Ever wondered what happens behind the scenes at Chorus HQ? As our community of users will know, over 90% of our development is a result of customer feedback. But what happens once those features are developed, and how do we get it prepared for our users?
Introducing Ashley Boon, our Quality Assurance Test Manager. We sat down with him for a run-down on his department and what makes the test team, tick.
Tell us about you and your role here at Chorus?
I joined Chorus back in December 2017 as a QA Analyst, where I’ve been fortunate enough to grow my career within the company. Over the last 12 months, my role has significantly evolved into my current position of QA Test Manager. The main focus of my role is to ensure that our products meet the high-quality standards we set and that we deliver the releases on time, within budget, and ultimately satisfy customer requirements.
What does a typical day look like as the QA Test Manager?
As a hands-on manager, my typical day involves:
- Reviewing and analysing test plans, cases, and results from members of the team to ensure they align with the project’s goals and objectives.
- Collaborating with Dev teams to identify and resolve issues that may arise during testing and ensure that all bugs are tracked and fixed.
- Monitoring and managing the overall quality of the product, ensuring that it meets or exceeds customer expectations, and conforms to our high standards.
- Communicating with stakeholders and management to provide regular updates on project progress and any issues that may arise.
- Leading and mentoring the QA team, ensuring that they have the necessary skills and resources to carry out their work effectively.
- Developing and implementing quality assurance processes, procedures, and policies to ensure consistent and effective testing across all projects.
- Staying up to date with the latest industry trends, tools, and techniques related to quality assurance and testing.
How do you keep your team motivated on the growth and development of the Chorus Intelligence Suite?
I continually drive a positive work culture which benefits all teams, so that everyone continues to feel valued and supported. I find this allows for better collaborative working.
I set clear goals/objectives and expectations for each individual, as I want to create a sense of purpose and direction for the guys within the test team. I also provide regular feedback, both positive and constructive, to help them improve and grow.
I always try to recognise and reward success within the team, whether it’s through recognition in meetings or companywide emails or simply taking them out for a pint during lunch or after work.
Overall, settings clear goals and expectations, providing regular feedback, recognising success, and fostering a positive work culture certainly helps me keep the team to stay motivated and committed to their work.
Can you provide an overview of the key stages of the product developmental cycle?
- Idea Generation / Change Request Received: This is the starting point of the product development cycle. New ideas or change requests for existing products can be received from various sources, including customers, stakeholders, or our internal teams.
- Requirements Gathering: Once the idea or change request is received, the next step is to gather the requirements and document these in Jira, along with relevant details such as priority, severity, and due dates.
- Design and Development: In this stage, the design and development of the requested work takes place.
- Testing and Validation: Once the design and development is complete, the work is the deployed to our test engineers where the product is tested to ensure that it meets the required specifications and standards. This includes unit testing, integration testing, and user acceptance testing (UAT).
- Internal Release for Review: After the testing and validation is complete, the product is released internally for review. This allows stakeholders to provide feedback and suggest any improvements.
- Go/No Go Decision: Based on the feedback received during the internal review, a Go/No Go decision is made. If the decision is to proceed with the release, the product moves to the next stage.
- Release to Customers: Once the Go decision is made, the product is scheduled for release to customers, this includes creating release comms.
- Maintenance and Support: After the product is released, maintenance and support is provided to ensure that it continues to meet customer needs. This includes bug fixes, updates, and customer support.
How would you typically prepare a product, ready for deployment to a customer?
Once all the required tickets have been completed and the acceptance criteria is met, prior to our internal release, we will run all our automated tests to validate that no new or existing features/functionality have regressed. We will also perform manual e2e checks to confirm the user flows continue to function as expected.
Once final testing, validation and all required documentation is complete, the required branches will be created with the relevant versions applied to ensure we deploy the correct build and keep track of all changes to the product and maintain our version history.
This will then be packaged up and deployed to staging for our internal teams to review. If they are happy and we all agree it’s a go, this will then go through our standard release process.
We’re currently in a very ‘digital’ age, where nearly everyone has some form of online footprint. Is OSINT a key element for Chorus?
Open-source intelligence (OSINT) is an essential component of the Chorus Intelligence Suite, and it will continue to be a critical element for the company going forward. With OSINT being a powerful tool for gathering information from publicly available sources, such as social media, news articles, and government websites. I believe this will forever be something we can and will utilise.
In 3 words, how would your team describe you?
Busy, Determined, Diligent