The Mom Project: Supporting A Rapid Technical Turnaround

The Mom Project’s engineering team was brand new, inheriting a platform with a substantial burden of technical debt. The Mom Project, a highly-popular platform in helping rewrite the working parent narrative, was at risk due to stability issues, functional bugs, and other frustrations for users. Matt McNamara, head of engineering at The Mom Project, knew he needed to take decisive action.

Matt is the head of the engineering and product teams for The Mom Project, a wildly successful platform with an important social mission: to help world-class professional women and world-class organizations find each other. The Mom Project’s success led to a strong demand for additional functionality, which meant that the platform needed to expand dramatically, adding new features without new instability.

Matt knew that to support this rate of growth and feature development, he needed to lead a drive for disciplined, lean test automation.

Fully Scalable Testing on Day One

Matt’s team of 4 engineers at the time was facing a long, uphill climb to develop the automation they needed: they would need to spend months defining requirements and test cases, building Selenium scripts, and then ongoing work to maintain them – on top of growing their unit test coverage from < 5% at the beginning of the year. “None of us are test automation engineers, and we knew hiring one was going to be expensive and have a long payback period.”

Matt had considered outside vendors, but had turned most away as he didn’t believe they would save substantial team resources or fill the real need the team had: effectively defining a lean and meaningful set of test cases. “If we were going to work with a platform, it would need to be something we didn’t have to teach, script, or maintain.”

Matt brought on ProdPerfect to rapidly inject quality and stability into the development process. His goals:

  • Avoid the onboarding cost of walking external vendors through the user flows of the site, and staying in sync with new features as they came up.
  • Prevent new regressions from reaching production as engineers shipped new features.
  • Create space to pay off the technical debt quickly and with predictability.
  • Give rapid feedback to engineers when they introduce bugs into code so these bugs can be resolved as a part of the development process

Six weeks after plugging in ProdPerfect, Matt had an automated testing suite that his team could run with every build, catching any regression that would otherwise be introduced during both new feature development and also during fixes to the production version of the application. He has been running ProdPerfect continually since coming on board, and has both greatly reduced technical debt in the application and increased developer productivity to bring new features online even more quickly.

And Matt couldn’t be happier. “The difference is night and day. We used to spend far too much time firefighting and spending time prioritizing which bugs to hunt and fix in production. Now our team can quickly find and eliminate regressions as soon as they deploy code. Our conversations now focus on what we really care about: developing the next functionality for our moms, dads, and employers.