There is a well-known quote from one of my favorite authors William Gibson: “the future is already here – it’s just not very evenly distributed.” This is true in many aspects of society and technology, and in my view it’s absolutely true in the area of software testing and quality assurance.
Personally I’ve been developing software for thirty years now, and for the past twenty years I’ve had the privilege to lead a variety of talented development and testing teams. Over the years, these teams have had to work very hard on testing, in areas such as test planning and reporting and automation coverage, partially because the available products and tools lagged behind, and many times far behind, the software development tools and methodologies we were using.
In my most recent position, as CTO of Vocalocity (now Vonage Business), we were developing a cloud-based and mobile communications platform running on AWS, using a variety of development languages including Java, Scala, Groovy, Node.js, and AngularJS, and open-source services like PostgreSQL, MongoDB, Kafka, and Storm. For team planning we used JIRA for both agile and kanban workflows. We typically released software every two weeks, updating hundreds and hundreds of production server instances.
When we started the journey at Vocalocity, we didn’t believe there were QA products or tools that could really help us, nor did we think we could manage everything we wanted from a QA perspective in JIRA. So for many years we cobbled together our own QA toolset using Google Docs, a Scala framework for automated testing, and open source tools like Watir and Selenium. However we had to invest a lot of time in this tooling and it remained heavily manual especially when it came to planning and reporting for each sprint or release.
A few years ago I got introduced to Dave Keil and the team at QASymphony. We soon learned that QASymphony’s qTest software provided a better platform for integrated testing with JIRA than our homegrown system, with additional capabilities to integrate in exploratory testing and centralize reporting from our various automated test frameworks. So we became customers.
I’ve decided to join QASymphony now because I know that many organizations are experiencing major shifts in development driven by mobile, cloud, and popular new open source technologies. Most everyone is striving to be more agile, and there is a huge drive towards test automation, and making wider use of new methodologies including TDD and exploratory testing. Teams are trying to deliver fast and at-scale and with quality, and leading technology companies like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Netflix, as well as many new startups, are successfully meeting that challenge. But other organizations, lacking the resources or time, or dealing with large amounts of technical debt, are racing to catch up.
At QASymphony, we are focused on building products and a platform that will help our customers, of all shapes and sizes, move these efforts forward faster. We hope to distribute that higher-efficiency, higher-quality software future a little more widely with the growing capabilities of our qTest product suite. That’s the challenge and the opportunity, and it’s why I’m so excited to be here.
If you are interested in learning more about where QASymphony is going in the future, I encourage you to attend our upcoming user conference, Quality Jam, where I will be presenting our roadmap. You can click here to register.I hope to see you there.