If you’re among the 40% IT firms whose QA budgets are set to rise in the coming year, you might want to check out the best-in-class software testing companies we handpicked based on a custom evaluation methodology. Right below the table, you can check out the criteria that led us to the final list as well as some actionable tips to help you find your perfect match.
We’ve devised a two-part custom methodology to create our list of companies for software testing. We start by exploring the types of testing and try to classify the companies accordingly. During the second phase, we evaluate the experience of each agency, their past work, reputation, as well as their adherence to documentation and security standards, their pricing policy, and more.
Companies offer two types of services: manual and automated testing.
Manual testing is conducted by a team or an individual who will operate software manually to check for bugs. The testers don’t use automation software testing tools but execute the test and generate reports manually. While this type is susceptible to human error, it’s beneficial when the goal is improved UX or user-friendliness.
Automated testing meanwhile comprises different tools with a broad range of capabilities. Despite being automated, this type of testing requires testers to write and then develop test scripts. The outcome is automatically compared to the expected result. This approach is faster and more reliable than manual testing but requires a higher initial investment.
The services offered by software testing agencies can also be classified into functional and nonfunctional testing. These categories, however, have their own sub-types with different objectives. While some agencies cover a broad range of services, others have a narrower focus on specific aspects of software application testing. In the following section, we break down the list of the services typically offered by the top companies for software testing and try to explain each of them.
Functionality testing is also known as feature-level testing. Using the user’s point of view, this approach serves to confirm that the product works according to the pre-established specifications, covering 95% of product quality requirements. The best software testers will develop test cases, execute them, and then analyze the output.
Performance testing is meant to detect any reliability or scalability issues and make sure that the product is stable. The testing companies use pre-defined criteria against which they evaluate the product scalability, responsiveness, and reliability. We check what types of performance testing the company excels in — load testing, stress testing, spike testing, or endurance testing.
As an extension to performance testing, scalability testing aims to identify any problems that could prevent future scalability of the product. It involves testing the databases, processes, and the system to ensure that the application can handle the excess load.
With usability testing, a target group looks to expose usability defects. The testing focuses on the ease of use, flexibility in handling controls and the ability of the system to meet its objectives. The software testing agency should help the client understand the problems that arise during the interaction of the end-user with the product and help improve usability.
Compatibility aims to ensure customer satisfaction. This non-functional testing serves to determine whether the product can run in different browsers, hardware, database, operating systems, networks, and mobile devices.
Security testing aims to expose system vulnerabilities and ensure that the product is free from threats or risks and in compliance with security standards. Additionally, the team from the software testing firm will help the software developers in fixing the security problems through coding.
Unit testing follows a white box testing approach and involves testing each unit of code of the software product and validating that everything performs as designed. This type of testing requires knowledge of programming, which is why it’s performed by programmers and not testers.
Integration testing comes after it’s confirmed that the individual units work flawlessly. The QA company team then runs tests to evaluate the connectivity among those units and make sure they can function together. Top-down and bottom-up are the two types of integration testing usually offered by the software testing companies.
This service involves testing software products to ensure they are easily accessible and operable to every single user. We make sure that the software testing firms specializing in this service adhere to the laws and guidelines for accessibility and employ the standard testing techniques.
Relevant experience and expertise in software testing are two primary aspects we take into account when evaluating the companies.
Reputable software test companies have a team of experienced members with outstanding skills and broad knowledge. They have at least one QA analyst, QA team coordinator, test manager, and senior test manager.
The testers should further be able to quickly adapt to changing environments and easily solve any unexpected problems. The skills we value in software testers include SQL, writing test cases, programming, and app lifecycle tooling. Leadership, communication, multi-tasking, critical thinking, and teamwork are also essential skills.
