Business owners who work with offshore development teams often fear that the quality of their software will turn out much lower compared to products built in-house.
Daxx CTO Igor Tkach communicates with company owners and technical directors every day, and knows everything there is to know about the challenges of having an offshore development team. As Igor recently stated in his article on Forbes, many of those who hire software engineers offshore tend to overlook the importance of quality assurance and testing. As a result, products end up having multiple bugs, perform poorly, and may even cause security issues.
In this article, we focus on the role of quality assurance in the development process, and provide tips on how to choose the right testing specialists for your project.
Why Do You Need to Hire Offshore QA Engineers When Building a Software Development Team in Ukraine?
Other than cost reduction, one of the reasons why business owners choose not to hire a dedicated QA team is that they don’t consider quality assurance to be a valuable contribution to a project’s success. They often think that their developers can take care of quality on their own.
What they don’t realize is that quality assurance is so much more than simply running an app or a website on a device and tapping buttons to see if they work. The main responsibilities of a QA engineer include:
- Analyzing and clarifying requirements (together with the product owner or a business analyst)
- Planning and organizing the testing process
- Developing test cases
- Testing software (including different aspects of a program, not just the interface the end user will interact with)
- Identifying and reporting bottlenecks
- Overseeing the process of bug fixing with developers
- Re-testing the fixed issues
- Continuously optimizing and improving the testing process
A QA engineer’s responsibilities may vary depending on the type of testing used. For example, QA automation specialists also develop automation frameworks, set up testing environments, write autotests and test scripts, integrate these tools within a continuous integration system, and maintain the existing test scripts.
By now you have probably realized that a QA engineer is in fact be a product owner’s right hand, and not the kind of employee you can easily do without.
The Top 3 Reasons Why We Recommend Adding QA Engineers to Your Offshore Development Team:
- While there are many factors that can influence software quality in a negative way, quite often it is the client’s attempts to cut down QA expenses that harm the product in the long run. If you are trying to save on testing, you are overlooking a vital aspect of software development and can undermine your product’s future success.
- The more you postpone software testing, the more technical debt you will accumulate, and the longer it will take your team to fix all the issues. And fixing all the bugs after the product is developed might cause significant cost overruns and missed deadlines. This is why it is crucial to set up a thorough QA process that will run in parallel to development from day one.
- Having your quality assurance engineers work under the same roof as the rest of your software developers is the key to a better team productivity and overall efficiency. All of your team members will speak the same language and will be able to communicate directly in real time. As a result, any issues will be solved much faster.
More QA Benefits to Consider
- Testing will help you make sure that the final product fully meets both functional and non-functional requirements. This is especially important if you are not the end client, but an agency outsourcing product development to a subcontractor.
- Software development is a highly dynamic process, and the requirements as well as functionality may change at any stage. A dedicated testing team can help you make sure every new feature works well with the rest of the product’s functions, and that the product still meets your requirements.
- Basic unit tests implemented by your developers can’t possibly identify all the bugs. Furthermore, they will only prove that the code performs as expected. However, developers are as prove to making mistakes as anybody else. That is why it is important to have someone else check the product before it goes live.
- A QA team can help the product owner keep an eye on whether the client’s requirements are met by the developers. As soon as an issue arises, you will know about it from QA reports.
- For every dollar you spend on QA, you will be able to save $100 in the long run. The cost of change grows exponentially with time, so the earlier you start testing your software, the better.
The cost of change throughout the development cycle (according to “Software Engineering Economics” by Barry Boehm)
How to Hire Quality Assurance Engineers in Ukraine?
According to a recent survey by DOU.ua, 14% of Ukrainian IT professionals are QA engineers. This means there are more than 14,000 testers in Ukraine. And this number is steadily growing: there are dozens of specialized courses, both standalone and those sponsored by large Ukrainian IT companies, that provide QA training.
Almost half of Ukrainian quality assurance engineers are mid-level specialists. Senior engineers and team leads make up about 22% of the QA engineers in Ukraine.
Seniority breakdown of Ukrainian quality assurance engineers
Average experience ranges from 1 year for junior specialists to 6 years for team leads. On average, QA engineers in Ukraine have between 2 and 5 years of experience in their field. The demand-supply ratio differs depending on the seniority level.
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Some of the most popular requests for QA engineers include the following testing types:
Manual vs Automated Testing
As the name suggests, manual testing means that all the tests are executed manually (without any special tools) by QA engineers. In this case, QA specialists run the program that needs testing on various devices and use it just like an end user would.
Automated testing, on the contrary, relies on a number of tools. It is executed autonomously, without the constant support from engineers. A QA engineer uses testing frameworks and pre-set scripts that run on autopilot and report any bugs or errors they find.
Manual testing is relatively easy to learn: there is practically no learning curve involved. This is why there are many manual testers in Ukraine. However, most of them are entry-level specialists who are just starting their career in IT.
On the other hand, QA automation requires solid engineering skills and a background in development: some of the programming languages used for QA automation in Ukraine are Java, C#, Ruby, and Python. As a result, QA automation engineers are far less numerous.
Functional vs Non-Functional Testing
Functional testing aims at verifying that a program complies with all the requirements listed in the functional specifications. This includes testing the program feature-by-feature to make sure the output is correct.
This is one of the most popular specializations among quality assurance engineers in Ukraine. There are many specialists who focus on functional testing, and most of them have over 3 years of experience in the field. This means that it is relatively easy to find a good mid-level QA engineer for functional testing.
Non-functional testing focuses on the way a system operates in general, rather than its specific features and requirements. It covers such aspects of software as compatibility, load, usability, and security. The most popular requests for offshore QA engineers specializing in non-functional testing are:
- Performance testing. By applying this type of testing, you can find out if the website or app you are building will be able to handle high loads. Performance testing specialists in Ukraine are not especially easy to find, and their salary expectations are high.
- Security testing. This aspect of software testing focuses on the security mechanisms of your product, and makes sure that it is resistant to a variety of cyber threats, including hacker attacks and data breaches. Quality assurance engineers skilled in security testing are even harder to find than the performance testing specialists, and earn even more. That is why we usually recommend using security testing services from trusted partners instead of hiring a dedicated specialist on a full-time basis.
Ready to Hire an Offshore Testing Team in Ukraine? Find the Right Specialists with Daxx
We have been helping businesses from all over the world hire Ukrainian software and QA engineers since 1999, and have developed our own unique cooperation model. We offer on-demand team augmentation services through custom recruitment and retention. Taking your personal needs into account, we will find and pre-screen tech specialists who meet your project requirements 100%. No upfront payment, no risks.
We will also help you set up your own offshore development center from scratch, and will always be in touch to make sure your cooperation with the offshore team runs smoothly.
Fill out the form below to request professional assistance or to learn more about our model and the terms of cooperation.