Creating excellent UX in the IoT world can be a challenging job. It’s difficult to be able to cater to users’ needs in a seamless way across multiple platforms and contexts and on a variety of scales, from small wristwatches to huge display screens.
This challenge is doubled since it involves not only the online domain but also the interaction with the physical world – and to make sure the experience remains consistent, simple and intuitive.
The right user experience creates value for end users by improving usability, accessibility and interaction. The field is still in its infancy and we’re all learning as we go, but the following four things are the foundation upon which all good IoT user experiences is built.
1. Onboarding is key
Getting people to start using a new system is a vital challenge to tackle. Your users might be put off when they need to login to multiple devices (which also might be different for each device) and trying to understand how devices interact.
To help people onboard, offer low effort authentication with code verification instead of passwords. This will make the user’s life much easier when switching between various devices, while maintaining security.
Another option, if applicable, is allowing the user to authenticate once on a responsive app that will be used to control all other devices (phone, web, watch). This will considerably reduce tech friction for the user and will allow faster adoption.
2. Connectivity requires consistency
The interface must be clear and remain familiar across devices. The cloud is a great way to keep all relevant instances of the app linked and updated at all times. This allows users to move seamlessly and quickly between devices and systems. This approach must be in place for both the physical and virtual platforms with an intuitive interface.
A good example of how different platforms are engaged by the user while keeping the interface that the user is accustomed to is Spotify. Their platform remains consistently familiar on their mobile and desktop app, as well as Apple CarPlay and Amazon Echo.
3. Make it personal
Personalisation is a key driver of customer experience (and usage) and it’s been given a considerable push from digital technology, with websites showing tailored content based on preferences and history, marketing emails that use user data to push specific messages and apps that connect to other apps, geo-location and other points of data to offer a more relevant and accurate service.
IoT can and should use all the considerable data it can across the range of devices and systems to create “personalisation synergy” that will make the user experience much more encompassing and effective.
The future of personalisation lies in artificial intelligence, which can provide more in-depth and insightful recommendations and experiences based on big data. An AI system can be much more flexible and cater to many more variables that simple automated systems simply cannot; it can learn from interactions based on a massive pool of data points and countless factors to adapt itself according to the user response and behaviour.
It is speculated that by 2025 the vast majority of user interactions will be aided by artificial intelligence and overall user experience will be mostly determined by it. This will enable businesses, through these highly customised experiences, to save time and money while offering valued personal recommendations to their customers.
4. Cultivate Trust
Trust is a main ingredient in creating a positive user experience. When your product is transparent and provides all the information in a simple way; when users are able to understand why the app or device functions the way it does, it helps them to feel that they are in control, which builds confidence.
IoT can be anything from home systems, streaming services or connected cars. Basically, anything that has an app which allows you to control something from a distance. This means that it is crucial to identify who are the people that will use your device, application or website and understand their needs, motivations, values, and goals for interaction with it. There will be many types of personas using each application, which are likely to have different characteristics.
If the user feels like the product is all about them and their needs, it will help create the trust between the user, the product and the brand.
A good example of this is American pharmacy chain Walgreens. The company has bridged the online and offline shopping experience of their customers. As customers enter one of their stores, their mobile app changes automatically to in-store mode, which emphasises features that are more relevant to an offline shopping experience, such as store information and layout, voucher codes and loyalty points.
Beacons are also used within the store to send push notifications via the app to inform customers of product offers based on the displays they’re standing nearby, as well as their buying preferences.
By adhering to these four principals, you can get closer to creating a better experience for your users that is more pleasant, intuitive and valuable.
A good user experience will drive your users to use your apps and devices more often and more effectively, which will build a stronger connection and loyalty between them and your business and products.
The QA Financial conference, titled “AI and Automation for Mobile Banking and Ecommerce” took place in London recently and it was a great opportunity for mobile app development and quality assurance professionals to hear all about the latest developments, challenges and solutions.
One of the things that emerged from attending the event is that it was a great chance to get a better understanding of what and how much you don’t yet know, and this is especially true when it comes to AI.
