Millions of sports enthusiasts use Sports Tracker to measure their sporting activities and compare those with other users. Innovative software combined with high-class design and top notch quality has made Sports Tracker one of the most popular sports applications in the whole world. Even though Sports Tracker has always been known of its high quality, in 2016, a growing amount of features, and larger teams created challenges in the QA. That’s when we at VALA offered our help.
Since the code-base of Sports Tracker was constantly growing, the lack of confidence in making changes into core functionalities aroused as a potential challenge. Developers where intimidated, that some changes might create problems into the software. In collaboration with Sports Tracker’s skilled team, we pondered the problem and decided together, that investing into test automation would bring the confidence back. When the core functionalities are covered with automated tests, it’s easier to make changes.
This is not enough though, as it’s not possible to automate everything. What makes it even more difficult with Sports Tracker? Well, people are most often moving around when using the award-winning app. For this reason, we decided to combine test automation with exploratory testing, where main functionalities are covered with test automation, and the rest are tested manually.
What have we achieved so far with the collaboration in QA? This we had to ask from the lead developer of Sports Tracker’s Android application, Ramon Sadornil.
Ramon, why did you choose us in the first place?
Well, the first contact we had was in the iOS development side. We had earlier history together and we saw that you guys are professionals and able to deliver quality solutions. For us, it was natural to ask for your help when facing challenges in the QA. Then, there was the QA POC, of course, which witnessed your wide knowledge regarding QA.
Since VALA joined, we have made a huge leap. Our QA is in a completely different level.
What was the QA POC about?
The objective of the QA POC was to illustrate, what can be done with QA. It involved automation part, exploratory testing part, and the roadmap for testing. By automating a chosen functionality it was eye opening to see what really can be done with automation. This, combined with thick bundle of bugs founded with exploratory testing and a QA roadmap, made us realize how important it is to further develop our QA.
At this point Otso had to interrupt that the quality of Sports Tracker’s Android application was already at extremely high level. As our QA manager concluded (spiced up with a little joke):
“I was able to make it crash once; all the applications open in the background, battery extremely low, weak network, 140 degrees in sauna, norovirus, and Teuvo Loman’s record playing in repeat. Usually in these conditions applications delete themselves from the Appstore. Not SportsTracker, it only shut itself in a cute manner.”
How was the pilot?
It was a great approach to help us set the goals and create a common understanding and expectations between Sports Tracker and VALA. It was an efficient, illustrative and professional approach.
How do you see the future of test automation at Sports Tracker?
I’m very satisfied with what we have reached so far. The confidence has been growing a lot and test automation is extremely useful and it has to continue.
The most important qualities of a QA professional are ability to learn, ability to perform autonomously, finalize tasks with own initiative and attitude of continuous learning. This all has come together with Kai.
How do you see that the QA has improved with us?
At first we had very limited QA, and only a few automated tests written. Since VALA joined, we have made a huge leap. Our QA is in a completely different level. It’s great to have engineers concentrated on QA.
Has your development team’s attitude towards testing changed during the past year? If so, how?
During the past year QA has become very important. It’s the backbone and one of the pillars of our development. When we are making changes into the software, we can always rely that the automation framework checks, and that the older functions are also working. Also, the development team has been able to concentrate on developing, not just testing.
The whole development team feels much more confident in making changes. We have the freedom to create radical and even groundbreaking features when we don’t have to worry whether the codebase gets broken or not. We can take more risks and it can also be seen as a faster development cycle. Previously we did not necessarily make some changes because we felt that something could get broken.
Has test automation already proven its worth as an investment?
Yes, definitely. It gives us confidence and we have been able to catch bugs before they go into public release.
How has the test coverage of test automation increased?
Coverage has been growing. Of course there is always room for more. Together we decided to first concentrate on the core features, and do them with good quality. This we have definitely achieved, as we have discussed.
We are really impressed what we have been able to do with only one person in QA. Thank you very much.
What are the most important aspects of testing for Sports Tracker?
There’s 10 000 different devices using Sports Tracker. It’s a lot. It’s important to be able to run the tests with different devices. Here we have only scratched the cloud testing, really, but I believe we have a great opportunity for extension also in this area. We have tried and compared different solutions and it’s very useful to be able to maintain the devices at cloud. Cloud testing is an investment, but it’s useful in the future.
What’s the most important quality/characteristic of a software quality assurance professional?
The ability to learn, ability to perform autonomously, finalize tasks with own initiative and attitude of continuous learning. This all has come together with Kai.
Where is Sports Tracker moving in the future?
Main focus is the social aspect of sports and we really want to be a multisport solution. We want our users to be better at sports and share their achievements socially.
Is there something you would like to add?
Thanks for everything so far. It has been a pleasure to work with Kai and all of you. We are really impressed what we have been able to do with only one person in QA. Thank you very much.
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