Thursday, November 15, 2012

Near shoring software testing

Hi - I'd like to write a bit about this subject as it is dear to my heart - as I run a software test house specialising in test automation in the UK and conduct a lot of my work remotely.

There are of course a lot of reasons to require the services of a test house/team of freelance testers - let's just assume for now that you are are sold on the need for some testing already - maybe that subject could be my next post - I think it will be actually:

  • You can't afford a full time team as you don't need people 5 days a week throughout the year - you just need to handle the peaks and troughs
  • Your in-house team needs help sometimes - maybe due to workload or maybe due to a skills gap
  • You may be required by a customer to get a third party view of your development work - they may not be happy for you to sign off quality in-house
There are many other reasons - post some - I'll add to this list!

Then of course you have a lot of choices how to out-source:
  • You could go off-shore - this may prove to be cheaper - at least on the surface
  • You could get some contractors to come and work in your offices
  • You could try crowd-sourcing
My belief is that near-shoring has a lot of benefits compared to the other options:
  • There are no cultural differences between your company and the out-sourced company
  • There are no language barriers
  • There is no time-zone difference (in the UK at least)
  • Arranging a face-to-face meeting can be done quickly and easily - and is generally quite low cost - it may even be possible to avoid overnight stays etc
  • You may not have office space for contractors and, let's say you are based in a high wage part of the UK or elsewhere, near-shoring could have cost savings in terms of wages
  • I find that working remotely often has benefits for the customer - one major one is I find people don't get dragged into lots of internal meetings which can soak up a lot of time and energy - the test house can focus on the task at hand
  • Out-sourcing in general provides a new view on your software - the test house doesn't suffer from possible 'group-think' which may have emerged in your own organisation
  • Crowd sourcing has it's place - there are some very good reasons to use it sometimes - for example you may want coverage geographically, with many browser types and platforms - crowd sourcing is great for that - I just wonder if sometimes it is useful to get a very stable team who get to know your product in detail
Anyway - I'll probably add to this post and it would be great to incorporate your views.  It can be quite a contentious subject - so let's have some good debate!  At the end of the day, there is room for all models - it's just a question of picking what is right for you.

1 comment:

  1. the near shoring works very well in the countries from Central and Eastern Europe (Ukraine, Romania, Moldova), there are a lot of near shoring companies specialized in this area, the only problem is that these companies are more oriented on profit then on leveraging the skills and quality of the engineers (who get only a small amount of the pie).