Chapter 10

Involving Other Players: Distributed Testing, Outsourcing, and Related Topics

Throughout this book, I've mentioned that various people and organizations in a company in addition to the test group have test-related responsibilities. Similarly, occasions arise when it makes sense to involve people and teams outside the development team or even outside the company to help with particular test challenges.

In some cases, we can distribute our testing work across various participants. I refer to this as distributed testing. This can involve an outsourced test team, but it doesn't necessarily. Assembling a distributed testing effort involves creating a hybrid project-matrix/skills-matrix test organization, consisting of the test team, other contributors within the company, and people who work in other companies.

Distributed testing comes in four basic flavors:

  • Your vendors (those companies that provide components that will be integrated into your systems)
  • Your sales or marketing offices (especially foreign offices for localization testing)
  • Your business analysts, help desk or technical support, target customers or users (for alpha, beta, pilot, and acceptance testing)
  • Testing service providers (especially for capital-intensive endeavors such as hardware and compatibility testing and performance testing, or for skills-intensive endeavors like test automation and security testing), either via insourced (your location) or outsourced (their location) delivery.1

In some cases, ...

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