Here are 6 significant takeaways from that conference.
1. Good artificial intelligence needs good human intelligence
Artificial intelligence, its role in quality assurance and where it can help your business was a major focus of the conference. One important insight that was discussed was the fact that AI is not just about artificial intelligence, but also about human intelligence. Since AI is only as intelligent as the data it has, and the data is only as good as you can provide it, human intelligence might be a limiting factor for developing and testing AI.
Some of the speakers talked about ways to test using AI. There are a couple of toolkits coming out soon that leverage AI for test case design, but there’s still a lot of manual input required on those. Current AIs for testing are definitely coming, but the ones that are used now are still in the early stages of the technology. So while they can be used on your projects, they still require work to be set up properly.
While we know that AI will play a major part in testing, the general notion is that we still don’t know how soon that will happen. The main issue right now is whether the solutions that AI currently provide outweigh the effort to make it work properly.
In addition, there’s a critical need for the right human intelligence to be a part of the AI design process, requiring emotional intelligence and an understanding of the ethics and fairness around its development and delivery. The need for quality data for good AI is clear, but it needs to be morally and ethically interpreted as well for the AI to be truly successful.
2. The ability to measure the ROI and quality of testing and automation is a concern
A challenge for many people is figuring out what return on investment they are getting, not just from using AI, but also from testing and automation, and how to assess the quality of the delivery.
One of the speakers is trying to use AI that is designed to help identify parts of an application and work out where it can test. He was concerned with how much effort the AI needed to get running versus the perceived time and cost saving it potentially offered. Currently the AI needed more hand holding than he would like to indicate to it if the element in question can or cannot be interacted with. In other words, it wasn’t as intelligent as he would have hoped in picking up the moving parts of the process.
Another concern for those who attended the event was the need not only to be able to deliver faster and smarter without compromising quality, but also to have the ability to measure the quality of delivery on an ongoing basis in real-time.
This is something that the Qualitest dashboard and TestPredictor can help demonstrate. These solutions don’t replace testers, but they do inform them. If you can see how positive or negative your ongoing investment in testing and automation is, it becomes much easier to refine it and to understand how it contributes to the business. These solutions serve as a lens that enables an organisation to focus on making informed quality engineering and continuous improvement decisions.
3. Testing AI is still a big challenge
There’s still a lot of uncertainty and lack of a best practice when it comes to AI solutions and how they should be tested. There are several reasons for this, including the black-box nature of an AI solution, the sheer size of the input combinations., as well as its non-deterministic nature.
Because AI is inherently different from rule-based software that came before, testing it is something few people have tackled to date and have figured out the best way to perform those tests.
Testing of AI is a completely different way of testing, since there’s no pass/fail result. A huge amount of data needs to be validated with AI specific testing approaches to make sure that there aren’t strange biases in the data prior to building your AI engine.
Once the engine is built, all you can do is make sure it produces logical results. This is why there is a need for a data scientist in test, as they will need to understand the massive data that the AI engine is processing, to make sure it processes it properly.
4. Crowd testing is growing
Crowd testing is big now. It allows companies to carry out more flexible testing, using real users and devices in locations that otherwise would be complicated and costly to engage. It offers a bigger pool of testers, which makes for more authentic testing.
Crowd testing also allows to choose the target audience, the devices to use under real-time conditions. This is one of Qualitest’s solutions and people at the conference were looking into how they can tap into the pool of worldwide “organic” testers.
5. UX is king
Optimal user experience is critical! It dictates not only how users interact with your app, but also whether they will keep using it or find an alternative with a competitor. A Qualitest mobile survey in 2017 showed that 88% of App Users Will Abandon Apps Based on Bugs and Glitches.
This can have a huge impact on your business, as users might choose, for example, to switch banks based solely on the app experience and usability.
There’s less room now for UI mistakes, glitches, bugs, slowness – and anything else that can go wrong for a mobile app (and we all know a lot can go wrong). A bad user experience can reflect badly on your company, even if the service or product is good.