Intellectual property refers to the intangible rights of ownership such as patents, trade secrets, and copyright. Protecting businesses' intellectual property is crucial when choosing a software tester company. We assess the agencies along with the legal environment in the respective jurisdiction. We extend our evaluation to the company’s reputation and history in terms of security management standards. For example, a positive note on this is certified compliance with ISO 9000 and ISO/IEC 27001, CMMi, and Scrum Certificates.
To further filter the potential software testing services companies, we evaluate their testing infrastructure. The standard testing infrastructure includes requirement analysis, test planning, test case development, test environment setup, test execution, version control system, risk management process, and more. A trusted company would also work according to quality and testing standards such as ISO 9001:2015, ISO/IEC/IEEE 29119.
Software testing documentation is created before and during the testing process. It provides the team with a systematic approach, helping them estimate the test coverage and its progress, track resources, and more. Test documentation also helps them deliver the service within the set timeframe and improve their transparency with the clients. Examples of test documentation include test policy, test scenarios, test cases, defect reporting, and test summary reports. When choosing the best QA agencies, we make sure they adhere to the documentation standards by international organizations such as ISO and IEEE.
The past work of any QA testing services company is best seen through case studies. We make sure to thoroughly examine those and verify the company’s experience in terms of industry and client focus, business needs and objectives of the client, what solution the agency provided and how they executed the testing, as well as its final outcome and benefits.
Good reputation precedes the best QA companies. We make sure to explore as much as possible in terms of agency reputation before we decide to list them here. While researching the companies, we came across many fraudulent outfits posing as genuine and trusted firms. That’s why conduct thorough research of reliability by checking how long the quality assurance software testing company has been operating, analyzing its services and clients.
We also scout third-party directories looking for reviews from past clients but also check what industry players have to say about the company. We further verify whether they have acquired any certifications. ISTQB, CMC, CAST, CSTE, CETPA, QA Campus, and STC are the top certifications for software testers.
Outsourcing QA will save you more money than having an in-house team in the long run. That said, we don’t necessarily choose the companies that offer the cheapest software testing services but those that fall within the industry standards and are proven to provide good value for money.
Some of the software testers offer a fixed rate for projects, some charge based on time and materials model, while others use the pay-as-you-go system. Regardless of the model, the best companies will provide a high ROI and great business value. We make sure to check the historical fees of contracting along with the average costs. If we come across lower rates, we make sure they don’t involve hidden costs.
With our list of top companies along with a detailed explanation of our evaluation methodology, you are halfway there. But how to find the best fit for you?
Read on for some actionable tips.
Before kicking off your search for a company for software test services, you need a layout of the scope of the potential projects. More specifically, you should outline the test areas and coverage you expect from the agency. Do you need automated or manual testing? Does your company have a preferred coding language? This is a step towards partnering up with a team whose core expertise focuses on your particular areas of interest.
The importance of finding a partner willing to get to know your business, challenges, and the people you work with is often underestimated when choosing software QA companies. This will determine whether you are right for each other — if the team at the testing company will be able to work at your pace, efficiently deal with your workload, communicate the information as you need it, and more.
When you shortlist the testing companies based on the above-mentioned criteria, it’s time to assess what each of them offers in terms of transparency, communication, quick response and understanding of priorities. Reach out to the prospective QA companies and ask them how they are planning to conduct the testing, their reporting style, your potential point of contact, and everything else that interests you before determining you’re comfortable with them.
On our list, you’ll find the top software testing agencies based both stateside and offshore. You can use this to further filter out the prospective vendors. If you’re considering outsourcing the job to an agency with a remote location and different time zone, make sure that you’ll be able to coordinate and you won’t come across any language or cultural barriers along the way. If you think that working with an offshore company will hurt the communication or the effectiveness, make sure to choose an agency that you can reach out to in real-time.
By now you should have a list of at least three software testing companies potentially fitting your requirements. To decide on the best one to partner up with, have them complete a testing assignment to get a more accurate understanding of their workflow process. You should also be able to assess how much effort they are willing to put in to deliver a product that works flawlessly.