I mentioned in my last blog my recent lunch with a very insightful VP of Development of a start-up in Atlanta. Technically, what he is really struggling with is how to keep the throughput of his quality assurance team in line with his development team’s speed. Here’s the story.
When he first took over the development shop his ratio of development to QA resources was 5:1. He has recently adjusted this to 3:1 to help balance his workload better. Even with this improved ratio, he is still struggling to get his QA team to be able to adequately test what his development team is building. His strategy is to automate as much as he can. The guts of his application is pretty stable so his plan is to automate that first. His UI is still changing a good bit and will for a while, so he’ll deal with automating this later. With this plan, automation will only get him so far. He currently uses Google Docs for all his quality assurance management and test case creation. He is not aware of any productivity tools on the market that he can afford that will help him make his QA team more efficient and effective. I described for him how qTest will allow him to manage his QA function for around $20/user per month and also how our QAComposer tool will dramatically enable his QA Team to write test cases in a fraction of the time it currently takes his team. And he decided to by our beta user!
Another interesting note from the meeting and others I’ve had recently. The #1 Quality Assurance Management Tool, Microsoft’s Excel, seems to be losing marketshare.