Quality assurance outsourcing is a common practice these days. It allows companies to free up their time and internal resources, reduce costs, and minimize risks. More importantly, it ensures faster time-to-market of error-free products.
However, where should you look for a reliable partner that can match your business requirements? And how do you make sure that your partner has sufficient expertise to provide high-quality software testing services? Learn the answers to these questions, and more, in this article. We will talk about:
- How to choose the best location for outsourced offshore QA;
- Advantages and applications of automated and manual testing;
- How to find a reliable outsourcing quality assurance provider;
- 3 success stories of quality assurance outsourcing.
When companies need to hire an offshore QA team, there are three main destinations to consider: Asia, South America, and Eastern Europe. Let’s take a closer look at each one.
Offshore QA testing services in Asia
Asia has long been a popular destination for outsourcing various IT services, quality assurance included. The region can boast an impressive number of QA engineers, with India being the obvious leader.
Experts from this region are also known for their high expertise in providing IT services. Countries like India and Vietnam can often be found in the lists of countries with the best engineers. India, for example, is ranked 10 in the world by TopCoder.
However, many businesses from Western countries find it challenging to establish effective communication with an outsourced offshore QA team in this region. This is mainly due to a rather low internet infrastructure quality that is quite common among local countries. Also, cultural and work ethics differences often make it difficult to find common ground.
Outsourced offshore testing in South America
Next on the list are Mexico and South America, which have recently become popular destinations for quality assurance outsourcing, especially in the US. Although obviously smaller than Asia, this region still has an impressive pool of quality assurance experts.
Countries such as Argentina, Mexico, and especially Brazil have many skilled QA engineers. However, in terms of skills and expertise, they are usually ranked a bit lower than their Asian or Eastern European colleagues. Argentina, which has the most skilled experts in the region according to TopCoder, is ranked number 11 in the world.
Establishing effective communication and long-term cooperation with local offshore outsourced QA teams is somewhat of a challenge. In addition to low English proficiency, many countries are plagued by various forms of political or economical instability. They can have unpredictable effects, and bring a sense of uncertainty to the partnerships you build with local service providers.
Quality assurance outsourcing in Eastern Europe
Eastern Europe is one of the most popular destinations for offshore QA testing. This is not surprising, since several countries in this region have some of the most skilled experts in the industry. According to TopCoder, engineers from Poland (number 5), and Ukraine (number 7) are among the best in the world.
Bonus: why Ukraine is the best destination for outsourced offshore QA testing services
Let’s take a closer look at Ukraine and find out what makes it one of the most popular outsourcing destinations in Eastern Europe (and in the world, for that matter).
1. The large, fast-growing talent pool
With nearly 50K experts, Ukraine has the largest number of quality assurance engineers in Eastern Europe. What’s more, approximately 20% of these experts have at least 7 years of experience, making them some of the most skilled in the world.
Furthermore, the local pool of experts is one of the fastest-growing in the region. Around 16K ICT graduates enter the pool annually, many of whom pursue a career in software testing.
2. Hands-on expertise and experience with long-term partnerships
With significant outsourcing experience accumulated over many years, Ukrainian vendors have gained the reputation of being reliable IT service providers. Many leading global enterprises, such as Fluke and OfficeDepot, have long-lasting partnerships with local vendors as they find their solid technical expertise to be an asset to their business.
In addition, there are over 1,600 IT companies in Ukraine, 90% of which provide offshore quality assurance. This means that finding the right partner, be it for a short project or a long-term strategic partnership, will probably not take too much time.
3. Effective communication with local teams
Ukrainian experts share many cultural and work ethics similarities with their western partners. Combined with a rather high, on average, knowledge of English, makes forming effective communication with local outsourced offshore QA teams simple and straightforward.
"The best thing is the fast response and good communication. Team members are very collaborative and easy to manage." - Manuel Schwarz, end manager of data and analytics services at AVL, about cooperation with N-iX.
Both manual and automated software testing have their advantages and limitations, each fitting certain types of tasks.
Manual testing offers more flexibility since human testers can easily adjust their operations and switch from one task to another. However, just as any process which is done by hand, manual testing is prone to human error. While it cannot match the speed of automated testing, manual requires less investment (and costs) and is, therefore, more suitable for short-term projects.
Automated testing, on the other hand, offers unprecedented speed and accuracy. The number of cases an automated testing process can run through within a few hours could take manual testers several days. However, successful automated testing implementation requires more planning and investment from your side. Therefore, it is best suited for longer-term projects where efficiency is required in the long run.
