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The Commoditization of Testing

Reading Time: 1 minute

The software testing business is in the grip of a commoditization trend in which enterprises routinely flip flop between vendors-vendors who are engaged in a race to the bottom on price. This trend introduces perverse incentives for service providers, undervalues skill, and places excessive emphasis on processes, tools, and methods. The result is a dumbing down of testing and the creation of testing services that are little more than placebos.

Using examples drawn from three recent projects in the banking industry, Iain McCowatt explores the dynamics of commoditization and introduces a quality model that can be used for framing the value of testing services.

Key Takeaways:

  • How to pursue a differentiation strategy, shifting the emphasis of the testing conversation from cost to value as a customer of testing
  • How to make informed decisions about the value of what you are buying; as a tester
  • Learn to buck the trend and find professional growth
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Iain McCowatt

Iain McCowatt is a software tester whose experience and passion for testing spans multiple industries and more than a decade. During this time he has been a hands on tester, test manager and occasional automator. He specializes in getting stuff done in difficult environments, and in helping organizations solve complex testing problems on large enterprise IT projects. In his spare time, Iain blogs at

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