Software Testing Battle: In-House QA Department vs Independent Providers

Software Testing Battle: In-House QA Department vs Independent Providers
November 16 13:41 2017  

Note: the article was updated in August 2020.

Quality issues severely undermine customer trust and damage the company image. Improper system functionality, unhandled security vulnerabilities, or poor user experience will inevitably kick one out of the ever-increasing market competition.

That is when quality assurance takes the stage. QA and software testing services involve scrutinizing the product to detect all the weak spots and defining the necessary measures to remove them.

To ensure proper testing, one can either hire an independent service provider or set up an in-house QA department. Some companies make the dancer pay the fiddler, but in the modern practice forcing developers to test the code they have just written is a complete faux pas.

Therefore, let’s compare the benefits of in-house and independent QA teams according to the following criteria: professional capabilities, value for money, and team management.

Round 1. Professional Capabilities

Without a doubt, both teams let in only the best ones. However, what happens next? At a typical software development company, developers are the boss’s favorites who get the lion’s share of the budget on advanced professional training. In the meantime, testers have to accept their place at a cul-de-sac. Of course, they meticulously perform their duties, but it is never enough to keep up with the code masters from the neighboring department.

If we apply the same power hierarchy to independent QA service providers, then testers are the new developers. Given that quality assurance is their priority, their immense knowledge and experience are backed by access to the latest industry advancements and state-of-the-art resource base. Furthermore, independent QA engineers work on a variety of projects from different domains. They have a broader outlook on testing strategies and potential vulnerabilities, that further enhances their expertise.

In-House QA Department: 0, Independent QA Provider: 1

Round 2. Value for Money

Frankly speaking, cost reduction is the main reason why companies opt for independent testing. Prices are rather affordable, the arsenal of testing tools is colossal, and they have their own management team (oops, spoiler of the next round’s topic).

On the other hand, let’s make a rough estimate of how much you are going to spend on maintaining a full-time QA department. It would probably include testers, the particular kind of training they require, a project manager, testing software, platforms, license renewals, so on and so forth. Moreover, a full-time department would be waiting for checks from you on a monthly basis – regardless of whether or not there is anything to be tested.

In-House QA Department: 0, Independent QA Provider: 1

Round 3. Team Management

Hiring an independent QA service provider means freedom from managing resources. Sometimes it is better to avoid this kind of headache; especially when salaries in this sector are on the rise. Business owners let an independent service provider manage the end-to-end testing process, while they can focus on product development and marketing.

Nevertheless, some business owners prefer to keep everyone under one umbrella. Adjusting to communication with a remote team can really be a challenge due to the differences in time zones, cultures, and mentalities. However, all inconveniences can be easily overcome if handled professionally. Anyway, we score one point to in-house QA teams on behalf of micromanagement addicts who would be standing behind their employees all day just to make sure that they open the Word docs in an agile enough fashion.

In-House QA Department: 1, Independent QA Provider: 1

Final Score: In-House QA Department: 1, Independent QA Provider: 3

Do not take it too personally. Having an in-house QA team is an advantageous initiative for those ready to invest in establishing a proper testing environment and nurturing the talent of hired professionals. If your product does not need 24/7 QA support or you want to focus exclusively on product development, then consider outsourcing. We are always ready to bring all our expertise, the arsenal of tools, and passion for testing to ensure the maximum quality for your product.

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About Article Author

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Mikhail Grechukha
Mikhail Grechukha

has 3-year experience in QA, manages 20+ projects, leads 2 teams of more than 26 members, has experience in management game and mobile testing projects, experience in such industries as Business Solutions, Healthcare, Media and Entertainment, Training and Education, Travel and Accommodation

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