According to the survey, 78% of users notice glitches and bugs in the apps that they use, and 29% notice glitches and bugs one or more times per week. Users are becoming less forgiving as they expect more consistency, reliability and quality from flawless apps and a seamless experience. If they don’t get it from you, they might get it from your competitor, so making sure the UX is top notch is getting a higher priority these days.
6. Enterprise automation strategy is still not viewed as essential
People at the conference had different approaches to automated QA, even within the same organisation, demonstrating the lack of an enterprise automation strategy.
Some people seemed to be in favour of letting developers do the automation and QA themselves, adding more (and needless) responsibilities to full stack development.
Others recognised the need for intelligent QA-driven automation produced by dedicated testing specialists. This is based on the understanding that developers do not inherently make good testers, not just because of their different mindset but also because they can be too vested in their own code. If you want to make sure your test automation is optimal you need a dedicated, expert tester – no shortcuts here.
He won weightlifting competitions, founded a technological start-up company, was one of the founders of the first escape rooms in Israel and is now on his way to establishing a new sports association. And yes, he has enough time on his schedule to lead a growing team of quality engineers at Qualitest. Meet Anton Dekhtiar, the Super Tester.
Anton Dekhtiar maintains high concentration and thinks only of how to get the best result, despite the physical effort and the small voice in his head that calls him to give up every second. Only after he puts the weights on the floor and looks into the referee’s eyes does he realize that he has won the kettlebell competition.
The ability to cope with great challenges, not lose focus under pressure and persevere with endless determination has summed up Anton’s growth path every step of the way.
Anton, married with one child, has served as head of the Qualitest testing team for the last 18 months. During this time he has led a wide range of high profile projects with a major global technology brand.
Why did you join Qualitest?
I wanted to work for a leading global company that makes a difference, and this is the essence of Qualitest. In addition, one of the things that helped me make the decision is the recruitment process. After my first day, I felt I found a home. At that point, I knew for sure I made the right decision.
Where did you work before?
I had my own business for two years, and before that, I worked for five years developing systems for smart homes.
What keeps you excited about working at Qualitest?
The opportunity to lead teams and projects for some of the most innovative brands in the world. As soon as I showed my abilities and achieved my first achievements I was given the opportunity to become a team leader. It is important to be in a workplace that knows how to recognize and nurture talented, enthusiastic employees.
What new technologies have recently learned and adopted?
I am a big believer that learning is a lifelong process. I try to instill that in my teams and I also try to set an example myself. For example, at the moment I’m working a lot with the Python programming language. I had no prior experience with Python, but now, after learning this language at Qualitest I feel very comfortable with it. In addition, I have experienced many new technologies that, for reasons of confidentiality, I can’t tell about.
What do you think about the testing future?
I believe that a tech company that does not have a high caliber software testing team will build products slower and with more defects than a team with quality assurance professionals. For example, I believe that with better QA testing, Israeli first spacecraft (Bereshit), would not have crashed on the moon.
What do people not know about you?
Despite competing with experienced and well-known kettlebell weightlifters, I recently won first place in regional competition. My last winnings gave me the drive to establish the Israeli Kettlebell Association. I believe that in my power to raise awareness to kettlebell advantages and help newcomers in their first steps.”
Also, not a lot of Qualitisters know that I was one of the founders of the first escape room in Israel, and it was an extraordinary experience that created a big echo everywhere in Israel back then.
Another thing people do not know about me is that at my free time I’m working on a smart city start-up that helps to find parking spots quickly and comfortably.
Where do you see your future?
I’m enjoying every moment at Quailtest and look forward to continue nurturing talent and helping others become the best they can be.
