Quality Assurance is a critical part of the development process because it ensures that any potential bugs are discovered and dealt with prior to launch. When I joined Heady back in 2017, I was the 11th employee and the very first QA. I was inspired by Heady’s vision, and though new roles have their challenges and risks, it was a rare opportunity to start an important department from scratch.
Heady management and senior leadership were incredibly supportive when I joined, and gave me complete flexibility to build out and grow the department. We started with the fundamentals, like increasing the QA involvement in all the SDLC phases, improving communication and collaboration with other departments, designing the release gates, constructing standard templates for QA deliverables, etc. Prioritizing a policy of “Listen, Analyze, and identify the best Resolution” expedited the procurement of several essential tools.
The next step was to set up the processes for different testing methods and types. I designed the protocols for API testing, UI automation testing, performance testing, and more to meet Heady’s high standards. All of the latest technologies are adapted to improve the systems and tools, which helps us function in a way that achieves better quality in deliverables.
In the words of our founder and CEO, Rahul Khosla, “our QA dept has done a tremendous job of setting itself up correctly and making sure the releases that go through are of the highest possible quality. And, importantly, they do it without slowing down the development process.”
The Heady philosophy is that developers should do QA work alongside development work in order to get the code released, but the QA department is focused on breaking the code. In short, both the departments are integral and collaboration is required to release the best potential product.
We follow the Agile Scrum methodology, a system that focuses on incremental development, with each team aiming to deliver the highest quality components to the stakeholders. Members in an Agile team must take ownership of the team's deliverables within each “sprint.” QA tests at every phase in development, and QA signoff in any project is the last gate to prevent bugs from going into production. As a result, we’re responsible for the end product.
At Heady, unlike at many other organizations across the industry, the QA team and our opinions play a decisive role in a release meeting by honestly measuring the quality of the deliverables.
The QA team participates in all crucial project meetings, including brainstorming sessions, feature flow discussions, etc. The team is involved early in the SDLC to mitigate the number of bugs passing to successive phases. We work closely with the development team to identify the edge cases. We designed all the QA processes to maintain complete transparency amongst other team members.
We strongly believe in equality, transparency, and overall team effort. Everyone in the scrum team adds value to the product quality. As such, we take frequent feedback and suggestions from team members to improve the collaboration
Data plays a crucial role in assessing the quality of a product. We provide regular training to our team in order to enhance their data analytical skills. During each testing phase, the team collects all the necessary information. Multiple templates are made available to expedite the data representation process, maintain efficiency, and help accelerate issue resolution.
Each employee is a valuable asset to Heady, and it’s because of their dedication and quality deliverables that the company is growing. We take employee skills development very seriously, so we make sure each employee is supported and has the latest training materials to boost their knowledge. We have set dedicated hours each week for team members to spend on skill enhancement.
We encourage employees to do the certification to attest to their skills, so Heady has several programs to support both knowledge enhancement and certification attainments.
Heady successfully implemented several best practices in our QA department across Manual, API, Automation, and Performance testing. Additionally, we use all the latest technologies and tools available in the market to assess product quality. To achieve device coverage, we have partnered with several cloud-based testing platforms.
Each new team member is assigned multiple senior “buddies” to facilitate swift onboarding and process adaptation. We prioritize consistent feedback and have designated panels that conduct audits at regular intervals. All of these processes make sure our QA deliverables are meeting the Heady standard.
Team members get frequent training on the latest technologies and their best utilization practices. Automation is paramount, so we are gradually increasing our automation coverage and aiming to reduce the amount of manual effort required to accomplish repetitive tasks.
We are improving our QAOps processes to increase collaboration and cohesivity with the DevOps team. We combined our test tools with the cloud platforms and integrated the tests with the CI pipeline. The result is a significant improvement to our release processes.
In a move to improve the Big Data testing procedures in our organization, Heady is also migrating our performance testing harness from local to the cloud. Security testing is another one of our top priorities, and we regularly prioritize training on that front. We are committed to delivering products with minimal security vulnerabilities.
At Heady, we believe it’s important to recognize growth and effort. That’s why we celebrate the performance of each employee by awarding them with badges, certifications, and bonuses.
At Heady, we believe in an inclusive and supportive environment where everyone’s opinions and experiences are valued. Our people are our biggest differentiator. The growing QA department is just one example of how a positive culture can produce excellent processes, products, and results.