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Rodney LawsRodney LawsGuest Contributor

What Are the Pros & Cons of Remote Software Testing?

Pros & Cons of Remote Software Testing

Remote work has become the norm in business. Coronavirus has forced people from a range of disciplines to work from their homes, and much of it has been done successfully. With this style of operation being such a hot topic and a proven method of working efficiently, it is sensible that companies are looking at ways they can broaden their remote working processes. 

Software development is one area that deservedly comes under the microscope. But the question is whether it is a good or bad thing for your business to outsource software development processes and QA software testing in particular?

In this article, I will be looking at two key advantages and disadvantages of remote software testing. All you need to do is to decide whether the good aspects of it outweigh the bad. Let’s take a look.

Remote software testing advantages & disadvantages

Advantage #1: Outsourcing is often cheaper 

When you think of the idea of someone remotely building and testing your software, you think about outsourcing. 

The benefit of having an external source taking on this role is that it can be cheaper than having someone do it on your own payroll. Outsourced remote software testing is cheaper because you cut out the overheads. 

To illustrate this, imagine that outsourcing is a computer. You have to pay for the computer itself and for the associated equipment, such as cables, monitors, and keyboards. However, there are a huge number of other costs that you do not need to cover, such as holidays, training, and travel expenses of those who built this computer. 

Of course, you will only make savings if you shop sensibly for your remote software testing specialists. Upwork is a great source of freelance testers. Not only it features lots of candidates, but each of these candidates is given a rating by people who have used their services. 

So, to benefit from remote testing, spend some time thinking about what you want from your remote software tester and then, look for someone who is skilled in these areas.  

Advantage #2: You can cater to all the customers

One of the key benefits of remote testing is that it can be carried out across the globe, from the region where your business is based to the farthest regions where your customers are located. The benefit of this is that it makes it much simpler for your company to cater to the needs of all its customers. Why? Because there is no better way of seeing how specific locations interact with your online presence than by getting someone from the area to test it. 

To make sure you get the most out of the geographical diversity that comes together with remote software testing, you must establish which regions are important to your business. A simple way of doing this is to use Google Analytics to find out in which regions your site is used the most. If you are not sure how to do this then check out this video.

Disadvantage #1: Outsourcing can create security issues 

Security is not just a serious consideration for digital business — it is a legal requirement that determines where your company can operate.

Using remote software testing puts some of the software security duties onto the company or individual you outsource to, but far from all of them. Your business still has lots of security issues to manage when you provide an external organization with access to your system. An obvious issue is that remote software testers could learn sensitive information about you and your customers. This means you need robust security policies in place, such as a legally binding NDA. 

But this does not resolve all of your problems. There is the issue of the remote tester’s own security management, namely, how secure their connection is when they review your software. You can address this by setting up one of NordVPN’s VPNs to secure the connection against hackers.  

So, think about the security issues that could arise from using a remote software tester and establish if/how your company can overcome all of them. 

Disadvantage #2: It is hard to control connectivity 

Connectivity is a concern for every digital business, but it becomes particularly important when remote testing comes into play. Why? Because the person carrying out Quality Assurance must connect to your network to be able to test your software.

Yet, there is a way for you to manage connectivity issues. For example, if you are batting off LAN vs WAN, it is your decision which network to opt for. This guide to packetwork’s networks looks at the connectivity pros and cons of LAN and WAN. Essentially, it reduces down to this:

  • LAN: Cheaper but limited to a small area

  • WAN: More expensive but gives greater coverage

Of course, you could also choose to opt for another network option, if you feel that neither of these meet the needs of your business.  

If your in-house software tester is debating a mini displayport vs thunderbolt, it is also your call to make over which one to select. This guide to StarTech's Displayport considers the two options and highlights that using the Thunderbolt allows you to link a larger range of devices together, making your company’s connectivity deeper and stronger. Surely, you could look for other options if neither one gives you the level of connectivity your company needs. 

These tasks are pretty trivial, but the point is that you are in control of them. You cannot manage another company's connectivity. This means that your software testing might not happen when you want it to, costing you time and money due to delays. You can address this by establishing what measures are in place to secure connectivity. This can be enhanced further by getting an agreement on downtime, such as a discount or a break clause in any contracts you have signed.  

Final thoughts

Like most things in life, there are both pros and cons to remote software quality assurance services

Yes, you can reduce costs by using it. Sure, you can benefit from geographical diversity. But you also have security and connectivity issues to contend with. 

Of course, disadvantages can be addressed by having someone from your company carry out the software testing. Since it is someone you can manage directly, it will be easier for you to build up some trust with this person. But if this employee does the testing from home and not from the office — then, you are in much the same position as you would be with an outsourced remote software tester. The security and connectivity issues are still there, but your company is now 100% responsible for dealing with them. 

Ultimately, you have to balance out the pros and cons and establish which way remote working swings for your business. 

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