Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
When looking for resources, I will prefer to have a blend of developers and testers. Resources need to work with offshore teams in trying to understand what's being built, get the build deployed locally, execute it, find anomalies, and provide feedback to the offshore team, actually making them accept that there is an issue to be fixed. More than a tester, I need a leader, an automation specialist, and a developer with very good technical skills, who can come in and challenge the nature of the issues we're experiencing.
Testing in itself is not rocket science, but this type of skill set in understanding the nitty-gritty of our work was a challenge. QA Consultants presented a number of resumes, out of which we picked the right people.
We are building a solution for the Canadian government. Not many companies are familiar with the tools and the levels of acceptance testing required for such a project. QA Consultants stood out by providing experienced resources.
Whenever we have a need for acceptance testing, we will contact QA Consultants. They are solely specialized in quality management and have appropriate resources on standby.
Big data and Hadoop is another important area where we need technical specialists who can actually understand the technology in and out, and work with our chief architect. QA Consultants has supplied one tester for this.
How did QA Consultants perform from a project management standpoint?
QA Consultants has been okay with pulling the plug on consultants with little prior notice. As such, we know that we won't be charged for more capacity than we need. QA Consultants can supply this level of convenience.
We use JIRA and Confluence quite a lot. We have evolved from SharePoint to JIRA, as QA Consultants' team was brought on board. They're very good at absorbing, accepting, and learning.
A constant requirement is an understanding of Selenium, JMeter, and LoadRunner. We put an emphasis on CI/CD [Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment] and want the developers to understand tools like Jenkins, GitHub, and others. Given this, JIRA is on the bottom of my requirements. After giving someone access to it, it will only take them 2 days to learn it.
What did you find most impressive about QA Consultants?
It's important that I am given access to resources based on changing dynamics and evolving market requirements. I have worked with vendors who came to understand what we wanted as a client, and we have established this type of relationship with QA Consultants. When it comes to quality management resources, QA Consultants is well-known for providing strong candidates with a very fast turnaround.
Are there any areas QA Consultants could improve?
In 2012, we had a need for junior testers for pure frontend user-acceptance work, only wanting the resources to play around with the site for 3 months, without even giving them access to the quality center. At the end of the day, we would have a jam session and get their impressions of the site as users. We didn't want to pay as heavily as we would for a technical tester. It proved a bit challenging for QA Consultants to bring in lower-level testers, but they were able to procure some brand-new students from their IT courses. The one-week delay that QA Consultants had at the time was our only glitch, and it was not a big deal, given that we had other people for that testing.
I can't think of any significant improvement for QA Consultants. We're able to negotiate rates, and QA Consultants has been quite accommodating and reasonable.