StarBase Blog

 

The IT skills shortage and how ‘Test&Go’ closes the gap

Priya Kerai, Human Resources Manager, StarBase

At StarBase we have over 20 years’ experience of assuring the performance of business critical software. In that time we have been lucky enough to employ a large number of really first rate test consultants. I was recently reminded of the quality of our team when reading one of our client feedback reports. Our client commended our:

Customer engagement: “the on-site team represented StarBase with real professionalism, and very high quality planning and strategy/approach documents”

Professionalism: “All StarBase personnel were professional in their dealings when on-site and showed real commitment to the project in giving up their evening & weekends at short notice.”

Attitude: “All StarBase people showed a flexible ‘can do’ attitude to the work; making every effort to accommodate specific requests by us as long as it didn’t compromise the validity of the testing.”

It’s one of many great pieces of feedback we receive about our team, it’s a result of how we have gone about tackling the UK wide IT skills shortage.

This shortage has particularly affected the Performance Testing industry, and many of our clients have told us how they have struggled to source the right people to work on their projects. Some have ended up using inexperienced internal resources, people with little exposure to Performance Testing. Others have gone through bad experiences with substandard offshoring and yet more have contracted specialist freelancers, only to see them struggle to add value past their core skillsets.

Sourcing experienced and well trained test professionals is a struggle for many. It’s far from easy to find Performance Testers in the first place, recruiting the best is even harder.

A complex discipline

There are a number of reasons wStarBase - Excellent Software Performance Testinghy finding skilled Performance Testers is so difficult. Performance Testing is a complex discipline, one where the technology is constantly changing and becoming more and more complex. Generalist test professionals simply don’t have the specific knowledge required to get the job done in the first place, and many subcontractors don’t pay adequate attention to their own development. They may not have the time, or are unwilling to invest in it, and as a result often aren’t up to date with the latest tools and techniques.

Outsourcing and offshoring was once seen by many as a popular and cheaper alternative to ‘home grown’ IT staff. Whilst it is fair to say that for certain projects this approach remains an option, more and more businesses are recognising that outsourcing has its limits. This is especially true with Performance Testing. Offshoring simply doesn’t offer the consultative approach, technical knowledge or rigour that the work demands.

 

Outsourcing and offshoring was once seen by many as a popular and cheaper alternative to ‘home grown’ IT staff. Whilst it is fair to say that for certain projects this approach remains an option, more and more businesses are recognising that outsourcing has its limits. This is especially true with Performance Testing. Offshoring simply doesn’t offer the consultative approach, technical knowledge or rigour that the work demands.

A specialist skillset

A great Performance Tester needs to master a range of skills, above and beyond their core competencies. They need to be able to communicate and interact with stakeholders in an effective manner. Further, they need to be able to fully understand the project they are tackling and be able to look at it from different angles and approaches. A great Performance Tester combines a comprehensive test toolkit with a strong consultative approach.

These ‘soft’ interpersonal skills also have to be backed up by experience and on-going learning. A great Performance Tester needs to be able to draw upon their experiences, a network of like-minded professionals and the latest training in order to do a good job.

This consultative approach is nearly always missing from offshore companies, not least due to their geographical distance. Independent sub-contractors are often similarly found lacking; many work alone, and can lack access to the combined knowledge and support of colleagues.

StarBase offers a solution

StarBase offer a different approach, one that addresses our clients’ needs directly. Our consultants are not only experts in their field, but offer a great blend of experience and problem solving ability.

We’re immensely proud of the fact that the majority of our consultants have been at the company since graduate level. I think that speaks volumes, and really shows the long term investment we make in them and their skillsets.

When our clients work with us, they are effectively buying into our entire organisation’s knowledge rather than just one individual’s expertise. What this means is that StarBase consultants can tackle and fix unexpected challenges by drawing on the vast in-house knowledge we possess, for our clients that cuts costs and saves time.

The StarBase team leverage over twenty years acquired knowledge to find solutions to unusual problems while applying our rigorous, tried and tested approaches in different situations.

We’ve developed a rapid to deploy, fixed price, fixed duration performance testing service called Test&Go, it’s delivered by our UK-based team. The service delivers clear and concise reports that provide conclusive results and analysis you can trust and rely on when making your go live decisions.

If you’d like to find out more about how Test&Go: Performance Evaluation can help you bridge the performance skills gap click here

Click here to know more about the Top Three Reasons to Performance Test

Priya Kerai, Human Resources Manager, StarBase

 

Posted by Priya 

Recruitment Manager and HR Administrator, StarBase

Priya is StarBase’s recruitment manager and HR administrator. She manages recruitment for the business, covering permanent and associate, technical and non-technical roles, as well as managing HR administration. Before coming to StarBase she worked in recruitment roles in a number of different industries. She enjoys working for a company which she believes has a fantastic team in place, with a great support network.

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