All experienced web and software developer are aware of the strategic importance of quality assurance (QA) testing.
So why is it so often neglected?
I have worked in both small and large software development companies. For large companies, software testing was a no-brainer. Highly-specific development centers send their requests to testing centers, often located off-site.
More and more, these testing centers are located offshore, in China, India, and other Asian countries. It makes sense if you think about it, given the difference between the timezones. If a company can obtain results over night, it effectively streamlines their development process.
Montreal, for a number of years now, has also been known as a hub for software testing. Especially in the field of video game development. Part of the reason for this are the numerous government incentives for job creation in the industry. Video game development companies like Ubisoft, or testing houses like Babel Media have build extensive testing centers to cater to their needs.
But if you look at smaller web, software or video game development companies, very few of them employ a full-time dedicated testing staff.
I believe the reason why an internal team of software testers is so hard to maintain is because of the creative and challenging aspects of interactive software development.
Inspirations strikes at all hours of the day – if you’ve worked with programmers, you know this. Passionate developers (and I include artists in the term “developers”) will take advantage of every second they have to polish a product before it is sent to the client. How often have you worked on an interactive project until the late hours of the morning, just in time for a delivery before dawn?
If you maintain an internal team of software testers, it’s impossible to constantly modify their schedule as it is impossible for a programmer to tell ahead of time with precision exactly when he’ll be done developing a particular feature of an interactive product.
Combine this challenge with the numerous other challenges of the “fixed-price fixed-date” servicing industry, and you’ve got a real pickle on your hands. And that’s why the sad reality is that quality assurance testing is often accomplished by the project’s manager, or the account manager, or the janitor even when he’s free.
So have the smaller development companies figured out a way to code without creating bugs? Or is there simply a general acceptance in the industry that testing your software project is just “a nice thing to do when you can” ?
Project managers in large corporations involved in complex IT projects confirm that QA testing should represent AS MUCH AS 33% of a project’s hours – that number is significantly higher than the usual 0%.
Granted it is easier to test projects destined to a platform for which the hardware manufacturer provides clear guidelines for quality assurance testing, and the internet does not. (Nor does Apple for the iPhone.) So in a lot of cases, companies do not know where to begin when in comes to QA testing.
And really the only thing that matters to an eager client or to a watchful boss is how much it costs.
That’s really the reason why we exist. To facilitate the integration of QA testing in a typical development process. Most interactive development companies only care about “does it work as intended?”, “are there bugs that hinder the user’s experience?”, and “when can it go live without a glitch?”
That’s what we’re here for. qa on request is your on-demand software testing partner for those days when you want your interactive project thoroughly tested by a professional so that you can continue to work on the next iteration. Ideal, isn’t it?