Interested in joining the Qualitest family? Apply Now
Why Qualitest is Expanding in the “Silicon Valley of Transylvania”
“Bucharest has major strategic advantages beyond lower costs. It has a highly technical workforce, with deep skills in a wide variety of technologies. The people are pragmatic, entrepreneurial, highly resourceful and loyal. Language skills are amongst the best in the world, and most engineers are fluent in English close to native level. Lastly, the city is easily accessible from a variety of locations.” 1
Bucharest, Romania is booming. To the uninitiated, the city may seem like an unlikely location for a technology hub but for those of us who conduct business here, it is no surprise. A young, science-savvy workforce, EU membership, ease of doing business, and strategic location has turned this ancient city into a popular tech destination.
Qualitest recently celebrated the grand opening of its latest Bucharest location in partnership with Playtika, one of the world’s fastest growing casual gaming companies, and plans to hire more than 325 quality assurance engineers to meet client demand.
Right-Shoring Quality Assurance
Bucharest plays a critical role in Qualitest’s global services delivery platform and right-shore quality assurance and testing model which provides our clients with precision solutions at the optimal combination of cost, convenience, and technical solutions.
Proximity to major economic hubs is one factor drawing top brands to Romania. From London, Bucharest is just a short 3 hours and 15-minute flight. Tel Aviv is an even more convenient 2 hour and 45-minute flight.
A Hotbed for Technology Talent
Beyond its strategic location, an abundance of tech-savvy talent is drawing companies to Bucharest.
Talent. The labor market research firm Brainspotting reports that Romania, with just 20 million people, ranks in the top 10 globally in number of certified IT specialists — 95,000, about half of whom are software developers. And almost 90 percent of Romania’s IT professionals speak English. Romania’s Association of Software and IT Services expects to triple Romania’s IT workforce by 2020.
Focus on education. The country’s universities have been in the top three in the IEEE Design Competition every year since 2001. What’s more, the country has more Informatics and Math Olympiad medals than any other European nation, and was third globally after Russia and China, according to Brainspotting’s 2014 report.
Economic trends. Romania is one of the fastest growing economies in the EU and has consistently been one of the top performers over the last 20 years, the World Bank says.
For our clients, outsourcing QA to Qualitest’s Romania teams assures software they can trust, while increasing coverage and catching problems earlier
Our onshore, nearshore, offshore, and managed crowd testing options helps our clients find the right combination of management, technicians, and trainers while helping them achieve efficiencies by rightshoring their work, maintaining cultural alignment in close proximity to their global multinational offices.
Outsourcing IT projects to Qualitest’s Bucharest, Romania team provides many specific benefits:
Significant (up to 30%) cost savings.
Cultural alignment, which resembles Western Europe and includes a multi-lingual, highly-skilled tech-friendly workforce.
Convenient time zone that works well with EMEA nations, and convenient geographically for many.
Concentration of tech talent — over half of the Romanian IT workforce is concentrated in Bucharest.
With over 25 years’ experience, Kevin Smith began his career in professional services, doing pre-sales consulting work and then made a shift to Quality Assurance. Currently he’s helping a major finance organization leverage its big data In addition to his day job, Kevin is also a runner, with over 29 marathons completed in the last four years.
How long have you been a runner?
I started running eight years ago as a way to live a healthier lifestyle. I run approximately 1,200 miles per year. I’ve run marathons in Germany, Paris, and will be running the London Marathon this April.
I love running in the mornings because it gives me some time alone to get my daily thoughts in order and to think through complex problems without any distractions. I have come up with some of my best presentation ideas while on a run. It’s a great way to kickstart my day.
How is running marathons and running tests similar?
Marathon training and QA testing both require planning, managing against metrics, and a lot of determination.
How did you find your way to Qualitest?
I worked for Autotrader.com for many years, running their QA team of about 40 people. I oversaw all the consumer-facing applications and later moved into the enterprise data services team working with Hadoop. I was then part of a team that helped build the data lake for all of Cox Automotive.
It was at Autotrader that I first worked with Orasi, (now Qualitest). I was their customer. That is where I had my first taste of the company I would eventually join.
Later, at my next company, I led the QA testing and worked with Orasi again. We did the testing for all the applications that we developed in-house — applications for the account managers, recruiters and sales teams.
What was your experience working with them on the client side?
