ProdProfile: Hao Chen

1. What’s your background that’s led you to your current position at ProdPerfect?

Before ProdPerfect, I was working for one of ProdPerfect’s first customers. At the time, I was doing QA myself. Other engineers were doing QA. Everyone I could tap on the shoulder was doing QA. There was a lot of value in removing the QA burden. So when ProdPerfect CEO and Co-founder Dan was pitching me his idea, I was like: “Wow, this is actually useful.”

Fast-forward a year-and-a half later, I’m here at ProdPerfect.

2. Can you paint for me a picture of what life is like in your role?

I’m one of the engineering team leads. Our team works on both internal tooling and customer-facing User Interfaces (UIs). It’s a mix of making sure everyone on the team understands why we’re working on certain products/features, team members have everything they need and are unblocked, our team has the right resources and full-stack skill set to design, develop, and support new products/features, and others in the organization have good visibility into our product roadmap and current progress. Especially when you’re working on user-focused interfaces, it’s important to be product-minded and have that customer-centric way of thinking.

3. What are some elements of a “typical” interaction with customers considering our product?

Sometimes we’re providing support to the end-user or customer. Other times, it’s doing research asking customers: “What are your needs? Does this product or feature we’re building solve your needs?” Questions from customers come through many channels. In the spirit of transparency, we’ve been collecting questions that come in about the product into an internal quiz and ask team members: Which team is best suited to answer this question?” At this stage, there’s multiple stakeholders that collaborate to answer these questions.

Cross-team collaboration is one of the hardest things at any company. One thing that helps us here is our stated company values, which include transparency, humility, enthusiasm, impact, and ownership. Having open and honest discussions about our successes and failures helps us grow as a team. It’s about figuring it out together.

“It’s about figuring it out together.”

4. What intrigues you about engineering at ProdPerfect?

I like coming to work every day because of the people. Our CEO and Co-founder Dan has done a great job building a team of smart, ego-less people who share a similar mindset of wanting to make an impact and do good, who are kind and fun. I want to keep nurturing that company culture as we grow.

An unwritten value here is learning. A lot of people are just lifelong learners here—whether it’s learning new languages, taking classes, or just expanding their knowledge. There’s lots of people doing book club together—reading books on different topics that interest them and then having discussions on them. Those are all great ways to learn and grow.

5. How do you explain to people the value of ProdPerfect?

ProdPerfect is automating QA as a service. The company’s mission is to prevent burnout. We prevent burnout by helping customers prevent fires by catching significant, actionable bugs before they hit production. We catch bugs by running regression tests for customers, typically against their staging environments.These regression tests are machine-assisted in their creation by analyzing the most heavily-trafficked user flows on the customers’ web applications collected by our JavaScript snippet.  At the end of the day, ProdPerfect reduces the QA burden by automating away the painful parts of software development.

6. In your own words, how would you differentiate ProdPerfect from competitors?

We always have competitors. From companies doing no QA to having their own internal QA team to outsourcing parts of their QA. But no one is doing exactly what we’re doing. We have the data-science portion—analyzing traffic—but we also have that human in the loop. Test suite creation is machine-assisted, and it’ll be moving more toward that direction to help scale the company. But at the same time, context is hard to know without having a human in the loop: someone that’s knowledgeable about the customer’s web application. That’s the value of our delivery team. ProdPerfect perfectly combines extra QA manpower with data-based decision-making to give our customers peace of mind.

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