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Does Outsourcing QA Really make Sense?



The internet connects billions of people around the globe, and its user base only continues to grow. It shouldnít be very surprising, therefore JavaScript, the programming language of the web that powers every web browser across every Internet-connected device, is the most popular programming language in the world.

One limitation of JavaScript, though, was that it used to be a primarily client-side language, and the backend or server-side components of websites were traditionally written in some other programming language. Node.js, however, changed all this. Itís a server-side JavaScript run-time environment that allowed JavaScript to be run on the server side as well. This capability is priceless to hire JavaScript developers because it allows the full stack development of entire web applications using essentially just one language, leading to quicker and easier web development.

To make the tasks of developers even more convenient, several JavaScript frameworks have been created to dramatically shorten codes and decrease coding times. One such framework is Express.js, arguably the most popular Node.js framework. In this article, we will take a closer look at this technology.

Express.js: An Overview

nodejs express framework

Express.js was first released in 2010 by developer TJ Holowaychuk. In 2014, it was acquired by StrongLoop, which was in turn acquired by IBM in 2015. Through it all, Express.js grew from a relatively unknown framework to one of the most popular Node.js frameworks. With 33,457 stars on GitHub as of writing, it holds the most GitHub stars out of all server-side Node.js frameworks to date.

Express JS is a framework for Node.js, which allows backend development using JavaScript. Naturally, it works best with other technologies that also use JavaScript as the base language. One such technology stack is the MEAN stack, whose name is an acronym for the four technologies that comprise it: MongoDB, Express.js, AngularJS, and Node.js. All four technologies in the stack are JavaScript-based. It uses AngularJS as its client-side scripting framework on top of JavaScript, Node.js as its server-side run-time environment to run JavaScript, Express.js as its server-side scripting framework, and MongoDB as its database system.

When used together, the four technologies in the MEAN stack enable rapid development of full web applications, and an Express MEAN stack or a MEAN full stack developer only needs to learn essentially one language: JavaScript.

Express.js Features

Here are some of the features that Express.js brings to the table.

Rapid Server-Side Programming

Being a Node.js framework, Express.js packages many of the commonly used Node.js features, into functions that can be easily called anywhere on the program. As a result, complex tasks that would otherwise take a Node developer several hundred lines and several hours to program can easily be done by Express JS developers in just a few lines of code and within a few minutes. Express web application development is therefore much quicker than pure Node.js development.

Routing

Routing allows a web application to preserve web page states through their URLs. These URLs may be shared with other users, and visiting these URLs will take users to the exact page state that was originally shared. Node.js has a routing mechanism, but itís a basic and rudimentary one. Express.js offers a more advanced and efficient routing mechanism that is able to handle highly dynamic URLs.

Debugging

All developers encounter bugs with every project that can cause entire applications to malfunction, and one of the most critical tasks of developers is identifying the source of these bugs and correcting them in the quickest possible time. Fortunately, Express.js provides an easy debugging mechanism to allow developers to quickly pinpoint which part of the application causes bugs.

Templating

Express.js provides a templating engine that allows web pages to have dynamic content by constructing HTML templates on the server side, replacing dynamic content with their proper values, and then sending these to the client side for rendering. In addition to enabling dynamic content, it also takes a significant load from the client side which may have highly variable hardware specifications, and as such, it can make applications more efficient.

Middleware

Express.js uses middleware to systematically arrange different function calls. A middleware is a chunk or cluster of code that has access to a userís request, the applicationís response, and the next middleware to be used. With such an architecture, it becomes easy for Express js developers to add, remove, or modify various features to and from the application, giving high scalability to the application.

Applications Built with Express JS

applications built with express.js

Here are some websites that were built using Express.js:

Other Skills of Express JS Developers

When hiring Express JS developers, apart from taking into account javascript developer salary , you need to check some additional skills to ensure your developerís competence:

  • Mastery of vanilla JavaScript and Node.js - Express.js is based on JavaScript, so it is imperative that any good Express JS developer be an expert in vanilla, or pure, JavaScript. Furthermore, Express.js is a Node.js framework, so equal mastery of the pure Node.js language is also a must.
  • Experience with Templating Engines - Express.js enables server-side templating, and in order to fully utilize this feature, an express developer must have had some previous experience with templating engines.
  • Experience with Asynchronous Programming - The base language of Express.js is Node.js, and one of its key features is asynchronous programming, which allows multiple operations to be executed independently of each other. This allows developers to create an Express app thatís highly efficient, and this is a feature that must be taken advantage of when developing using Express in Node JS.