I noticed how they treated their employees and liked what I saw. It just looked like a really cool company to work for.
When did you join Qualitest?
In July of 2018; to sum it up, I went from being a customer to becoming an employee.
How did you feel about Orasi being acquired by Qualitest?
To be honest, everything I liked about Orasi, are still the same things I see in Qualitest. With staffing companies, you’re just a resource, but that’s not how it is with Qualitest. Usually, the people at the top level, only come to you when they have a specific question, and that’s the only time you ever see them. But our senior management team always goes out of their way to make sure you feel like part of the family.
What are you working on now?
I support a major US insurance provider out of Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I am paired with their senior QA manager. I lead of a fantastic team of more than 25 people.
Can you tell us about the work you are doing regarding their data?
In essence, what we are doing is migrating data from all their legacy systems and creating a HADOOP data lake. The developer team is moving those files from specific source locations to the data warehouse. We need to test if the data is correct, accurate and that’s is available when they expect it to be available.
There’s a type of transformation that happens to the data as it moves from point A to Point B. Once the data gets up to a certain level, which we call the consumption level, then business logic is applied to that data and that’s what allows us to use that data as either financial data or actuarial data.
What do you think of companies looking to leverage their big data?
A lot of companies are trying to use big data, but many are struggling to figure out how to migrate their data from legacy systems to less structured systems so that they can make better use of it. You’ve got all those pieces coming together. So, I think the future is going to involve figuring out what other data types are out there and just building on top of that. Also, how to gain better insight into the future by leveraging the data.
And regarding QA, what changes do you see in the road ahead?
A lot of organizations are moving towards SDET (Software Development Engineer in Test) roles. I believe there will always be a need for functional testing. There’s going to be a stronger need for technical QA testing, where you utilize development skills. I also believe that having artificial intelligence or A.I. type of automation is going to be a big trend as well. At Qualitest we’ve already started to move in that direction.
Poorvika thrives on new challenges and is relentlessly developing her skills as an expert lead tester. It’s not just Qualitest who benefits from her excelling at her job; it’s also the end users of the products she tests. As if she wasn’t busy enough, Poorvika is a committed animal lover and movie buff who’s watched over 1000 films.
How long have you been at Qualitest?
Seven and a half years. I was fresh out of college when I joined.
What made you stay?
The main reason is that I get to work with an incredible range of industries and technologies. There’s always something new to challenge you and many opportunities to develop your career further. I joined as a trainee tester and feel I owe a lot to Qualitest.
I’ve had the chance to work with people across time zones, in Ukraine, Israel, and even Malaysia. I’ve worked with many types of clients, both offshore and onshore, as well as with CTOs, managers and test leads. You learn so much by talking to clients and understanding their needs and pain points, which is very important from a pre-sales and sales perspective.
What makes working at Qualitest different than working somewhere else?
It’s the exposure you get when you work on so many varied types of projects, which allows you to grow fast. At Qualitest, each year I’ve gotten the chance to work on a different project, and I’ve been able to learn about different industries, such as retail, banking and healthcare.
If you work at a some of the massive outsourcers, you’ll most likely work on the same project, with the same team and technology, year after year. You don’t really get a chance to learn as much or grow as fast.
So, what would you say to someone at your level, who’s already grown, what’s the incentive to stay on at Qualitest?
You always have to keep growing and challenging yourself. If you’re serious about your career, and if you are somebody like me, who doesn’t just want to lead the team, but also wants to get their hands dirty with the technical aspects, this is the place to be. Because every project here is a new challenge and you’re continually working with the latest technologies.
What new technology have you worked with recently?
I’ve been able to work with various types of Automation tools like Selenium, WebDriver, Appium, Ranorex, AutoIT, eggPlant, Sahi, TestComplete and SeeTest.
I also get to work with applications built using latest technologies like React, Angular, etc.
My husband is a software engineer and works every day with these technologies. We are total opposites; he’s a developer, and I am a tester. He teases me that I am always looking for faults and to prove others wrong.