In addition, finding a partner that can provide reliable offshore testing services is harder, as it requires particular expertise.
There are several ways to distinguish a service provider with enough QA automation expertise that will be a reliable partner for your business.
Proven proficiency in automated testing tools and methodologies
A proven record of working with tools and various types of automated testing is a must. Your partner must be proficient in:
- Test runners:
- xUnit frameworks: TestNG, Junit, MSTest, PyUnit, Mocha, Jest
- End-to-end testing (E2E):
- Web UI Interfaces: Selenium Webdriver, Cypress, Watir, puppeteer, Capybara;
- Mobile UI Interfaces: Appium, Detox, EarlGray, Espresso, UI Automator, XCTest, Calabash, Selendroid, ios-driver;
- Desktop: TestComplete, AppleScript.
- Backend testing:
- HTTP-based protocols, gRPC, etc.;
- Native HTTP clients;
- Other API by corresponding clients.
Solid experience with Continuous Integration (CI) and Continuous Deployment (CD)
Continuous integration and Continuous Deployment are commonly considered as the best practices of developing software these days. What’s more, CI and CD are able to realize the full potential of automated testing. When used together, they allow engineers to quickly and easily locate code defects and make sure their code is more dependable. This, in turn, speeds up the development process and reduces the time-to-market of your products.
Therefore, to make sure that you take full advantage of the benefits of automated testing, your partner has to have a solid knowledge of how to implement it in CI and CD.
Flexible approach to the choice of tools and practices
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it is crucial that your tech partner is willing and able to adapt their testing processes to match all your needs. In addition to offering their preferred technologies they need to provide and be ready to adopt alternatives if using them fits your project more.
Successful implementation of the best quality assurance practices can have a significant impact not only on a particular project but on the entire business as well. Let’s explore several real-life examples of how high-quality offshore testing services helped businesses.
Improved control quality for Code Worldwide
Code Worldwide is a digital transformation company that uses technology and data to transform their clients’ marketing. They partnered with N-iX to reduce their time to market by improving the scalability of their platform, enabling integration with key technology platforms, and making it possible to handle an increasing number of clients.
By implementing the QA process and integration testing, increasing the quality of testing documentation, and improving unit-testing coverage, Ni-iX engineers were able to decrease Code Worldwide’s time to market by 60%.
Improving testing efficiency for a global provider of telecom technology and business services
A global company (under NDA) that provides technology and business services to wireless telecommunication enterprises worldwide needed to make various improvements in their testing processes. These included creating a single, unified testing approach, providing a clear scope for testing, obtaining objective data for testing, improving extendibility and time efficiency.
After the partnership with N-iX began, our engineers improved the client’s test automation processes and built a quality center that controls almost all projects within the company. We created a unified tool and simulators for testing 3rd party applications, which have completely removed the need for manual testing and reduced the regression time from 3 days to 3 hours.
Reducing costs and time-to-market for Orbus
Orbus Software is a global leader in providing software solutions for Enterprise Architecture, Business Process Analysis, and Application Portfolio Management. The company needed to improve their testing operations since their extensive manual QC team constantly faced overheads due to a huge, hardly-maintainable test case base. Moreover, their complicated documentation caused a lack of clear visibility of the test scope and coverage.
N-iX provided experienced QA engineers that have successfully increased testing reliability by covering E2E tests with web functional testing and introducing API/web testing that was integrated into the CI/CD process. Furthermore, our experts freed up nearly 50% of the client’s QC engineers’ time by eliminating the need for test documentation.
As a result of our efforts, the need for manual testing has decreased significantly, allowing Orobus to enjoy a much faster time-to-market and reduced costs.
Why choose N-iX as your quality assurance outsourcing partner
- N-iX has nearly 20 years of IT outsourcing experience, which includes outsourced offshore testing;
- Our experts are proficient in all modern manual and automated testing tools and methodologies;
- We have more than 150 testing engineers and analysts onboard;
- N-iX has a long record of forming lasting partnerships with leading global enterprises, such as Lebara, Gogo, Fluke, and more;
- We protect your data by complying with PCI DSS, ISO 9001, ISO 27001, and GDPR standards;
- N-iX is a trusted name in the IT outsourcing industry, regularly appearing on various top lists from platforms such as Clutch.co and Forbes.