The Advantages of Software Testing in a Different Time Zone

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The growing popularity of modern software development methodologies, like Agile and DevOps, combined with the social media-driven 24-7 business landscape has led to the need to enhance applications at a faster pace. Relatively new methodologies like Continuous Delivery and Continuous Integration are the ultimate goal for many software development shops. In short, software engineering needs to operate at the speed of business.

What if your QA team is located in a different time zone than your development staff? Maybe even on the other side of the world? Your programmers arrive each morning with a list of bugs to fix, while the QA personnel are able to test those changes “overnight.”

Is this an alternate way to make Agile or Continuous Delivery work? Let’s look more closely at the details.

Your Entire Software Team works around the Clock

Having your entire software development team engaged on a 24-hour basis offers many advantages to companies aspiring towards the Continuous Integration model. Separate locations for your QA team and software engineers help make this a reality.

Even a four to five hour difference in time zones provides time for additional collaboration when both teams are “on the clock.” Longer distances place an onus on providing clear communication between teams on what needs tested and/or what bugs were found in the last test cycle.

If your entire staff is located in the same building, however, either testers or programmers need to wait around for the other team to finish their tasks. This leads to inefficiency, even considering the enhanced communication desired on an Agile or DevOps project. A scenario where one team works while the other one sleeps offers the best use of time.

Helping the Software Development Process achieve Continuous Delivery

Ian Lotinsky, the CTO for LearnZillion, leads a software development process leveraging the Continuous Delivery methodology. In a blog post offering advice for shops looking to implement Continuous Delivery, he mentions the advantages derived from engaging a QA team located offshore. “When an engineer’s code has passed peer review and the automated QA test suite, it is sent along to QA for manual inspection. Test results are back by the next business morning because some of our QA team members are located in India. They test our work while we sleep,” said Lotinsky.

Another key point from Lotinsky’s quote worth noting references the fact only a few of their testers are located offshore. This arrangement allows some QA personnel to work more closely with the programming team during the day, while the testing never stops after the remote QA staff picks up the effort overnight. The key for your software team is finding the right mix of a 24-hour development cycle compared to the enhanced communication and collaboration when both testers and programmers are located in the same building (or closer time zones).

Betica’s own certified Software Testing Laboratory is located in the Philippines, offering your organization the benefit of a 24-hour development cycle depending on the location of your software engineers. Contact us for additional information.