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Do Not Fear Outsourced Software Testing

As they say, the only constant is change, and nowhere is this truer than in the software testing industry.  The acceleration of technological innovation over the past 10 years has had a ripple effect throughout every IT department in every company in the world.  Today, flexibility and speed-to-market are the critical factors, and as such more and more companies are weighing the pros and cons of outsourcing.  This includes their software testing activities.

Although currently only about 16% of companies outsource their software testing processes, if you are a full time software tester, the prospect of outsourced testing can be terrifying.  Luckily, software testing outsourcing is not appropriate for every company despite the perceived cost savings. 

One reason this is not for everybody is the reduction in control, whether real or perceived.  Because an outsourced software testing department is housed outside the company’s walls, there is less visibility into the process by default.  For companies that are risk-averse, or that manage highly sensitive data, outsourcing may not be a good fit.

Another reason is that many times the true costs of internal software testing are unknown, and thus it may be impossible to quantify the cost savings from outsourcing.  If a company cannot measure the benefit, it is unlikely they will move in this direction.

Another reason companies may be hesitant to outsource their software testing is the perception that their highly specialized products require specific testing processes that can only be nurtured in-house.  Extremely technical applications are difficult to test, and hence companies may automatically assume that only company employees are qualified to do the testing.

So despite the hype, outsourced software testing may never become a widespread phenomenon.  Building a long term career in software testing is and always will be an excellent choice for both personal as well as professional growth.  And to further your career even more, consider earning an ISEB or ISTQB certification (starting with the ISEB Foundation / ISTQB Foundation).

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