Even the best software developers aren’t perfect at their craft, requiring nearshore QA testing. That’s what these statistics from Coralogix indicate:

  • On average, a developer creates 70 bugs per 1000 lines of code
  • 15 bugs per 1,000 lines of code find their way to customers
  • Fixing a bug takes 30 times longer than writing a line of code
  • 75% of the time a developer debugs (1500 hours a year!)

Bugs, or errors, in your code cause it to not work within expectations. Without effective quality assurance testing, those inevitable bugs delay the deployment of your apps, as your developers struggle to get the code working the way it should. If uncorrected bugs cause malfunctions in the final product, customers won’t be happy, and your company’s reputation (not to mention its bottom line) will suffer.

That’s why nearshore QA testing is essential to any well-run software development effort.

What Is Nearshore QA Testing?

QA testing finds and eliminates software defects before you deploy the code, either internally or to customers. A defect (or bug) is anything that causes the code to functionally deviate from its design specifications. Coding errors cause bugs. However, they may also occur when the code does exactly what the developer intended, but it still causes the app to malfunction because the developer overlooked, misunderstood, or misapplied some aspect of the design requirements.

QA testing, then, is needed not just to correct actual mistakes in coding, but also to ensure that the design of the app, including its usability, performance, and security, meets expectations.

To that end, QA testers do everything they can to break your code—cause it to malfunction—before it goes out of the door. Test cases are developed to check out how the app is functioning in every foreseeable use scenario. The intent, of course, is to surface and correct any hidden defects as early in the development cycle as possible, so that customers or users never see them.

Good Defect Management Will Make Your Life Easier

Finding and correcting software defects at the earliest possible point in the development process is critical. Doing so requires use of a well-structured Defect Management Process, or DMP. An effective DMP typically includes the following steps:

  1. Defect Discovery — Testers run a comprehensive set of test cases at every stage of the Software Development Life Cycle. Reveal a defect whenever the result of a test deviates from expectations.
  2. Defect Categorization — Bug reports describe each type of defect discovered, along with possible corrective measures.
  3. Defect Removal — Fix defects.
  4. Verification — Tests are rerun to ensure the bug is fixed.
  5. Process Improvement — Bug reports are assessed for insights that can be used to minimize the chance that similar defects will be introduced as the development process proceeds.

When such a DMP applies from the beginning to the end of a project, it provides an effective and repeatable process for uncovering and eliminating bugs as soon as they occur.

That approach is far preferable to the all-too-common alternative in which comprehensive testing is not done until the project is nearing completion. In such cases, the process of tracking multiple bugs back to sources that may be located anywhere in the code, can be extremely complex, time-consuming, costly, and frustrating. Still, have it undergo nearshore QA testing.

Test-Driven Development (TDD) Actually Works!

Test-Driven Development combines design and testing into a single, integrated process that’s highly effective at minimizing defects. Rather than the traditional approach of writing code and then testing it, with TDD a programmer starts by first writing automated tests for each use case or function, using a process such as the one published by Noel Llopis:

  • Write a single test for a very small piece of functionality.
  • Run it and see it fail (or not even compile).
  • Write the simplest code that makes the test compile and pass.
  • Run the test and see it pass.
  • Refactor code. See the test pass.
  • Refactor tests. See the tests pass.

The advantage of this approach is that it ensures that each code unit functions as intended from the beginning. If professionals design the test cases correctly, then these tests cover every piece of code that passes. (Of course, the automated tests rerun whenever code changes occur.) Thus, when all code units are finally integrated with one another, the overall app typically functions as designed with very little debugging. Plus, because the developer is restricted to writing the minimum amount of code required to pass each test, all superfluous code is eliminated from the beginning.

But all this comes at a price without nearshore QA testing. The upfront cost of TDD, in terms of the time required to implement it, is high. For that reason, many developers have been skeptical about its usefulness. Yet, TDD is now growing in popularity because developers are discovering for themselves what researchers have reported for years—that the benefits TDD provides in both design and testing actually make programmers more productive in the end. Plus, you get a higher quality product.

Improve Your Software Development Life Cycle With QA Automation

Programmer attempting to automate nearshore QA testing.
Software engineers developing a QA solution.

As we’ve seen, the most effective approach to QA testing is to apply it at every stage of the SDLC. But when manual testing occurs, it quickly becomes extremely time-consuming. The only practical method of doing effective QA testing throughout the entire SDLC is to automate the process. Not only will automating testing save time and money overall, but it also allows you to expand your test coverage beyond what a team of manual testers could achieve.

Nearshore QA Testing Maximizes Your ROI

There’s no doubt about it—effective QA testing at every stage of the SDLC is expensive. But, having to spend large amounts of time at the end of the development process, going back through an almost-completed codebase to find and fix embedded bugs, is far more expensive. Although QA testing costs more up front, in the end its return on investment is significant.

ParallelStaff Can Help You Do Nearshore QA Testing at a Reasonable Cost

To do end-to-end QA testing effectively, you’ll need staff members who are experts in that field. Where will you find them? Here’s a suggestion. Let ParallelStaff find them for you.

ParallelStaff is a global business process outsourcing provider, based in the U.S., that specializes in nearshore staff augmentation. We have a pool of highly skilled software engineering contract employees who work remotely, usually from Mexico. When it comes to QA testing, we quickly supply remote QA engineers with the expertise you need. And we can do it at a lower cost than you could achieve by attempting to directly hire such workers on your own.

If you’d like to learn how partnering with ParallelStaff for nearshore QA testing can help you lower your software development costs while improving the quality of your applications, please contact us.

Mike Hernandez