But I remind him that QA is crucial to what he does because the average time it takes a user to uninstall an app with bugs or bad UI is just ten seconds.
Can you give me another example of just how crucial QA is?
Just one? Sure, for example, I worked with a Healthcare company that provides a medical device for people with Sleep Apnea, which is a disorder that causes people to stop breathing while they sleep.
The medical device comes with a mask which monitors peoples’ breathing rates while they are asleep. It tracks the intake of oxygen and how much CO2 they are breathing out. If a person stops breathing, the system is supposed to wake them up with loud noises.
So, we tested how the device’s software was interpreting the data that came from the device. We were trying to catch bugs regarding how the system would behave if the mask was removed during sleep or if it wasn’t placed properly on the nose and mouth.
Basically, we were making sure the device could correctly determine when it needed to wake someone up.
That’s pretty crucial, so aside from helping save lives what do you do outside of work?
Ok, fun fact: I’m a huge movie buff. I watch all types of movies, good and bad. I even watch movies in languages I don’t understand. I like watching a lot of Korean films.
I am also an animal lover and a member of PETA and other organizations. I rescue and foster dogs.
What do you think of the Bangalore office?
It’s a cool office with an open layout and a colorful, nice design. Not your boring grey office. We’re located in a huge tech park, with lots of nice restaurants nearby, we have Lebanese and Mexican food at our doorstep.
Also, Bangalore is known as the pub capital of the East. I guess it because it’s also the Silicon Valley of the East. Here the culture is to work hard during the day and come Friday night everyone is out enjoying their weekend at the pubs.
So, it’s a work hard and play hard ethos?
Yes, but at Qualitest we also have a lot of support and flexibility, and of course all these chances to keep developing your career. If you’re really into technology and professional growth, this is the place to be.
From graduating college to managing over twenty people, Akshit’s career has progressed in record time. He works across teams at Qualitest to bring new business opportunities to the Bangalore office. Both an avid learner and travel aficionado, Akshit is on the move.
When did you join Qualitest?
I joined a little over five years ago. This is the first company I worked for after getting my degree in Computer Science and Engineering. People in my field usually tend to move around after two to three years, but I’ve stayed at Qualitest because I was given the opportunity to grow and learn as an engineer.
What growth opportunities did you find at Qualitest?
Well, within three years at Qualitest, I was leading a team of twenty people, which is something I would have waited seven or eight years to do at most other companies. My career here has really skyrocketed.
I’ve been exposed to new challenges at every stage, and I’m able to learn about new technologies and tools regularly, which is exciting. Those new learnings keep me motivated and my job fresh. I never get bored.
My mentors at Qualitest have been very supportive; they encourage me to keep growing. We approach each new situation as an opportunity to push ourselves further. Even in those instances when we don’t achieve everything we set out to do, we still use it as a learning experience.
Can you give me an example of a recent win?
As a Solution Architect, I work with the Delivery Team and the Sales Team to respond to RFIs and RFPs and we recently brought on a major software provider as a client.
They were looking for a QA company that could help them migrate seven hundred test cases from a paid to a free automation tool to reduce costs, and they wanted to be able to do that within three months.
As part of our proposal, we created two frameworks for this migration, one for Robot and one for Java, and explained the pros and cons of each. The software provider decided to move forward with the Java framework, which was our recommended approach. They were very impressed with our proposal and hired us on the spot.
When you work with many teams, how do you get everyone to collaborate on a proposal?
It’s important to connect with the people in your teams regularly, that’s how you build strong relationships. Since I have been at Qualitest for five years, I know almost everyone, and it’s always been easy for me to approach people. The way our office is set up also helps because we don’t have cubicles. We all sit together, without separations, in an open environment. That gives you the feeling that you are not working in silos, but rather working together.
Another reason I think we collaborate well is that we have grown from a small office to our current size and we have all gotten to know in each other in the process.
What is the Bangalore office like, what do you guys do for fun?
It’s an office of 700+ people that occupies two full floors in our building.
