Outsourcing Your Testing. Does it happen?

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    Have you ever worked in a company or are working in a company that outsource some of their testing? How does that work? How does it make you feel?


    At my former job, the Managing director sat me down and wondered why I had given my notice. At one part of that conversation I mentioned that since they were not willing to invest in testing and strive towards a a good environment for testers, they might as well outsource the whole thing. I remember him becoming wide eyed and almost stumbling over his world as he became all excited and asked “Is that possible”. I drew a deep sigh and realised that my desicion to leave that company was the right one. Tahts my only experience with outsourcing of testing.


    I work at a company that other companies can outsource testing, development and many other IT things to.

    Once I was outsourced – moved from one company to an it consultancy. since then jeg have been must “at home’ in a company that does IT and TESTING for other local companies.

    Outsourcing and offshoring are two different things, both with a bad rep – and both with a possibility of success.

    Aleksandra Kornecka

    I wouldn’t like to be outsourced as a tester, as a manager maybe could be interesting. In my opinion it’s all about ‘diving into the new project and team’. It is much easier if you know the people you are working with!
    And how do other people think? 🙂


    I was once part of the team that was hired for outsourced testing. It was off-site, both the customer and the developers were on another location.
    We tested against use cases written by someone else. There was no problem when use cases were clear. In other cases communication was rather slow, but manageable. We had meetings every week or two, and in between we exchanged emails or phone calls.

    The customer had their own testing team, but they did not have enough people for that project so they decided to outsource. I suppose their testers were ok with that because the decision was based on the fact that their team was occupied with other projects. And when the project ended the customer said they were satisfied with the results.

    Extenuating circumstances were:
    1. the system scope was more or less familiar due to past experience and general knowledge (internet banking), so we could dig in the project fast;
    2. the system under test was interfaced with the core system maintained by our company, so we could check the changes in core system initiated by actions made in the system we tested. That was also a big plus for the customer.


    I have worked with companies who do not outsource testing as such but hire testers on contract to work in their organization, This is a temporary arrangement with the manpower service company. We normally ask for the specific experience and expertise (in years). They provide a list of resumes. We look at it as hiring. There is an interview process selection and training. The training is normally on the processes and systems. I am talking for a safety critical aerospace test perspective here. The testers are part of the main team. They have a lead and coordination focal. It works well, In pressure we do not have the luxury to feel odd that someone else is doing the test activity. It is a question of getting the tests done with quality. We normally had reviews of the test artifact from our company. In cases where we had very good people we gave them the autonomy. This has worked well. It may in fact be cheaper on the whole as the parent companies will have rig overheads that increase the per hour cost. There has been several successful cases. The main advantage is you don’t have the pain of letting your own people go in case there are no new projects. Another advantage is that we can use our company resources to work on some cutting edge technologies and tools that may improve our product or process. It has been a win-win for us in the different companies I have worked.

    Helene Kolpakova

    I had several experiences with outsourcing/offshoring in my career. On both sides. In all cases quite successful. This implies positive and willing attitude from either side though. And in healthy environments this is usually not a problem.

    1. I used to test as part of the offshore test team. We decided locally what, how, and why we were going to test. Of course this was communicated to the customer through my local manager. And thank God we had good communication established through mails/chats/video conferencing/phones with business analysts/designers/devs/POs/etc or pretty much everyone even though they were miles away from us.

    Of course regular teambuilding events, business trips, etc help. But the most important success factor is the desire and agreement of each side to work with the offshoring organisation, “Hey, they’re part of us! So for us to succeed let’s embrace it and have fun all together.” This attitude equally applies to each side. And It’s your task as an offshore tester/dev/whoever to help to build the bond between the two companies for the sake of the successful outcome.

    So, all should focus on success and product delivery rather than on distance and tools – then it works. Regardless, whether locally or remotely.

