Continued customer satisfaction is job one with Aporeto’s QA team. We sat down with Siddesh Kamat, Lead Software QA Tester at Aporeto, to see how he and his team deliver timely features to customers that keep them agile.
QA (Quality Assurance) is the systematic process by which a software QA tester and their wider team ensures product and service excellence. Aporeto aims to be an intuitive and elegant cloud security solution, meaning it has to be very simple to use. “My role,” explains Sid, “is to make sure that my team and I provide the best customer experience, for every feature that we release.” This means a lot of testing.
At Aporeto, each day starts with each software QA tester checking schedules and deadlines to ensure they are on track. If necessary, discussions are had. “The company respects individual contributions”, says Sid. “Every individual has a voice in technical decisions and every voice is heard. Everyone’s work is valued.”
After the morning check-in, everyone gets to work. Through the working day, every software QA tester at Aporeto has to operate within a dynamic and shifting testing environment, because the QA team works not on an old-fashioned “waterfall” or (linear-sequential life cycle) model, but an agile model. This is the tactic taken by increasing amounts of modern QA departments. Using the agile process means that testing happens throughout the development life cycle, and QA is introduced into a project as early as possible. This agile approach improves the team’s capacity to identify any gaps in requirements, write and execute test cases, and foresee issues early on.
The Agile Process in Action
“With the agile process,” Sid explains, “each software QA tester deals with smaller, consumable items, and makes sure improvements are made towards the existing features in subsets that can be released and tested in quick cycles. This way, we don’t wait months for new releases to come up. It’s a process of continuously improving and adding new features, and testing them in smaller groups so that quicker releases are available to the customer.”
“With a bigger company model, you’ll have a couple of releases a year. With that model you have huge features, and things tend to move at a slow pace. These large features ultimately get pushed. With our model, features are split into small, consumable sizes, so that even if there is a delay, it will be short.” With Aporeto’s model, each software QA tester can help deliver working software earlier rather than later, anticipate change more effectively, provide better estimates in less time, and implement course corrections without derailing the whole project.
Working with the Customer In Mind
This agile process is great for customers. “What we often hear from customers,” says Sid, “is that they like the ability to get bug fixes, or enhancements that they have requested as quickly as possible. With our process, if it’s a consumable feature size, customers are sure to get an update in the next release within a few weeks, rather than several months, which is the norm in bigger companies or those using the waterfall model.”
Throughout the day, each Aporeto software QA tester has to stay alert to other urgent requests as well. Says Sid, “Any feature request or problem that comes from the field is always the highest priority. Anything that breaks in real time needs immediate attention so that it can be rectified as rapidly as possible.”
A day in the life of a Software QA tester is dynamic, self-directed, and constantly evolving.
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