There are typically three levels of quality assurance testing maturity. One is the classic waterfall approach where it takes weeks to get a deploy ready. Then, there is the continuous development and continuous delivery approach where QA engineers are put in place to handle automation. The most mature way of tackling QA is removing QA engineering as a separate practice, and making all your engineers responsible for the quality of features.
The problem is that none of these levels of maturity seem to be able to get QA right.
“No one has a good answer. Enterprise are failing in waterfall structures. Agile teams are failing or running into difficulty hiring and maintaining QA engineers. Silicon Valley is having to hire only the most senior folks, and even then it is through force of will and pain they are able to keep test suites to a point they are happy with,” said Dan Widing, founder and CEO of the automated QA testing provider ProdPerfect.
There is a better way. ProdPerfect removes the struggle it takes to set up a QA engineering department, and automates QA testing using live user data. This is “dramatically cheaper, dramatically faster, gets you a result faster, [and] is going to nearly guarantee that you catch bugs as part of your process,” Widing explained.
ProdPerfect is able to obtain live user data by analyzing web traffic and creating flows of common user behavior. That behavior is then built into an end-to-end testing suite that ProdPerfect maintains, expands and updates based on actual user data over time.
According to Widing, QA testing is “incredibly difficult, painstaking work that almost tends to be underappreciated by the organization itself,” and the folks who are having to deal with this are just overburdened with work. “We have a mechanism that lets us shake out the environment the customer needs us to test against… and then we are using a testing framework that lets us plug in our learnings from these steps to produce an automatically updated test suite,” he continued. “The experience the customer gets is a black box QA engineering department… What you get at the end is an auto-updated test suite that can run continuously in your CI system that just tests your application.”
ProdPerfect covers every core workflow with applications, provides 95 percent or more of test stability, less than four-hour regeneration of broken tests, and less than 48-hour test coverage for new feature sets.
“You don’t need to do anything to build, maintain, or expand the testing suite. We got it. You need to respond to bug reports, of course, and keep a stable testing environment up and running for us, but that’s all. Very frequently people call this ‘magic’ or ‘too good to be true,’” the company stated on its website.
Getting the right metrics
ProdPerfect not only works to ensure QA testing is covered, but also works to help teams understand what the right metrics to quantify success are.
“That is something we put into our service every step of the way. What your browser automation should be doing is catching as many significant bugs as possible whatever stage it is testing at and then otherwise staying as much out of the way,” said Widing.
You will know you have a solid testing foundation in place when you don’t ship a fire drill-style bug and have to wake up in the middle of the night and figure out how to deal with it or who is on top of it, Widing explained.
Since ProdPerfect is already analyzing what users are doing, it can project how things should be working and make sure they stay working. The solution tests features continuously, detects any significant bugs and verifies the feature set is actually working.
“We aim to stay out of the way by crafting what are the other metrics that are important to make sure you are not slowing down the software team,” said Widing.
Additionally, the solution will measure against minimum-frequency thresholds to confirm its performance.
“If you don’t set up your design and data strategy or set up the right tooling, everything falls apart and you have to work particularly hard to make sure all the pieces work together otherwise any singular improvement is not going to help you at all,” Widing said.
This article was first published on SDTimes.com.