Express JS Landscape

Letís take a look at the popularity and usage of Express.js in various countries to get the general picture of the Express.js landscape and where the framework is most widely used. According to Alexa, which analyzes web traffic on different websites, the country that visits the Express.js website most frequently is the United States, with 20.6% of traffic originating from it. This is followed by China (15.3%), India (9.0%), Japan (6.1%), and France (4.1%).

Alexa Express JS Landscape

The above data suggest that the usage of the Express framework is likely to be highest in these countries.

Meanwhile, according to Google Trends, which tracks Google search trends for different terms, the Google search count for the term ďExpress.jsĒ in the last 12 months is highest in China, South Korea, Canada, Finland, and Sweden.

Google trends Express JS Landscape

From the above data, we can infer that the interest for the Express framework may be highest in these countries.

In Summary

Node.js allows server-

Why companies need to outsource their business unit to an external company? When you Google this question, most of the answers you get are related to cutting costs and enhancing the product quality. Outsourcing a business unit has a lot of benefits. It saves costs, enhances quality and enables innovation and fosters high degree of specialization. Outsourcing sounds like a very apt and smart solution to assign a companyís business process to an external agency and save a lot of bucks. However, things are not that simple. There is also the other side of the coin. Therefore, it is important to look at both, the pros and cons of outsourcing a quality assurance department to a software testing company.

Letís start with the IT industry. A development company first has to hire a pool of developers to develop the app and then testing team is required to test the app to meet the technical as well as end user requirements. In order to setup a testing lab, healthy sum of money is required to purchase the devices and equipment. Therefore, it is a good approach for an app development company to capitalize on its strengths of development and coding i.e. core business process and hire the services of a software testing company for the purpose of testing and quality assurance. Letís look at the pros and cons of outsourcing and how good it is to outsource testing to a QA company?

Pros of Outsourcing:

High Degree of Specialization
Outsourcing fosters high degree of specialization. Outsourcing companies are specialized in their departments and they have the right tools, techniques and team to get the things done.

Cut Costs:
Outsourcing helps in minimizing indirect and operational costs. Moreover, costs can be saved by outsourcing the services to a specialized company, instead of setting up the quality assurance department. These specialized companies have achieved the economies of scale that helps in cutting costs.

Total Quality Management:
Quality is often measured by the end user experience about a particular product or service. Most of the software testing companies have different international certifications to fulfill the expected quality standards of the end user. Therefore, itís a win-win situation for both the outsourced company (software testing) and the development company, as the user is enjoying the expected level of quality.

Focus on Core Competencies:
This is one good point. Outsourcing enables you to become the master of your own trade and focus on your core competencies. You pay more attention on the app development side and leave the rest on your outsourced testing team. In this way, it becomes easy to manage things and get the best out of them.

Tester vs. Developer Conflict
Tester and developer conflicts are more common, especially when they both work for the same company. The battle between the two of proving themselves more competent and capable to the top level management and blaming things on each other can persuade a conflict. These kinds of conflicts are certainly not good for the company. Therefore, it seems like an apt solution to hire the services of the testing company and save your company from any possible conflicts.

Cons of outsourcing:

On the other hand, outsourcing has some disadvantages. Outsourcing can lead to following issues.

Loss of control:
Outsourcing QA to an external software testing company can result in a limited or no control over the process. Are Testers working on your projects or other clientís projects? How the company will meet deadlines? How outsourced company is managing thing? The major problem lies because of the lack of interaction and communication.

Performance vs. Expectations:
This is another serious problem. Sometimes the performance of the outsourced company doesnít meet up to the level of expectations. The client was expecting much from the outsourced company in a particular budget and this lead to the mistrust between the two parties.

Time related problems:
Time related problems can create serious chaos. Not matching the turnaround time, deadlines and delivery dates can lead to series of issues.

Different cultures and Confidentiality:
Different ways of doing business in different regions of the world can also create issues. Different business practices are followed in the different parts of the world, therefore disparities between the cultures may result in a problem. Confidentiality and the privacy is another important aspect before outsourcing a business process. Any big idea shared by the company can be leaked by the outsourced company as it has control over a business process.

Wrapping up:

Outsourcing is a surefire way of doing business smartly. However, there is a need to create and maintain the level of comfort and trustworthiness on both sides and follow the best business practices to conduct business in a professional manner.

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