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The Challenges of Hiring Freelance Software Testers

Author: Sowmya Sridharamurthy

Last updated: April 21, 2024

freelance software testers
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The fast pace of invention and development in the modern technological world is unparalleled, with new technologies constantly developing and appearing. Variables such as improved computer capabilities, an increase in mobile device usage, and easier access to data have contributed to this environment. Because of this, collaboration with freelance software testers is an option for companies looking to get ahead of the rest.

This ecosystem is being driven by a number of critical technologies, including blockchain, the Internet of Things (IoT), cloud computing, artificial intelligence, and 5G. Many other industries, including manufacturing, transportation, and even the financial and healthcare sectors, stand to benefit significantly from this technology. Individuals and organizations must keep up with technological developments if they want to remain competitive and seize new opportunities.



Why Hire Freelance Software Testers?

In an effort to keep up with this rapidly changing landscape, several companies are turning to the use of freelance software testers. These collaborators work on a project-by-project basis and typically have a particular skill set or area of specialty. While freelance software testers are a fantastic addition, it takes luck to locate the right one. It’s unrealistic to label or categorize all independent contractors as unsuitable, but we should also consider the drawbacks.



What Are Some of the Risks of Hiring Freelance Software Testers?

Leaning solely on freelance software testers has the following risks:



Hiring independent contractors is a matter of chance. I’ll give you an example from my own personal experience. During my time at a company in the retail sector, one of the engineering verticals opted to engage independent testers on a part-time basis in order to test their newly released website for their premium customers.

The first issue was that the complexity of identifying a candidate who could be trusted with their work. There were many ups and downs in the execution of their jobs once they were onboarded. Irregularities in their work led to multiple delays. When we looked more closely, we realized that the independent contractor had very little IT experience and was relying on his friends to help him finish the job


Security Concerns

Security and internal private data breaches are a possibility when working with independent contractors and freelancers. Freelance software testers are typically not included in data security training, which is a significant gap in current business practices.

Research shows that 37.9% of users without security training end up being direct victims of phishing attacks. Precautions and key training should be scheduled and considered in order to protect data and ensure that freelancers are more reliable. Sensitive customer information was accidentally exposed when a freelance test engineer was given access to the human resource production system. The freelancer shared these details with a competitor, resulting in a significant data breach on the client’s end.


Lack of Commitment

Test engineers who work freelance are not required to have the same passion as an invested partner. Since freelance software testers often work with numerous clients at once, the complex commitment theory becomes more complicated. We most likely witness impaired work as a result of several engagements. The most important activity in the development process is software testing; any compromise might result in a loss for the organization.


Fitment Issues

Evaluating the qualifications of freelance software testers and independent contractors is one of the biggest obstacles. The majority of the applications had every other technology stated on them, which made it challenging to establish confidence while I was tasked with hiring a junior test engineer for a freelance company.


Just “Another Client”

Independent contractors and freelancers are constantly motivated to maintain their contacts and pursue ongoing lead generation. Unless there is a long-term contract, you are just another client.

When I worked for a marketing firm in the UK, we employed a freelance test engineer to test our application for pricing strategy. Everything seemed to be going fine until we received a monthly timesheet with someone else’s name on it. When questioned about this, the test engineer confided in us that he has been dealing with multiple clients, and his wife was testing our application. To avoid paying taxes, they chose to do this. Not only was the quality of the application in jeopardy, but the situation also posed a legal risk.



When there are multiple independent contractors hired to do the job, it’s a mammoth task to keep all of them aligned. You must ensure they are all on the same page regarding testing objectives, timelines, and communication protocols let’s not forget the test reports if any.



Freelance software testers might not feel as responsible for their accomplishments or shortcomings. They might not have the same sense of ownership to ensure that your software or app is completely and accurately tested, as they may not be as committed to the long-term success of the business. Project managers have had to postpone projects in the real world because freelancers occasionally behave inexplicably. In one case, an independent contractor didn’t show up for work after a week.

In order to vastly reduce these risks, most firms collaborate with managed testing services. The hiring, onboarding, training, and replacement of employees with the necessary skill set as and when necessary may be done conveniently and with flexibility that does not interfere with project timeframes.

Managed testing partners like MuukTest can offer application testing to chisel out the greatest quality while assuring data protection, legal compliance, and prompt response.



In Summary

When it comes to technical developments, “speed” is key. Businesses that fall behind in terms of innovation and advancement are losing ground. This blog post’s goal is to help businesses realize the value of time and speed in delivering value to customers, not to malign any freelance software testers or independent contractors. Finding a good independent contractor is possible but takes time, which costs money and can put you behind the competition.

Disclaimer: I’m not here to cast blame or characterize every freelance test engineer as a negative resource, but it can be difficult to find one who is 100% committed to getting your application the best quality.

Sowmya Sridharamurthy

Sowmya Sridharamurthy is a product quality leader at Lytho. She’s worked on several software solutions and mentors teams in building effective strategies and implementations to achieve ROI through test automation. Sowmya focuses on driving inclusive software development. DevsOpsDays and The Test Tribe have had her as a speaker at their events. She’s also active on LinkedIn, Twitter, and her website.