Duo Security Director of QA’s Thoughts on the Future of Software Testing

future of software testingWe recently sat down with experienced QA leader Deepak Bhaskaran to learn about his position at Duo Security and get his view on the future of software testing.

1. What does your company do and what role does QA play at your company?

Duo is the fastest growing endpoint security solution in the U.S. Tripling revenue every year, for the past three years, we are funded by top VCs including Google Ventures, True Ventures, Redpoint and Benchmark. As a cloud-based access security provider, we protect companies including Twitter, NASA, Facebook, Amazon, Etsy and 8,000 others from account breaches. You can check us out to see why we’re the most loved security company at  https://duo.com.

QA here at Duo is all about ensuring that our customers have a great experience while they’re using our products. We want to make sure our products are a pleasure to use on a consistent basis.

2. What are some of the key challenges/issues you have when it comes to QA and how are you trying to overcome them?

All businesses today want to move faster. Anything that slows you down is just getting in the way. QA needs to overcome its traditional image as an entity that slows down progress.  We need to be seen as the team that  enables the business while managing the serious risks related to software quality. I’ve been in numerous places where the business wants to have features released within a week, within the day, within hours of development work being completed. Modern QA teams need to adapt to that pace, and I believe Automation is the key. Fitting QA Automation into a continuous integration/delivery environment is the way to achieve the rapid pace that business demands, without compromising the quality of the final product.

3. How do you collaborate with the development team?

The plan is to get QA embedded into the various product development teams. Typically, each team would have developers, QA, ops, program management, and product management resources assigned to it. There would be close collaboration within each team and between teams. QA would benefit from being involved in all phases of the product lifecycle. The earlier we are able to detect issues, the cheaper it is going to be to fix them.

4. What software tools do you use to improve your workflow?

We use a lot of different tools, mostly Open Source ones.  For continuous integration, we use BuildBot.  For automation, we use tools written up in python that use libraries like selenium/requests/mechanize etc. For performance testing, we use homegrown solutions based on python/mechanize and locust.io. Phabricator is our tool of choice for task management, code reviews, bug tracking etc.

5. Where do you see software testing going over the next 5 years?

Software testing is going to get more and more technology driven as time goes by. The technical expertise required for the people who build products and those who test products will converge. The popularity of the “Software Development Engineer in Test” (SDET) role is a great indicator of the way the future of software testing is going to unfold. I do not expect that manual testing will go away.  But, I strongly believe that automated testing will provide the bulk of the coverage, while manual testing covers the more complex scenarios that involve a lot of human judgement and decision making.

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