    2. I used to be a leader/manager for the team of several testers with two of them working remotely. Thanks to my previous experience, I knew where to expect problems and could act in order to prevent them. In the end it worked pretty well for us. At some point, they were spread to several scrum teams. So all I was doing was mentoring and coaching them in regards to testing and private issues. The scrum masters learned the basics from me and helped the guys to merge in the teams successfully. But as usual, the reason that brought us to success – those guys were as well skilled, technically strong, with a good mindset and attitude. They delivered results and really helped to make their respective teams stronger. So of course those teams were quite happy to work with such testers even if that meant certain inconveniences.

    Part of the success were the proper communication tools to help the guys join all the scrums sessions: stand-ups, refinements, retros, etc. The key to success is to let everyone feel that they are part of the same team and have all the tools to participate in all team activities in the same fashion. The guys had cameras and headphones set up on their desks and were always available for a call.

    So overall, if you have to work with offshore/outsourced guys, make sure that on each side you focus on success, seed positive attitude to collaboration around you, invest in communication and collaboration tools, and make sure you have a say in hiring really proper candidates.


    Actually most of the time I was on “the other end of the bargain”: I was tester working for outsourcing company. Well, it depends. In one case a Moscow-based startup fired their tester and for like 6 months I remained the only tester on the product line releases. One of the products we released reached 100.000 users in several months 🙂 , subsequent versions reached over 1.000.000 installs in Google Play.

    With my other job I was “half-outsourced”: we were working for one and the same company for 1.5 year, but initially we signed contracts with different company, outsourcing one. Only later company giving us tasks opened own business in the country and we signed different contracts.

    Well, people may get upset at me, but it is not that bad. Outsourcing testers might be good enough. It depends on personal skills of the particular persons, not on persons’ position and contract.

    Of course, it does matter a lot if person is good at communication with developers and management etc, but outsourced testers can be good at this too. In old testing books it is recommended that testing should be as far from development as it could be. It is not what I would recommend, but “clear” “look” of independent person can matter.


    Hi Daragh,

    I have not worked in an outsourcing company. Personally, I like to be part of the project, to work together with developers and be involved in all the activities for creating and delivering the product.

    In my opinion, this is related to how the testing is viewed in the software industry (there is also a topic on the forum about it). I think outsourcing the testing activities or working as a tester in an outsourcing company is very good in specific cases when companies don’t consider testing very important and don’t invest too much in testing activities.


    Andrei Domuta

    Hi, everyone

    A couple of years ago I worked for a company which was an offshore contractor for Mozilla. A part of the team was testing the new features of Firefox desktop and the other part was testing the mobile browser. And yes, Mozilla is developed and tested by true IT professional. It’s not just a group of volunteers who does this 🙂
    We had some great and successful experiences with Mozilla and some of my ex-colleagues probably still have to this day.

    What I would like to highlight is that if a company outsources (either nearshore or offshore) it can be successful if good communication and good team spirit is maintained, as well as clear processes and solid collaboration principles are in place.

    My advice for any company would be to go for outsourcing if it’s a viable solution to keep the projects alive. However, similar to interviewing candidates for an internal job position, the company must be careful when choosing the contractor.




    I work in a life-science company why IT testing is not our core business. That said we do still have a large IT organisation, but not large enough to handle the vast amount of testing and validation that’s required for applications used within the life-science industry. Therefore we outsource and off-shore.

    We have successfully managed to build up a trusted relationship with two major consultancy companies in a Shared IT Test Service Center offering various services within IT testing/validation. All processes are though completed following our QMS, why you can argue is not a fully outsourced set up as the resources are working as were they employed by our company. The test/validation team are partly based on-site and partly off-shored to India. The current team is approax. 50 FTEs ranging from junior testers to highly experienced IT validation managers being capable of managing a complete IT validation track.