We have a lot of fun activities like Cricket tournaments and Bike Club, which are a great way to get to know each other. Sometimes on Fridays, we like to play music and dance; we even had Zumba classes on our floor. We recently started to play charades, which is a lot of fun.
What do you do for fun when you are not at work?
I love to travel. It helps me relieve stress. Going somewhere where I can relax helps me get back on track and recharge. I recently took some time off to go to Goa. I prefer South Goa because it is less crowded—it’s the type of beach where you can feel at one with the sea. When I wanted to do some partying, I’d go to North Goa.
What motivates you to come back to the office?
It’s the possibility to continue learning about new technologies.
What do you think is the future of testing? What are the new technologies that excite you?
Systems are becoming smart, they are using artificial intelligence and machine learning. So, we also have to get smart as to how we test these systems. Now, there are new ways to test these AI systems with machine learning. It’s an exciting time to be in testing.
I’ll soon have the opportunity to work with the team here at Qualitest that is developing our AI TestPredictor tool and be a part of developing that tool. That’s a huge motivation to come to the office each day.
The unemployment level in the U.S. for people with Autism is at 85%. NFAR, a nonprofit organization, and Qualitest are working to change that by helping people with autism fulfill independent and productive lives while filling much-needed technology positions.
The National Foundation for Autism Research’s Technical Training Program is an intensive 7-month program specially designed to teach those with High-Functioning Autism to become software quality assurance engineers. NFAR places graduates from its training programs in professional internships with local tech companies in the San Diego, California area.
Recently, Monica Dean, a news anchor with NBC7 News in San Diego, featured NFAR graduate and star Qualitest employee Stephen Kay as part of an ongoing series called “Inspiring San Diego.”
Elle Gee, Qualitest’s VP of Delivery in the West Coast, U.S., shared her experience of working with the NFAR program and welcoming Stephen to the Qualitest family.
How did you prepare to welcome Stephen?
We took a QA approach to this relationship. We researched and developed a strategy to make sure we had plans in place to deal with any issues that could come up. Steps taken included a session to inform our team about Autism and the spectrum. We went into it with an open mind.
Did you have to make any arrangements once Stephen started?
Actually, we hardly had to make any changes. Most of it is just common sense and common courtesies. It only required improving on and enhancing what we were already doing.
What was that?
For example, we assigned him an on-boarding buddy, which is something we do for all new starters. With Stephen, all we needed was to ensure we partnered him with the right buddy.
Working with Stephen helped us reinforce our feedback and communication practices, which led to the betterment of the interactions of the whole team.
How did it help improve your team’s communication skills?
It led us to be more clear and precise in our feedback. We realized it was essential to understand the context of each action and not just to focus exclusively on the outcomes.
When it comes to communication, many people just look for eye contact, which is not something that comes naturally to people on the spectrum.
Usually, in our day-to-day interactions, we go by appearances and assume everything is understood. But we came to the appreciation that it’s much more productive to make sure everyone is on the same page, by asking people to communicate back what they understood.
Honing in on these communications skills has made everyone’s life easier, and our projects run smoother. It truly enhanced our community.
So how did Stephen do?
Well, let me put it this way, the internship was supposed to last for three months, but we hired him as a full-time employee after just two months.
It’s not a huge surprise; Stephen is very detail oriented, which is one of the best skills a tester can have. Having someone like him, that can run a test case over and over with the same focus is a massive asset to us.
Today, after almost half a year with Qualitest, Stephen is just like any valued member of our team; having him as our colleague has enriched us all.
Is your company ready to face the evolving needs of your customers? Are you prepared for 2020? The year customer experience will become the key brand differentiator over products and price.
Meeting customers’ expectations through business transformations
In response to these increasingly higher customer expectations and an increasingly competitive business environment, organizations will need to undergo a business transformation, rethinking and reinventing their processes, products and services in ways that more fully meet and exceed customer expectations. Business transformation goes beyond digital transformation and operational change. It’s not just about doing what you do in a better way. It’s about developing a new business model, breakthrough innovations, or doing something completely different to meet customers’ needs.
