Poland or Where?

I want to raise some crucial issues for decision-makers.

Let's start with the first question I listed above: Why choose a Polish QA company?

I’ve read tons of articles on this subject, and most of them crossed the good taste of advertising. The point is that they are full of arguments, but even the slightest case against is missing.

I am writing this article from Poznan. And yes, there are hundreds of talented people here and across Poland. However, gifted people are almost everywhere. 

I think most European startups and businesses pick up Polish companies as their outsourced partner because we are around the corner, and we have developed a global reputation of reliable specialists in the IT industry. I guess, for good reason.

When technical human resources are running low, Poland can be the right direction. It’s easy to have daily standups with hired software testing agency.  A flight from Paris, London, or Berlin to Poznan only takes from one to just a couple of hours. And that’s a huge advantage.

Read more--> QA Outsourcing to Poland

Even for clients from the ES time zone (New York, Boston, etc.).

source: Airport Poznan

In the market, there are a lot of Asian companies, mainly from India. In terms of numbers - companies from India enter the world markets very boldly. Great job!

It’s hard to criticize their knowledge and quality of service. Indeed, the time difference and distance between India and the USA/Europe can be problematic.

Sometimes at Apphawks I work with companies and freelancers from India but in other areas such as SEO support. Especially in those where an email exchange is enough from time to time.

Testing is a process, continuous communication with the client's development team is crucial. I see that our QA Engineers when they are in the projects, are constantly in touch with our clients. There is always something to talk to about with software developer or Product Owner. 

Lack of time difference helps to avoid congestion. As a CTO, Head of Product or Founder, you have to decide what is crucial for you. 

How would you like to run Sprints with outsourcing QA Engineer or QA Team? I prefer to be in close touch with our clients.

Software Testing Company vs. Freelancer

Let's face another question. 

Decision-makers often want to validate more than one option. Naturally, they consider Freelancers as good assets for the in-house team. The cost might be lower, and they don't have to sign any QA Agreements.

So, why software testing company are better than Freelancers? Good question.

And I have an honest answer without the fluff. I consider my QA company as a team of Freelancers (even if they’re not), and they, as a team, can face all the different technical challenges our clients have.

The team has this added value, which is intellectual ferment or brainstorming. So yes, clients will get, for example, one QA Engineer, if they are interested in Body-Leasing, but he has our support and our QA knowledge. They are going to buy not just the experience of one man, but of the entire company.

At Apphawks, we have an internal Slack channel where we discuss some technical problems. That way, the process is much faster and more efficient. Generally, by having internal QA talks, we can improve and speed up everyone's work.

What is better for almost the same price?

Many exceptional Freelancers are expensive, and they like to work with many shorter projects. With a software testing company, you will have a feeling of stability, because we are not going to cancel the contract in the middle of deployment when your customers or investors are waiting for a significant release or bug fixing.

If you are working with Freelancers, it’s hard to know what they do at their home. With our Technical Co-Founder, we have an eye on our QA Engineers because we work from one office. 

I’m not talking about control or distrust. We see what they do, how focused, and how engaged they are. We can openly talk about bottlenecks and issues. In our office, we find solutions to those problems to keep ourselves motivated.

There is one more argument - reputation. For a company, it’s effortless to ruin a reputation. Delivering services as a company is a huge responsibility. A company has more to lose. We want to grow as our clients, that’s why we’ll do everything in our power to make customers happy.

QA Process With Testing Company

The last four questions are basically about the process.

You are not sure how to start with an external partner, how you will be working with QA or QA team. You are not sure who should provide testing documentation and finally how to manage it all.

Usually, we have two types of clients’ expectations:

The first group of clients needs QA Engineers(s) in their startups or businesses. They have full control over the hired personnel, and they decide how they like to work. They treat Apphawks' QA Engineer(s) as a member of their team and “family.” 

They often have daily standups and excellent personal relationships. It’s called Body & Team Leasing. A hired person always has our technical backup, but now he/she is your employee.

The second group of clients expects us to take full responsibility for quality assurance in their project. It’s called Project-Based Outsourcing. So, in the beginning, we set up the scope of cooperation. Usually, it’s 60 hours weekly. 

We assign each project a “face” on our part. For example, Adam will be the leading Tester with the support of other team members.

Because we take responsibility for the quality, we set the testing plan ourselves. We prepare documentation and work. We carry out manual and automated tests. We make an accurate report of what we have been working on in a given month. 

In this case, Founders or Product Leaders, have more time to develop the project further, instead of managing the delivery team.

In both cases, in the beginning, we have to check what’s under the hood, so we do manual testing and write test cases. After we’re familiar with the app, we’ll write code and run automated tests, including regression. 

In both cases, we have to set up tools for communication (Slack) and platform for bugs-tracking (Jira). We will set with the client his priorities and urgent needs at the beginning of cooperation.

Read more--> Outsource Software Testing Roadmap For Businesses

Conclusions About Software Testing Providers

To sum up, if you want non-binding quality support, go with Freelancer. If you are looking for long term on-going collaboration, go with a software testing company. 

  • If you know how to manage the development and testing team, go with Body-Team Leasing. You will add extra resources to your company. 
  • If you don’t have any testing process or QA experience at your company, go with Project-Based Outsourcing. 
  • If you like to have stand-ups, tight relationships with third-party vendors, and if you want to work in a similar time zone, pick up Polish software testing companies. 
  • If you are looking for the best price, go with Freelancers or Asian companies.
  • If you still do not know what's best for you, schedule a call with me and our Technical Co-Founder. Together we will figure out the best approach for your product.
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Grzegorz Kłos
Grzegorz Kłos - Apphawks Co-founder
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