Adapting Offshore Software Testing to Agile Development and Integrated Quality


    Offshore software testing services began to widely develop about ten years ago. Clients recognized and valued the advantages of the offshore testing approach, including its 24/7 productivity, lower total cost of quality, and resources available to test at substantially cheaper costs than when hiring them locally. These distinctive characteristics were substantial enough to warrant considering offshore software testing. But during the past few years, this situation has undergone a significant transformation. These selling arguments are still relevant today; but, given the Agile development cycles used by product businesses, they are now assigned a lesser priority than other criteria.

    The current era no longer only favors paired efforts at development and upfront testing techniques like TDD. Even worse, there are situations where software developers double as testers. Does this imply that independent offshore software testing service providers are no longer needed? Actually, no. For instance, several IT businesses have experienced excellent growth in both fresh disciplines and technologies as well as recurring business from established clients. It’s crucial to keep in mind that “Conscious, Continuous, and Consistent” quality is what consumers currently require. The market is undoubtedly still very lucrative if an organization can align its operations with these core themes, develop capabilities to help product companies provide these to their end users, and simultaneously introduce their own distinctions to set them apart from other testing service players. And it will stay that way.

    Offshore testing providers need to be aware of how quickly things are changing because both services and product companies can benefit from the changes projected for the software testing sector. The awareness that offshore software testing is not just about using lower cost resources but actually about having a team that is an extended arm of the core development and quality efforts is greatly increased if they are able to demonstrate their value addition in areas of test automation, bring in objective test metrics, and help improve product changes based on end user feedback. As long as teams are cognizant of where it all originates from and continue to build on those strengths, this trend won’t go away.

    The Evolving Role of Quality Engineering in Product Development

    Quality is no longer reserved for the product engineering effort’s prod stages. Quality is now fully integrated throughout the various stages of product engineering, from requirements gathering through prod delivery, and for the correct reasons. The close relationship between software quality and the other disciplines in a product development effort has also been made necessary by the Agile method of operations. The question to ask is if quality starts and stops with a code product design effort, even though this is a given. Even outside of a core engineering effort, quality is crucial, whether it be at the product feasibility stage, maintenance stage, professional services stage, etc. 

    The quality engineers are playing a very versatile role in each of these stages. He is assessing whether the product that is being developed can be delivered in the market place in a high-quality state, how to accommodate quality in post-delivery quick fixes or patches, or what are the unique specific requirements of customers and how to accommodate quality in providing such requirements. A tester plays a special role because he is more active in understanding the field, prioritizes the type of test coverage required, considers previous customer issues when addressing the current scenario, and closely collaborates with the build engineer to help them. All disciplines within a product engineering group need agility in order to work under these various requirements.

    Along with the aforementioned, a good practice to follow in this situation would be to collect lessons learned from all of these quality initiatives and record them as necessary so they may be used as inputs in an ongoing quality milestone inside a product engineering effort. In order to meet and surpass end user expectations, a quality engineer has a huge obligation to think beyond only the basic technical work. The first and simplest thing for the tester to do would be to look just outside of the core technical effort or milestone when we wonder how to adequately address such a large duty. And for this, the finest places to start would be by examining the quality result from a feasibility, past maintenance, and professional services phases. This not only encourages better teamwork and earlier quality engagement, but more crucially, it aids the quality engineer in making the connections necessary to fully meet end user requirements.

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