Quality Assurance Offshoring: an In-Depth Analysis

Offshore Development
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6 min

Quality Assurance Offshoring: an In-Depth Analysis

The Greek philosopher Aristotle said that quality is not an act. It is a habit.

If there is one indisputable fact of life, it's that quality matters. For most aspects, too, from nutrition to accommodation, to the cars we drive and the air we breathe. Quality of life is, after all, one of the key metrics for overall well-being.

Technology is very much in need of good quality control. We don't want our TV to blow up when we switch it on, or our phones to burst into flames if we leave them to charge for too long. (Samsung took a massive reputation hit when its Galaxy S7 range began doing precisely that.) Quality engineers form the first line of defence against slip-ups like Samsung's. They test devices and code to ensure that everything works as intended. In this article, we discuss the scope of the quality tester role, why outsourcing quality control is often beneficial for the business, and highlight the reasons why certain locations offer clear outsourcing advantages.

Quality assurance roles

A stereotypical depiction of a quality tester is a person in a white coat and goggles tinkering with a half-assembled radio kit. There's only a smidge of truth in this image. Some testers do wear white coats, and some do wear goggles, but in reality, quality testing is a much broader concept.

Falling under this umbrella term we can find quality engineers, testing managers, QA leads, quality assurance, and many other associated roles whose responsibilities often crossover each other, but have some unique traits, depending on the industry. The size of a QA team will also vary wildly, depending on the industry. A large software company will likely have a sizable team, whereas a small manufacturer of two-way radios and other small devices will probably have a much smaller team, perhaps one or two people.

In IT, a quality engineer's job involves testing software for potential coding bugs. Their job is closely integrated with the software development team. A test manager will oversee the work done by the engineers to ensure the product is bug-free. This role often includes creating testing tasks for the team of engineers. The QA lead sits one echelon above engineers and test managers, often looking after administrative and management duties, which may include hiring new team members.

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Manual & automated QA

Quality testing can be categorized into manual and automated, depending on how the tests are carried out.

In manual testing, quality tests are run manually, that is, without tools or scripts. On the other hand, automated testing involves purpose-made testing software, scripts, and other aids.

Each testing modality suits certain industries better than others, and each has advantages and disadvantages. Manual testing for example requires little to programming or software skills, but the tests take longer, and are prone to human error. Automated testing is much faster and errors are less likely to occur, but the role requires a great degree of software and programming skill.

Reasons to offshore QA

Underfunding or understaffing QA departments is a very risky proposition. If a company takes a reputation hit, it's often hard -or even impossible- to recover from it. Again, the Samsung S7 story is a perfect example of this. Quality is, at the end of the day, what keeps people coming back to one product over another.

But sometimes, and despite a company's best efforts, building a suitable QA team might prove challenging. There may be many reasons for this: limited budget, shortage of local talent, and many others. Because of this, outsourcing QA departments can become the way forward.

The goal of any company is to produce something that addresses a customer's needs, and the role of the QA team is to ensure that the product meets (or even exceeds) those needs, and the product is delivered on time.

Benefits of QA outsourcing

By outsourcing QA work, the business receives immediate benefits:

  • Delivery to deadline
  • Higher customer satisfaction
  • Flexible approach to testing
  • Access to a much larger talent pool
  • Cost savings

A talent partner abroad can offer specialized expertise, not only in quality testing, but also in software engineering and many other disciplines. And they do this because they have access to both local and international talent and can put together a team with the skills to suit the project.

Also, some platforms act as intermediaries to hire freelance QA staff. There is nothing intrinsically wrong with this. In fact, small startups can reap great benefits from engaging in this practice. But in the long run, once the company grows, the business is going to need a dedicated, permanent QA team.

Outsourcing QA staff in Eastern Europe

Many countries offer outsourcing services, but Eastern Europe has established itself almost as a de facto outsourcing destination. The reasons for this are multiple: countries like Poland, Romania, and Ukraine offer a young, well educated, and skilled workforce. This region also features great connectivity, compatible timezones, and a high cost-saving factor.

Poland as a prime offshoring destination

Poland enjoys a privileged position in the European continent, for several reasons. It is strategically located between the east and the west, offering both sides clear advantages in terms of shortened travel times, and easy connectivity by air, sea, and land, for example.

But all these traits would not mean much were it not for the abundance of IT talent in the country. Poland features one of the highest talent pools in Europe, fielding around 430,000 IT specialists. And it's not just the sheer amount of talent available. These specialists offer quality work, too. Poland routinely ranks among the top three countries offering the best software developers.

Poland is also a well-known hub for innovation, with over 3,000 startups creating ground-breaking and innovative applications.

All this favorable environment is wrapped in ease of doing business in the country. Poland enjoys a stable political system and an economy that continues to expand.

Hiring your QA team with AllSTARSIT

Do you find it difficult to hire a local QA team? AllSTARSIT provides best-in-class offshoring services to a range of international clients just like you. We have the experience, the drive, and the know-how to create a tailored solution for your project.

We offer faster hiring timelines that support a cost-effective, quick-to-market strategy. Our specialized staff's mission is to assist you in assembling a team of quality assurance engineers and get your project off the ground as quickly as possible.

In the nearshore approach, it is very important to monitor/track existing and new talent pools, plus the level of salaries and local government policies to build cost-effective teams of experts. Only companies with global presence and a flexible approach to business as part of their culture can do that. AllSTARSIT has talent acquisition down to a fine art. Fill the form below and one of our specialists will contact you soon.

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