The need for dedicated testing has not diminished since WebDepend started 14 years ago.

The realisation that testing needed dedication came when I was a project manager at a digital agency, I found myself spending more and more time testing the web builds I managed in the days, hours and even minutes before launch.

I started to allocate time in my schedule for testing each project that I managed but the time would get swamped by many project management tasks. Each time I tried to get back to testing the web build that was due to launch soon I would get distracted by a question or a problem or a call or a meeting or something needed for another project. The bugs were all still there, sitting quietly, waiting to make themselves known. So I worked late into the evening and often over weekends - testing, not project managing.

Over time I got better at testing and realised a couple of things. Firstly, I was quite good at finding bugs (or the bugs were quite obvious) and second, I liked testing. If anything, I felt I could make a bigger impact for a successful site launch by finding all the bugs, which made for a happier client and more repeat work for the agency.

It also ignited a passion for testing in me that I still have today, I saw the need back then for dedicated testing as a part of all web projects.

So much so that I was done with project management and set up WebDepend way back in 2010, dedicated to testing web and software projects.

Fast Forward to Today

Fast forward 14 years and I still see the same problems at digital agencies and in SaaS startups now. The lack of a dedicated tester in the team means that project managers and product managers are grappling with testing, at the same time as trying to cover all the other tasks that their job demands.

Increasingly, project managers are being asked to deliver more in less time and that means testing gets squeezed down to a few hours of a distracted project manager's time just ahead of release day.

It's not enough - what a project or product manager can test in the time they have available, even working evenings and weekends, is often only a fraction of the time needed.

What I think happens is that many organisations that develop software or websites - often digital agencies or SaaS startups - they don't start out with dedicated testers on the team. And as they grow they hire designers, developers, product or project managers, customer services, account managers - all ahead of hiring Testers. So they develop the capability of delivering more work but it is not being tested effectively.

I've gone into many organisations where all the roles I mentioned above are represented except testing. Testing often is thought of last, both in the project lifecycle and also in team structure and processes.

Not Testing Effectively Becomes a Risk

Those companies are trying to get by without a tester and they get to a point where testing becomes a real burden on someone (often a product manager or project manager) and that person is devoting more and more of their time trying to test or try to fit it in alongside their actual job.

They may also get complaints from users or customers that there are major bugs in Production or even that applications have critical issues soon after release. It takes a lot of resources to roll back, or investigate and fix the problem and put out all the fires. It is like realising there are fire hazards in a new building after the building is finished and the doors are opened to the public.

For a digital agency, customers receiving the work may get so frustrated that bugs haven't been picked up that they want a lot of rework done or they may stop working with the agency altogether.

Eventually, those organisations come to realise the same thing that I did all those years ago, that testing requires dedication and someone or some people to carry out that testing.

Add Testing to Your Team

It is possible to add a dedicated tester to your team without having to hire a full time employee. Our testing and QA services are tailored for digital agencies, SaaS startups and in-house development teams. We can start working with you straightaway without locking you into long term contracts or requiring a lot of setup or onboarding to get started.

Contact us for an initial chat on how we can help you.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

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