Business transformation requires new approaches to IT processes that increase speed to market:
Embracing continuous integration
The move toward Quality Engineering
Traditional quality assurance and testing techniques play an important role in business transformation. However, to be truly transformative, those processes need to be integrated into one comprehensive platform. Quality engineering does just that by incorporating quality management practices, enterprise architecture, product management, IT operations management, and software engineering to create a single platform that focuses on the expectations of the business’ customers.
Quality engineering provides a platform that enables each of these disciplines to approach their decisions in a customer-centric way.
7 crucial steps in Quality Engineering:
As IT partners with the rest of the enterprise to deliver exceptional customer experiences, quality engineering will become an essential component of successful teams and businesses. The following are the key steps that need to be taken to ensure that Quality Engineering is incorporated throughout the development lifecycle:
Engineer quality through the entire delivery pipeline, with a focus on optimizing customer experience.
Incorporate the complexity of testing by including functional, non-functional, security, accessibility, localization and globalization, but more importantly, address how each of these practices impacts the overall customer experience.
Determine what application performance metrics are most critical to the customer experience.
Question if the features under development are of the highest priority to the customer.
Adopt an outcome-based test approach that delivers innovative solutions for risk mitigation as well as cost reduction.
Focus on delivering business value based on KPIs that are customized for your organization.
Launch an Agile and DevOps transformation using techniques to “shift-left” and Implement continuous testing to ensure high-quality releases.
As CIOs wake up to the fact that they control or influence much of the customer experience, they are beginning to integrate quality into every stage of the dev cycle so that it’s embedded into every line of code. By taking a holistic approach to quality across platforms, networks, and technologies, the roadmap to optimal CX becomes clear.
The new Qualitest cyber security division will provide cyber security services as an integral part of the software testing process.
Qualitest, the world’s leading pure-play quality assurance company, is strengthening its commitment to enterprise security by bringing in 100 additional application security specialists as part of its new cyber security operations division. The new services arm is headed by Uri Barel, who joined Qualitest at the beginning of 2019. Validating application and code security is an essential part of the release process, and Qualitest realizes the importance of this step in our approach to quality engineering.
The cyber security division is headquartered in Israel, and will serve customers around the world.
Traditionally, cyber security is performed by dedicated security service providers after applications have been released into production, costing organizations more in rework and exposing them to potential security breaches if vulnerabilities are not identified early enough. By incorporating security testing into the pre-production quality process, Qualitest can perform security validations faster and more efficiency, saving our customers money and helping them adopt consistent code security practices.
Qualitest has first entered the cyber security market through the acquisition Phyteus in 2018. In the past quarter, the company has made a decision to expand its cyber security offering to provide its customers a comprehensive framework that integrates application security into every phase of the application delivery lifecycle.
Identifying security vulnerabilities is not that different from finding bugs in the code
Most of today’s cyber security vendors fall roughly into two categories: companies that develop solutions to protect organizations from malware and service providers that offer assessments for gauging the level of vulnerability in organizations’ systems and applications. Very few companies offer cyber security services as part of the application QA and testing process which is actually quite surprising, considering that the additional effort required to implement cyber security testing within DevOps is not overwhelming, and should be treated as another step in the overall quality process.
Modern enterprises are aware of security threats and are willing to invest in the right solutions to protect their applications and users from harm. At Qualitest, we believe that the industry is ready to change their approach to cyber security testing, and start viewing it as part of the application development and testing process not an afterthought that needs to be considered after the go-live. We have seen the entire discipline of quality assurance go through this transition over the years, quality has gone from a “checkpoint” at the end of development to an integral part of the entire application cycle, resulting in faster release cycle, fewer production incidents, and better customer experience. We believe that a similar transformation is taking place right now in the field of cyber security. By making it part of the testing process, performed by testing experts (with additional security knowledge), we can help organizations deliver more secure applications faster, cheaper, and with fewer production complications. Finding a security issue is not that different from catching a bug in the application functionality if you fix it early, you save yourself a lot of trouble down the road.