Lowering QA Testing Costs: From Burden to Boon

QA Testing

According to ZipRecruiter, the average hourly rate of a QA engineer tops $40, and that’s in the US market. This figure can seem daunting, especially for startups with budget limitations.

In this piece, we’ll discuss the means for lowering QA costs that any company can avail itself of. We hope that, after looking through them, you’ll easily put some of them into action to avail yourself of affordable yet fine-quality services.

qa engineer salary



Pursue early testing

In this fashion, by drawing up plans and composing test cases on the stage of acquisition of the requirements, you’ll be in the right position to thoroughly plan the subsequent course of work. You’ll also have higher chances to spot possible bottlenecks and inconsistencies even before the actual coding starts. Having a well-elaborate structure of the quality assurance process from the very outset will allow you to cut down the number of working hours of your specialists, expedite the launch, and avert prolonged issue investigations and fixes down the line.

One also shouldn’t forget about the high price that any firm is at risk of facing when releasing a solution that hasn’t undergone thorough examination. In this case, the emerging glitches can lead to a tarnished reputation, fines, immense financial losses, etc.

To implement a shift-left approach, our experts suggest inclining to test-driven development, automating iterative and unsophisticated routines where reasonable, enforcing continuous integration, and ensuring unhindered communication on the project with Agile.

Bring API virtualization into play

By doing so, you’ll save on turning to external firms for their APIs. You’ll also have no need for purchasing pricey hardware and fine-tuning conventional environments. Instead, you can drive the needed insights by using budget-friendly emulated environments.

In addition, your QA engineers can go ahead and reproduce the performance of connected APIs without waiting for the completion of programming. This aids in uncovering inconsistencies before they proceed to production.  

To achieve these benefits, your testers should master programs like SmartBear, WireMock, Micro Focus data simulation, etc. The same tools are also leveraged by programmers, system analysts, and other teams, which results in enhanced teamwork and faster deliveries.

api virtualization tools

Provide for in-depth business analysis from the get-go

Before describing the solution architecture in all its complexity, it’s essential to carry out the discovery. One may wonder how this phase is interlinked with quality assurance.

Well, outlining diverse user personas will provide you with the necessary data for full-fledged UI testing. Furthermore, having prioritized requirements and app characteristics, you know what metrics to aim for when verifying the product against its readiness for release. Thus, you’ll optimize the QA testing costs by paying special attention to the critical functionality and behaviors that the customer and the audience expect to run flawlessly. We can conclude that requirement prioritization implies testing prioritization.

Never commence on QA without concisely stated objectives

This point is tightly connected with the previous one. The testing costs, scope, types, approaches, and timeframes are estimated building on the customer's vision, demands, and expectations. Knowing them, you can meticulously map out the required resources and their costs. Then, by leaning on these particularities set out in the robust documentation, you can ensure optimal test coverage and competently manage risks.

Keep documentation in order

By drawing up and maintaining a well-structured document system, or making sure that your IT partner has the one, you secure yourself from myriad misunderstandings on the requirements elicitation stage and further on. In addition, coherent plans and reports immensely increase processes’ transparency and reproducibility. This saves you time and, ultimately, trims the overall price for the work. For optimal efficacy, use dedicated platforms like TestRail, Zephyr, qTest, and others.

testing doc tools

Harness automation

It is self-evident that employing dedicated programs to run tests allows the quality assurance team to handle increased workloads in the same amount of hours. They can also focus on strategy-related tasks more, leaving minor operations to bots. Thus, the overall testing price goes down, while the efficiency, on the contrary, rises. No need to say that the verified code contains fewer typos and errors as the risk of human errors decreases.

QA automation is exceptionally useful for the following kinds of testing: regression, load, stress, performance, and others. It’s applied when a significant share of the functionality is stable.

Include junior-level testers in the team

Under the supervision of a well-versed manager, these specialists who have, in fact, undergone extensive training, can bring tangible benefits and deliver top-class QA testing services at a reasonable price. It’s true that, in this scenario, you do need a proficient QA lead to orchestrate the work. However, consider reinforcing your project with junior-level talents for a mid-sized IT initiative, when launching a startup, or when scaling up and needing to fuel your in-house efforts.

Choosing quality over quantity when conducting verifications means focusing on verifying the most critical and high-risk aspects of the software rather than trying to test every single feature or scenario. This approach involves prioritizing efforts based on the impact of a defect on the end user, business, or system as a whole.

Emphasize quality, not quantity

It’s unrealistic to cover every piece of the product with tests. Recall the Pareto principle. Instead of trying to do so, concentrate on pinpointing and examining the parts that are critical for the software to operate. On top of that, pay special attention to verifying the program’s UX, security, performance, compatibility, and usability. By establishing clearly defined priorities and not dwelling on non-essential aspects, you’ll be able to ultimately trim your QA costs.

Weigh the option of outsourcing QA, entirely or in part

As of 2022, the volume of the quality assurance outsourcing market amounted to $45 billion, Global Market Insights states. This imposing figure is slated to escalate at a CAGR of 5% in the next nine years.

software testing markets

How can the increasing capabilities in this area help you trim quality assurance costs?

Saving on hiring in-house talents

When recruiting a tester, you not only bear HR-related costs, you are obliged to provide for regular salaries, taxes, insurance coverage, and so on and so forth, and that’s throughout the duration of the contract. Not to mention the fact that it becomes extremely challenging to find professionals with the required skill sets and qualifications.

By contracting with a dependable vendor, you rapidly get access to the best-matching talents who will take just as much time as needed to meet your requirements.

Offshoring for attractive testing costs

Today, firms with development centers in Central and Eastern Europe have more than reasonable costs for the entire selection of services to meet your every need. To minimize your QA testing costs, consider entrusting the work to a trusted provider overseas.

Excluding the price of infrastructure

With external specialists who work on behalf of their employer, you won’t need to inject money into the infrastructure that you most likely won’t utilize upon project completion. Instead, your IT partner will ensure that the latest systems and equipment are applied.

Strive for well-coordinated communication

This is crucial not only between testers and coders but also with the stakeholders, BAs, PMs, team leads, etc. In short, there should be a well-oiled mechanism of communication of everyone with everyone.

This is possible mainly by means of test-driven development and Agile. The former implies writing a test for a certain functionality prior to actually coding it. This contributes to making the scripts more readable and maintainable. The latter refers to delivering in time-limited iterations. Through establishing effective collaboration, you’ll manage to avoid making costly amendments to the extensive amounts of code.

Key takeaways on how to reduce QA costs

QA costs are conditional on numerous factors such as the intricacy of the product and related processes, types and scope of operations that necessitate the mastery of different techniques, environments, and instruments, the vendor’s geography, and more.

The most universal advice on revamping your product’s performance, security, and other characteristics while rationalizing its costs is to deal with a dependable outsourcing firm. Their experts are in the right position to implement the above-listed best practices and approaches so that you won’t need to be concerned about your programs’ superb condition.


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