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Introducing spriteCloud’s Test Automation as a Service

Today spriteCloud officially launches our Test Automation as a Service (TAaaS) commercial offering. This is the culmination of many years of hard work and planning, and I am immensely proud to say we are finally here.

Introducing Calliope.pro

At the heart of our TAaaS offering is our test automation solution, Calliope.

Historically speaking, a calliope was the first man-made machine to be powered by a script, which was something of an inspiration for us.

Simply put, we took the open source Ruby/Cucumber stack, put it into our own private cloud, and built a host of value added features that you would want in a commercial service. With Calliope, you get all the power of BDD test automation that is provided by Cucumber, but you get it all delivered through a browser-based web front-end that makes for a truly collaborative experience for everyone that can and should be involved in the testing activity.

With Calliope:

  • You are free of having to manage all the complexity of keeping Cucumber up-to-date and running.
  • You are free of having to have hardware to host it on.
  • You can involve as many people as you would like.
  • We consider it a professional production environment for Ruby/Cucumber that anyone can use, anywhere.

    The real power of Calliope is that we can now offer test automation to any client, regardless of their office location. The days of having to have your TA team sat in your office are effectively over. I would even go so far as to say obsolete.

    Calliope and spriteCloud’s test automation approach

    So how does it work with us?

    TA infographic

    To start, we pair our client with one of our Test Automation Architects. The TA Architect is the single point of contact for the client, who will work with them to capture and define the high value tests that are really important, on a sprint-by-sprint basis. The TA Architect then does the heavy lifting to get the lower level script structure in place and solve any difficult problems.

    With this “scaffolding” in place, the Test Automation Engineers move in to build the rest of the test suite, under the guidance of the TA Architect. When this is complete, our technology group in Kiev begins the maintenance work. Clients see results from day one. As each script is written, it can be run immediately in Calliope and provide you real feedback on your application.

    Our TA service delivery model gives you skills as you need them, so you pay only for skills you are using, as you use them. This is much more cost effective than the ongoing expenditure of the current people-in-house-based TA service delivery model.

    Built with the client in mind

    spriteCloud’s TAaaS starts when you want and stops when you want, so clients have complete control of their budget for TA work. There are no project overruns, and no open checkbooks required. And finally, you own what’s yours, there is no lock-in with our service.

    The scripts we write for you are your property. They are kept in a code repository of your choice. You control the access to the TA code base, so we have access only as long as you want us to. As all the test scripts will run with a local installation of Ruby/Cucumber – which is open source – your test suite will still run once we part ways.

    If you’re working with a big proprietary TA service vendor, ask them if the same is true. We bet they’ll say no.

    At spriteCloud we love three things above all else: technology, testing, and our clients. If you’re in the market for test automation, give us a call. I know we have something interesting to show you.

    The Scrum apocalypse: changing the way we implement Scrum

    I love Scrum. There, I said it. Yes, I know I am a married man, and I should not have another love next to my wife, but it is true and I am proud of it: I love Scrum. Every time I read the Scrum guide, I get butterflies in my stomach. It is like that one hot summer back in your teens, experiencing your first summer love. I love it. I may even be addicted to it. Last year, I wrote a blog about the Zombie Scrum apocalypse. I wrote about how we all should fight it. Heal the Scrum zombies and return to the heart and soul of Scrum. And to the butterflies in your stomach.

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    Do I really have to test on all those browser configurations? (Part 2)

    This is part 2 of this article discussing the reasons why you should test your app or website on multiple browser configurations. Today we continue with browser functionality and the differences between devices.

    How your product functions on different browsers

    Ideally, the way your product functions would be the same on all browsers and operating systems. However this is often not the case, and is another scenario in testing where the end user experience needs to be taken into account.

    The various components that make up a website or application such as HTML, CSS styles, Javascript and page layouts need to be tested across different browsers. The functionality of Javascript and page layouts in particular vary from browser to browser, as they express varying capabilities when implementing different features determined by your developer’s code. Although browser compatibility is becoming standardised, the continued usage of older browsers that are no longer being developed inevitably means that some features of your website will not work properly on every browser. This does not necessarily matter, as long as the core information is available to as many users as possible.

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    Do I really have to test on all those browser configurations? (Part 1)

    One of the most common questions that clients ask us is whether it is necessary to test on a multitude of browser configurations. It’s easy to drown in the choices that are available, making cross-browser testing a difficult process to handle internally. Since the ultimate goal of test planning is to minimise the risk of high impact, high risk bugs interrupting your website or app’s performance, the easiest place to start is with your product itself and how end users interact with it. Considering the following factors will help you to make an informed decision on which browsers are worth your valuable time. Since this is a subject that should be discussed in detail, this post will be split into two sections. In part 1, we’ll be discussing market share and geography and user preference.

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    Thoughts on testing VR

    Virtual Reality is a new technology that is slowly changing the way we use, interact with and perceive digital. Virtual spaces and experiences are bringing the dreams of Star Trek’s holodeck closer to reality.

    All VR systems share the same characteristic of allowing the user to see life-size 3D computer-generated images. As such, testing a VR project consists of using exploratory and functional techniques adapted to this type of environment.

