No one likes bugs in their software -- especially when they show up after your software has already gone to market. From simple glitches to major security vulnerabilities, bugs can damage your reputation as a software provider and disrupt the user experience.

Of course, there’s no avoiding bugs entirely, so it’s best to catch them early. By building a quality assurance process into your routine, you’ll reduce the risk of releasing an app or software update that contains errors.

While some companies have internal QA teams, others hire external specialists, who provide a fresh eye and specialized tools to find the flaws in your programs.

Why do you need a software QA service?

Software programs are more complex than ever, and with the pressure to continually release new updates and features, traditional testing strategies just can’t keep up.

While internal user testing is an option for some companies, it won’t replace thorough QA testing. That’s because non-technical employees might be able weigh in on UI or design glitches, but they won’t find problems at the database level.

Quality assurance services, on the other hand, specialize in uncovering bugs, and can put your product through rigorous testing, both manual and automated.

One company, called Ultranauts, specializes in hiring neurodiverse employees on the autism spectrum, due to their skills at pattern recognition and logical reasoning. They uncovered 56% more bugs than their client’s previous testing partner, IBM.

Quality assurance concerns aren’t limited to reputational damage. Errors in a financial services app can lead to serious data breaches or currency rounding attacks. Trading algorithms can make rogue deals that cost companies millions.

When developers are stuck cleaning up software bugs themselves, it can eat up to 75% of their time on the job. Ultimately, you simply may not have enough employees on hand to develop, test, and debug your software before bringing it to market.

That’s where software QA services come in.

How do software QA services perform quality control?

Most QA services fall into one of two categories, manual testing and automated testing, which can be further broken down into specific types of tests.

Manual testing is when a human tester actually sits down at the computer (or mobile device) and uses the software themselves. The main benefit to manual testing is that you can get real-time feedback without having to design an automated test.

The downside to manual testing is that it takes time for an individual to perform the test, and there’s a greater chance of human error or inconsistent behavior.

Automated testing is performed using a test script that can be run repeatedly, either by focusing on a specific aspect of the program, or performing the same actions in different ways to see whether they all get the desired result.

The benefit to automated testing is that you can dive deep and find bugs that a human tester can’t see, while avoid the variables that comes with manual testing.

The downside is that the test script itself may need to be debugged, and you won’t get any feedback on the user experience, such as the colors or other visual elements.

In addition to these two approaches to testing, specific QA services may include:

  • Unit testing: testing individual software modules
  • Integration testing: making sure the modules interact properly
  • Accessibility testing: testing whether the software can be used by people who are deaf, blind, color-blind, or have other disabilities
  • Compatibility testing: ensuring the software works on a range of browsers, operating systems, hardware, etc.
  • Performance testing: checking the software’s speed, load capacity, etc.
  • Security testing: testing for security vulnerabilities
  • And more

The type of testing you need will depend on what kind of software you’re developing. A thorough testing routine should ensure that the software can handle the tasks it’s meant to perform, without breaking down when something unexpected happens.

Different software QA services specialize in different types of tests. Ideally, you’ll want to find one that can test your software repeatedly at different stages of development.

Some testing services use a waterfall model, in which testing takes place only after the design period is complete, while others use an agile model, in which development and testing take place concurrently, and the software is constantly in a state of review.

Be sure to choose a company that has experience working in your industry, and can tell you exactly what kind of testing they’ll perform and what tools they’ll use to do it.

Here are some of the best software QA services around:

1) Zibtek

Zibtek is a custom software development company that puts quality assurance testing at the heart of its services. It offers both manual and scripted QA testing, with a dedicated team working exclusively on your project from start to finish.

Zibtek’s approach includes automated code verification and performance testing, plus manual testing to uncover UI and navigation issues.

Because Zibtek also provides comprehensive development services, you can expect a faster turnaround time and shorter release cycle than less integrated companies.

Whether you need cross-platform debugging or end-to-end testing, the team at Zibtek will put together a plan that will help you develop a user-friendly product.

They offer both quality assurance (QA) services, which are intended to prevent defects, and quality control (QC) services, which look for defects in the finished product.

Both components are key to ensuring that your deliverables meet your standards, as well as your customers’ expectations.

2) TestFort

TestFort has over 18 years of experience and a team of over 160 QA engineers. They offer functionality, usability, performance, security, and compatibility testing. In addition to services for websites and mobile apps, they also provide testing for cloud software, Internet of Things, games, and more.

They create thorough testing reports to ensure that your developers can look back at old code and see what was tested and which issues were addressed.

They offer both manual and automated testing services, and can test your software on over 250 different devices to guarantee cross-platform usability and security.

Finally, they can work alongside your in-house QA team, provide a full testing team of their own, or consult with your company to create a long-term testing plan.

3) Oxagile

Oxagile provides QA testing for desktop and mobile apps, with dedicated testing teams available to work exclusively with a single client for complex long-term projects.

They offer localization testing, which ensures that your product is ready for delivery in a specific region (for example, with the appropriate language, time format, and keyboard), as well as security audits, performance testing, and more.

They have experts in business intelligence who can run OLAP and warehouse testing, as well as specialized testing for AI, healthcare, finance, and the Internet of Things.

They can incorporate the waterfall process for smaller QA projects, but typically rely on scrum-based workflows with sprint planning and post-sprint reviews.

4) DeviQA

DeviQA is a comprehensive software testing company that prioritizes data security and storage, and the integrity of intellectual property.

When you request a quote, DeviQA will sign an NDA and create a free proof of concept outlining their strategy and the automated code they’ll use to test your software. Based on an initial trial, you can decide whether or not to sign up as a long-term client.

Choose from a fixed-price project for a one-time performance or stress test, a dedicated team that will work on the project with you, or a “time and materials” model in which you pay an hourly rate for deliverables, with no ongoing commitment.

DeviQA can begin work on your project in as little as 12 hours, and provide daily reports and statistics keeping you informed on the progress of your testing.

They also offer DevOps services including continuous delivery, container management, and infrastructure monitoring, to help you deploy your projects more efficiently.

5) QA Madness

Finally, there’s QA Madness, a newer company based in Lithuania that provides cloud testing, localization testing, non-functional testing, and more.

They specialize in testing for e-commerce platforms, including WooCommerce, Shopify, and Magento, as well as video games, VR and AR software, and wearables.

They can create a thorough testing strategy with in-depth scenarios and test cases, or provide an ad-hoc approach, which involves running random tests to check for glitches when you’re on a tight timeframe and don’t have the time for end-to-end testing.

They also have experience working with e-learning platforms, big data, and blockchain testing, and can apply their expertise in dozens of industries and locations.

Get a developer who can stand up to the most scrupulous quality control practices.

No developer can promise to entirely eliminate bugs from the development process. But a good developer knows how to work with a QA team to fix bugs as quickly as possible, and take a proactive approach to reducing further errors.

Remember, QA testing isn’t a one-time thing, but an ongoing part of the development process. With Zibtek, you can feel confident that QA testing isn’t an afterthought -- it’s built right into what we do, from code verification to continuous integration. If you’re considering QA services for your software, reach out to the team at Zibtek to find out how we can help you bring your product to market!