The Need for Qualified Contracted Software TestersPosted in Certifications | October 30, 2013
How important is it to you that your doctor actually attended medical school? Would you just take the word of a person who shows up one day saying they were a licensed doctor, and willing to perform surgery on you if you need it, without any proof?
Crazy questions, right? Not really. These types of things happen daily in the IT industry, where contractors say they have experience and qualifications, despite having neither. Each year, millions of dollars are spent "fixing" quick hires in the contracting arena because there is work that has to be done. Managers take the word of the contractor and bring in these testers, only to find out later that the project is further behind and has cost the company much more money. It is simply what the contractor world has been and continues to be.
Have you ever interviewed a tester with over ten years of experience in the industry, but did not see any certifications listed on their resume? How about a seasoned automated tester that is not certified in a single automation tool, but has stated on their resume that they are an expert? This is the problem – you are putting your entire testing project in the hands of someone who can only state, not prove, that they know what they are doing. How is this different than talking to a person that says they are a doctor, and then you letting them diagnose or operate on you? Or an attorney that isn't licensed to practice law, yet says they are an expert in defense cases? Are you going to hire them and rely on their performance? The answer is no, of course. So why do companies do it daily with contactors?
Perhaps you solve the problem and work through a consulting company, right? Wrong. Most of these companies are not genuine, permanent IT staff. The majority of these companies go out on recruiting sites and find an individual that fits the position your team is trying to fill. They hire them only as a W2 employee with no benefits and present them as a permanent employee to the client. The client is basically paying an average of $10.00 an hour to a company that does nothing but take a cut and then pay the contracted tester.
How do you combat this problem? A simple way is to hire testers with certifications from reputable providers, such as the International Software Testing Qualifications Board. Also, it is important to confirm if the tester at the consultancy company you are using is just a W2 employee, or if they also have full benefits. This will tell you whether you are getting not only what you want, but what you are paying for: guaranteed quality assurance.
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