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"The Commoditization of Testing" with Iain Mc Cowatt

by on Oct 17, 2013


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The software testing business is in the grip of a commoditization trend in which enterprises routinely flip flop between vendors-vendors who are engaged in a race to the bottom on price. This trend introduces perverse incentives for service providers, undervalues skill, and places excessive emphasis on processes, tools, and methods. The result is a dumbing down of testing and the creation of testing services that are little more than placebos.

Using examples drawn from three recent projects in the banking industry, Iain McCowatt explores the dynamics of commoditization and introduces a quality model that can be used for framing the value of testing services. As a testing vendor, learn how to pursue a differentiation strategy, shifting the emphasis of the testing conversation from cost to value; as a customer of testing, learn how to make informed decisions about the value of what you are buying; as a tester, learn how to buck the trend and find professional growth.


Iain McCowatt is a context-driven tester, test manager and automator whose experience and passion for testing spans multiple industries and more than a decade. As a Test Practice Lead and Program Test Manager with CGI in Atlantic Canada, he specializes in providing clients with innovative solutions to difficult testing problems and in building teams that place an emphasis on the skill of the tester. Having been both a customer and provider of testing, Iain takes a particular interest in the value that testing can provide. In his spare time, Iain is active in the software testing community, serves as a volunteer instructor with the Association of Software Testing, and blogs at



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"The Commoditization of Testing" with Iain Mc Cowatt "The Commoditization of Testing" with Iain Mc Cowatt Presentation Transcript