Branch Insurance: Growing CI/CD Eng Team Needs QA That Keeps Up

As Branch Insurance hit its hyperscaling hockey stick, CTO Joe Emison knew he needed to develop test automation. What he didn’t want to do was devote 25% of his engineering team’s time to building and maintaining it, which he knew from past experience would be required in order to successfully keep his test automation refreshed enough to keep up with his deployment speed.

Joe’s team supports Branch’s growth and success by iterating extremely quickly. Working closely with the Product team, Joe’s engineering team of 14 developers iterates A/B tests many times per day, improving the ease, speed, performance, and clarity of using their quoting tool. That ease and performance are the backbones of Branch’s ability to convert leads at a much higher-than-industry rate, and thereby bring on customers at a very favorable CAC. 

Machines Outperform

Joe’s dilemma was that slowing down for QA would threaten this competitive advantage, but so would bugs in production. Joe had considered hiring a team of senior QA automation engineers to build and maintain E2E test automation, but knew that his team’s speed of iteration would leave these QA engineers in constant catchup mode. 

When Joe discovered ProdPerfect, he knew he had the perfect solution: ProdPerfect’s autonomous system could use data on prod to quickly react to newly-deployed A/B tests, rapidly building new tests to reflect the changes constantly hitting the production environment. There would be no required back-and-forth or coordination that would typically be required with a QA team: ProdPerfect would read the data from prod and autonomously generate the needed tests, far faster than humans could. Joe’s team just needed to run these tests and act on the feedback.

Branch’s team runs ProdPerfect at least 25 times per day, on each developer’s new build. These test runs last 15-17 minutes, and allow developers to find any major bugs before their code hits production, without slowing them down at all. When bugs are found, the 15-minute regression cycle means that developers are still in flow when they’re alerted to a bug, and can quickly fix their own code, without having to reacquaint themselves with work they had finished days or weeks before. Today, ProdPerfect still helps Joe’s team keep their Continuous Deployment development posture running smoothly and efficiently, and Branch continues to grow at over 100% year over year.

You can see Joes share his global approach to using the right infrastructure, deployment methods, and testing with ProdPerfect to achieve CI/CD, iterate extremely quickly, and maximize dev velocity in a webinar he hosted, here: