Freelance Testing:
Best way to reduce your development cost.
(Freelancing in Software Testing)
Introduction:
All over the world, companies are using different techniques to improve the quality of their products. In this process they are implementing different methods in development, testing and process management.
Need not define ‘Freelancer’; it’s a well known term in all domains. It’s just adapting the concepts into testing to achieve and overcome the problems in software developing. Here freelancer may be a single or a team. Already few people tried to address the issue, but they didn’t speak about the guidelines and myths.
The Testing Freelancer is expert in testing domain, according to the assignment for specific time or period he will do his job for company and get paid for it.
Here we are talking about testing approaches, So many companies having their own in house testers either separate wing or including their development team. And some companies are preferring third party testing for different reasons. Off-shoring and IV&V companies came in to picture in this process.

Some reasons for off-shoring and IV&V:

1. Lack of Budget to maintain separate testing team.
2. Lack of skilled human resources.
3. In-house testers may not found the bugs being familiar with application functionality and user interface.
4. To reduce the production cost and time

Drawbacks of off-shoring and IV&V:
If a project is having continues changes in its requirements, enhancement or maintenance, they have to maintain a separate testing team for testing. They might follow agile or IV&V techniques to overcome their issues. But above said issues still remain.
In this case if we maintain a separate tester/test team to do the activity simultaneously in this process to overcome these issues, it gives great results in quality. Because he/they (Freelancer) doesn’t familiar with the product. It is a great technique to adapt.

Process:

1. Simultaneously while developing only we can go for testing. (Either putting application in staging or in production server)
2. Maintaining a freelancer is reduces budget and according to the requirement only we can assign work to freelancer.
3. Need not to give the requirements to freelancer.
4. After putting your application in production also you can assign your work to the freelancer.(Just like beta testing if it is a web based application)
5. It’s a good option for middle level and small organizations.
6. Freelancer is not a simulated user; he is just like an end user of your application. It gives good results if compares with regular testing team.

Freelance Testing Guidelines:
1. It not necessarily depending on requirement.
2. Follow the exploratory testing as much as possible.
3. Common principle of testing is act like a customer has to follow.
4. Maintaining business secrets is highly mandatory.
5. He/Team should aware of all the techniques and processes in testing. Experts really need here, because testing application in exploratory way is a great technique.
6. All possible deliverables should maintain at least in abstract manner.
7. Testing in different environments is mandatory.
8. Functional, User Interface, Security, Performance etc., all issues to be covered.
9. Here test design place a major role in testing, he should have good idea about test design techniques.


Some Drawbacks in Freelance Testing:
1. Identifying a good freelancer is critical in these days.
2. Giving a product to un-authorized person working from outside of the company (Freelancer) is risky.( Somehow better here - Need not to give the source for Freelancer)

Note: To overcome above issues, we can go for Freelancer Registration from a Recognized Authority.

3. If is a shrink-wrapped application, it is little bit difficult to assign tasks continuously.

Conclusion:
Freelance in Testing is in still infancy stage. If we adopt the freelancing concepts in to testing very useful to companies as well as testers. It doesn’t effect the employees who are working in varies companies. It addresses small and middle level organizations which are not giving important to this phase, due to lack of budget, human resources etc.

Activities towards Freelance Testing:

Addressing only issues makes no difference in any field. Taking even a single step towards to the approach makes difference and I strongly believe in this.
For this I am going to do following activities:
1. Collecting the database of freelancers.
2. Keeping all database open for all.
3. Some extent following techniques to scrutinize the list of freelancers
4. Guiding and training the varies techniques in freelance testing to improve quality of the product

Please post your views on this topic

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Tags: Freelance, Software, Testing

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Comment by Georgia Motoc on September 12, 2009 at 1:51
Anne-Marie Charrett has a good post about freelance software testers - are they a smarter, cost-effective way for startups?

As for me, I don't think there are 'freelance testing guidelines' - testing guidelines are valid whether you work as a freelance or full time tester. The idea of having a database with all the freelancers is good, but is it feasible?

Depends on where you are, freelance testing can be in infancy stage or not. In Canada it's pretty common. Funny to say, most of the companies which employ contract testers are big companies, mostly in the financial industry. So it's the other way around - small and medium companies employ mostly full time testers. Apparently, it's cheaper to maintain a person on a full time basis than a contractor. So I'm not sure how much of a cost-effective way are freelancers for startups.
Comment by Rizaldy Pineda on September 10, 2009 at 6:19
good topic...
do someone here knows a company where i can work for a software quality assurance freelancer?

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