    Due to the fact this technology is still a novelty, most VR products are for now very much entrenched in the entertainment industry, taking the form of games, experiences and simulations for example. Because of this, the end-user is supposed to ‘connect’ and interact with the products, and the user experience becomes critical in determining their success. Any good testing plan should acknowledge this, and any tester should approach the assignment with an ‘end user’ mentality.

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    The new way of testing

    This week, Hozan Said, our new Business Development Manager, talks about his impression of spriteCloud’s working culture.

    I joined spriteCloud at the beginning of June and my first impression was really positive. The team wanted to make me feel at home. During the day, the CEO and COO and my new colleagues asked me several times if I was doing well and if I needed anything. It was an amazing environment. What attracted my attention was the mentality: work hard, play hard. Everybody has so much fun together, but they work hard too, so it doesn’t impact the quality of what they do. On the first day, we had lunch together, played table football, and tried out the VR stuff that we are testing. A whole new world was opening up for me! It was amazing to see how much freedom everybody gets, and that there is no hierarchy. They told me from the first day: “Please try new things, don’t be scared. If you fail, you fail and you learn. If you get good results, you will get a nice commission.”

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    Standard platform, operating system and browser recommendations (June 17)

    This entry is part 12 of 12 in the series Standard Platform, Operating System and Browser Recommendations

    Introduction

    The following post updates our recommendations for platforms, operating systems and browsers to use when testing commercial web sites targeting consumers in Europe.

    Our recommendations are based on usage figures widely available on the Internet, our experience, and our analysis of client needs. Since browser versions change frequently, we review and update these recommendations regularly.

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    An internship at spriteCloud

    This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Recruitment

    We’re hearing from spriteCloud’s Commercial team again this week. Our new Marketing Intern, Rebecca Hogg, talks about what she has learned in her first month.

    Learning the value of software testing

    When I joined spriteCloud a little under one month ago, I was a total beginner when it came to software testing. The concept is seemingly easy to explain, but as I’ve learned, it goes much deeper. For example, did you know how many different things you can test when it comes to software? spriteCloud provides services such as functional testing, test automation, performance and load testing and mobile testing, and it doesn’t stop there. I knew software was complicated, but this is a real specialty. I’m still only scratching the surface when it comes to fully understanding what software testing is, but what I have learned has taught me that testing is a vital step in the software development life cycle.

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    ‘Our biggest competitor is the option to not test at all’

    This week, our Business Development Manager talks about the benefits of spriteCloud’s approach to software testing.

    14 months ago, I joined spriteCloud as a ‘rookie’ in the software testing world. After being rapidly pumped full of information and presentations, the first customer visits presented themselves. After my first meetings with the responsible managers, it was clear that spriteCloud was offering something special. Even this non-technical business guy now knows the added value of external testing.

    spriteCloud is a great company to work for in general, with short lines and creative business ideas that can be implemented a month after being brought up. It is an excellent environment for somebody new in the business. After my first few months as the sales guy for spriteCloud, it hit me that most of our clients found us through word-of-mouth, so our service was selling itself…

    We need to conquer the world with spriteCloud

    Nonetheless, like every company, we want to expand, or as our management team puts it: we need to conquer the world with spriteCloud! Therefore, we needed to listen more to the companies that we were serving, plus we needed to convince other companies why testing is so important for them. We needed to spread the spriteCloud message: Test your software, not your reputation! And so we did. Soon we found out that our service was very specialized and our market segment in the digital world was already strongly represented: the foundation was there, ready to expand! Testing for creative agencies on a project basis – a popular service we provide – is still pretty unique, especially with the flexibility that we offer as a service provider. We prefer software testing on-demand, without any tremendously long discussions about the scope of the project or pricing models, providing ad-hoc solutions by working together with the client.

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    Testnet Spring Event 2017

    Testnet – the largest professional organization for testers in the Netherlands – hosts yearly a large number of events. This year, the Testnet Spring Event 2017 was organized on 15th May. The theme was ‘Widen your base: new skills for testers’, with a variety of workshops and presentations.

    One of these workshops was ‘Storytelling for testers’ hosted by René Tuinhout and Marinus Stam. This workshop gave a short introduction to storytelling with practical examples and Do’s and Don’ts. The workshop focused on how to build up a story, and how to tell the story. How to write the story is a logical next step, but not covered in this course.

    So, why Storytelling?

    Storytelling in software testing is an important aspect for testers, because we do it all the time. The trick with storytelling is to make the story powerful. Telling and writing stories can be used when creating test reports. A test report is a description, explanation or justification of the status of a test project, and is set up professionally and with care to serve the clients. A report is not just a summary of facts; it is a story about the facts.

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    Reputation. Meet spriteCloud

    Find out today why startups, SMBs, enterprises, brands, digital agencies, e-commerce, and mobile clients turn to spriteCloud to help improve their customer experiences. And their reputation. With complete range of QA services, we provide a full service that includes test planning, functional testing, test automation, performance testing, consultancy, mobile testing, and security testing. We even have a test lab — open to all our clients to use — with a full range of devices and platforms.

    Discover how our process can boost your reputation.