Observations on Offshoring your Software Testing

Have you noticed that there is something about having people nearby that instills a sense of confidence in the work being performed?  There is something about having a tester in the same country as you that generates security.

So it was with a bit of reluctance that I took on a job that had an offshore element to it.

I was surprised to discover the quality of the work that came back from the offshore team. They found many bugs outside their scope of work. Their testing was thoughtful and thorough.

However, one of the hardest things I found I had to deal with is the lack of visibility on the testing.  I am utterly dependent on the only tangible evidence provided to me through  test scripts and defects in the shared test management system. I don’t get to see the testers in action…

So, despite the knowledge that good testing is being performed, I am still very uneasy when badly written test scripts are created, or if the process is not followed.

I don’t know, perhaps this says more about myself than the testing being performed. After all, I personally have never been a fan of extremely detailed test scripts.  Perhaps the lack of contact and visibility brings out the micro-manager in me, turning me into a process Nazi.

So am I being unfair? Perhaps. It’s made me realise how important it is to be accurate and succinct in your reporting, especially when a client has little visibility on your work.