    In general the set up works out very well, of course there are some pitfalls that you need to be aware off especially when you off-shore. But I belive that most of these can be mitigated by some fairly simple activities, e.g. by ensuring sufficient training and a good understanding of the QMS, training in the application under test, defined ways of communitation (for larger projects preferably by having a test manager on-site), having well defined agreements and processes in place for the projects and by spending some time in establishing a team spirit across borders and companies.

    The main benefit has been lower cost of testing or more testing at the same cost and increased scalability and flexibility meaning that we can execute more projects in a faster pace. Previously each project did their own small-scale outsourcing/off-shoring causing a lot of time to be used on on-boarding and training of supplier resources, now we are able to retain the supplier test team members and thereby utilizing their knowledge across various projects, platforms and processes to the benefit of the organisation.


    I’ve worked for a company doing someone else’s testing. But we owned the whole of the testing. So it was kind of like not outsourcing.

    Right now I’m in the early stages of setting up outsourcing partnerships in my company. To suppliment our our resources as needed. We have a partner now. Now i just need to make it work how we want them to work. First project only worked because i did half the work.

    Still early days.


    I am a freelancer tester for almost two years now. I have worked on many outsourced testing projects, for individual developers as well as for big organizations.

    Currently I am working with an organization who has their team of developers and testers onshore and I am the only resource working off-shore.
    But we are still a part of the same team. We have regular interaction with each other. Requirements are always clearly communicated and it has been a success.

    Though I have had mixed experiences with outsourcing, overall it has been very good.
    It does take some time for the process to be set up. But once that phase is over and if you communicate regularly and clearly with each other, it becomes very easy to work.


    If you ask why it happens my reply will be cynic. Everything in the world happens because of money – wars, marriages… and even outsourcing! Look, if you’re an entrepreneur you’re eager to save your money by hiring low-cost labor like Indians, CIS countries. While they are eager to agree because of low salaries inside of the country they live. They even shamelessly advertise this as an advantage [mod: link removed]


    I know companies and people who work on such model. In this case, employees have had a chance to work on different projects. If you really ready to outsourcing you should understand that with modern communication technology there is no matter, you work with developers or with testing.


    [mod: link removed]


    I used to be part of a different offshore team for software testing projects. Where it was interesting to work on different international projects, which gave a good experience for the lifetime.

    Even though my team and I were in a different time zone, communicational channels made it easy to collaborate and kept me on the same track as my whole team.


    In my opinion,  Yes, it happens. Some of the companies outsource their testing due to number of reasons:

    1. Some of the companies that do not work on Automation Testing have to invest heavily to train their resources for Automation testing. In that case company must invest both things i.e. Time and Money. To avoiding these things, they outsource their testing.

    2. They don’t have team to test the project as per the client requirements.

    3. They want to test the testing skills of their employees.

    4. Increased Application Quality.

    5. To Cut Costs

    6. Tester vs. Developer Conflict

    7. High Degree of Specialty

    8. To Concentrate on Primary Capabilities

    9. For Beta testing of any application outsourcing best approach.

    Yes, I have worked in the company that outsource some of their testing.

    To outsource the testing, they must follow the proper method:

    1. Search the companies those will be able to do that task.

    2. Knows about the working model and methodology of the companies, they will implement to test the application.

    3. Communicate with the multiple companies regarding outsource the testing.

    4. Finalize the outsourcing testing with the company which will be found genuine and maintain the quality of the product/project.

    In that scenario, I have mixed reaction. Sometimes it is good to outsource testing because we must complete assigned work in fixed deadlines. It is also good to outsource the testing because we know about the new approaches, models and tools used by the outsource companies to complete their task. But sometimes it makes me unhappy because I lose the opportunity to learn new things as well as lose the opportunity to enhance my professional skill.

    @Daragh, one of my colleague has written a blog, may be you found something helpful related to this, but this is specifically pointing to the key of conflict when outsourcing for user acceptance testing, you can check it here.

    [commercial content removed /mod]

    Munish Sharma

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