Comtrade’s Quest for Quality 2017: Business Value of Testing

Business, Technology | Wed 4 Oct | Author – Business & Finance
Dejan Cusic
Dejan Ćušić, Business Director, Ireland & UK, Comtrade Digital Services

Comtrade Digital Services’ second Quest for Quality conference brings together the best software-testing professionals from Ireland, the UK and the DACH region to learn about the challenges of quality assurance in digital transformation.

Dejan Ćušić, Business Director at Comtrade Digital Services Ireland & UK, was one of the keynote speakers at the first day of the Quest for Quality conference at The Marker Hotel. The event, now in its second year, highlights the changing landscape of quality assurance (QA) in digital transformation.

Taking a step back, the topic of what actually is testing was mentioned before the nuts and bolts of “new” QA was brought up.

“It is the right thing to do; all the time we are talking about how right it is”, said Mr Ćušić of the basic means of testing. But the world has changed and products and services have moved on.

“I spent some time thinking about the role of software. Today software is part of the bigger service and that service is under continuous design.

“Software becomes the medium for constant communication with the customer.”

In a room full of QA engineers, Mr Ćušić was not afraid to highlight the massive changes in the testing world and the need for adaption by all facets in the business. He discussed the “culture change” in the business, employee and customer mindsets and the possible death of ‘traditional’ means of testing.

The testing environment now has to adopt two different perspectives: number one is the ‘operation perspective’, which consists of discovering problems early on to cut costs; and number two is the mindset perspective, which entails the alteration from the individual steps to more of a connected sphere of testing.

A perspective change leads to a conglomerate of diverse people in the QA department which Mr Ćušić referred to as “T-shaped people”: “They have to be in depth but they also have to have that collaboration attitude. They have to become part of the team and they have to participate in all phases of the cycle. They become advocates of quality and they spread knowledge about quality.”

Automated testing becomes even more pivotal in this changing landscape: “Detecting errors is the first part of the value of testing and that part is about building your team properly. Automated testing reduces business risk – you test more often, you know what to test. If your choice is not to be in control then you have a cost if something bad happens.”

This should also be correlated with what the end goal of the business is. Testing, according to Mr Ćušić, is now a company-wide collaboration effort: “The important thing is, follow the same processes of business execs when making investment decisions.”

The final piece of the talk discussed the difficulties in people changing along with the new structures that are attempting to be implemented: “The rise of the new QA has a much wider role – QA which is embedded in the organisation, not separate. That importance of the happy customer is very important – some change is required.

“Personal change is not an easy thing to do; to get people on board is hard. Look at it as a positive thing”, he reassured everyone.

Comtrade Digital Services is hosting Quest for Quality today and tomorrow at The Marker Hotel in Dublin where even more scheduled discussions will take place on software testing in the platform economy. Conferences like this are key to overcoming issues in the QA and testing world.