Calliope Pro: Manage Teams of Remote Working Developers and Testers

Remote Working Tool For Devs and Testers

The coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has the world in panic, economies crashing, and businesses struggling to adapt to a new way of working, working from home.

As businesses try to adapt to remote working practices and trying as much as possible to continue working, many new tools and products are being adopted to bridge the gap between dispersed team members. “Necessity is the mother of invention,” and now in a time of crisis and social distancing, we are learning to embrace working from home out of necessity.

For instance, at spriteCloud, we’ve recently conducted all-hands meetings using teleconferencing and its worked well. All meetings that were originally meant to be face-to-face, now take place on a Google Hangouts. Slack, which was already heavily used while in the office, has been equally helpful in maintaining quick, informal lines of communication.

Our CEO Andy, recently wrote an article explaining our Remote Working Strategy at spriteCloud in the hopes that others could benefit from our experience. 

While unfortunately, many critical organisations can’t survive completely digitally, software development teams have taken the global lockdown in stride. However, there is still room for improvement…

Development Teams Working from Home

In the software development world, nearly everything is digital and because of this, software development teams are perhaps the most robust teams when it comes to adopting remote working practices. Working from home and remote work was, already for a long time, technically possible but the delay in switching to fully remote teams lays mostly in the management of these remote teams. Organisations and managers concerned with ensuring a good return-on-investment weren’t so readily able to relinquish control. This too is melting away through necessity.

There is a myriad of tools that software development teams have been using to facilitate collaboration. For example, Git-based solutions have revolutionized version control for source code and compartmentalized development, JIRA and Trello have streamlined project management in Agile methods, and CI/CD platforms have increases releases from once a sprint occurrence to nearly daily routines. 

While tools are coming into the foreground to help specialised teams continue working, despite being geographically dispersed, one important part of software development is lagging in innovation, quality assurance.

Learn more about Test Automation using our massive guide on the topic.

Introducing Calliope Pro

Calliope Pro enables development teams to reduce and quickly fix bugs in two ways. is a dashboard for the reporting and monitoring of test results. In modern software development projects, tests are generated regularly with the use of test automation. Test results monitoring is important because it allows team members the ability to not only report a bug, but also effectively collaborate on bug fixes. Continuous Testing and the efficient reporting of that information is crucial for organisations working in DevOps methodologies. 

Development teams are typically split into development, operations, and quality assurance. While more traditional approaches to software development have these teams siloed into independent groups, a modern DevOps approach creates multidisciplinary teams made up of all three functions.

Regardless of how the team is structured, intra-team (within the team) and inter-team (between different teams) communication is critical for finding and fixing bugs quickly and efficiently. In fact, the sooner that a bug is spotted in the pipeline, the easier and cheaper it is to fix. It is for this reason that constant monitoring and reporting of test results on a project and team level is crucial.  This is especially true now that the COVID-19 has forced many teams to work from home.

Aside from the spotting of bugs and facilitating the collaboration required to fix them, maintaining a QA dashboard with Calliope Pro provides a comprehensive and readily available status summary for management teams. This helps them to determine code stability before release, identify and allocate resources to problem areas in development, and provide insights for refactoring test automation suites.

We at spriteCloud created Calliope Pro because in our ten years of offering high-quality software testing we noticed a disconnect between QA, Development, and Operations department. We felt that breaking down this barriers by facilitating communication and collaboration around software testing results, was the best way for teams to help development teams thrive.

Calliope as the ‘Central Point of Truth’

Calliope Pro acts as the central point of truth for all test results data from your development team. In a remote working situation, having a central point of truth is crucial as teams become de-centralised. Developers, operations, product owners, and quality assurance testers can view the same data for up-to-date situational awareness and understanding the stability of important parts of the testing, staging, and production environments. This is possible because Calliope supports test results data from test automation, performance and load testing, functional/manual testing and cybersecurity testing tools.
One Platform for All Tools

Calliope supports most major testing tools and formats in JSON and XML, with more formats being supported with every release. This means that this one dashboard provides deep insights into the tests conducted on every part of your development project. For example, developers can test code in the Test environment before pushing it to Staging to test integrations and finally perform smoke tests before releasing to Production. At all of these decision points, having access to accurate data is critical.

Testing various business critical functions
Calliope supports the test results generated at all levels of the Test Automation Pyramid, including writing tests reports manually into the dashboard when conducting manual tests. As quality assurance and software testing often require different testing tools and frameworks for each component of the system, Calliope enables teams to bring together all this data into one location. Testing is not just one phase of modern software development; it is truly integrated into daily and weekly workflows. Due to this, constant monitoring with live results is helpful in mitigating bugs in business-critical functions like the webshop payment processes.
Management can see all results

When management can see team contributions and code base status via the Calliope dashboard, they are less likely to interrupt work for status updates. This means less micromanaging from managers as team members and managers can view the same results independently from one another, allowing for greater focus on their primary tasks.

During times like this where suddenly all staff are working remotely, managers can feel the need to micromanage to some degree because the feel they lack visibility. It is this reason that Calliope becomes an invaluable tool in promoting collaboration and transparency for software development teams.

Spot when regressions were introduced, know where to roll back

Calliope Pro’s results reports track how many times the report has been uploaded to provide data about the test over time. This allows teams the ability to spot regressions easier and pinpoint where these regressions were introduced. This also means that your ops team knows where and when to roll back to a previous stable version.

Calliope Facilitates Communication and Collaboration

Calliope is a dashboard that supports many of your testing tools and formats, making it a logical choice from a tooling perspective. Outside of those technical aspects, Calliope also strengthens team communication and collaboration in several ways.

Automate result imports
Software development and quality assurance is all about balancing ROIs and efficiency. A tool, no matter how useful it is, is not going to be adopted if using it consumes too much time and effort. Calliope supports the automation of test results important into the dashboard via APIs and integrations with CI/CD pipelines. This allows developers and testers to automate their tests and results uploads, saving them time to focus on coding and debugging. Not all software development teams and testers are embracing automation as enthusiastically as others, which is why Calliope allows teams to upload their test results manually.
Share reports seamlessly

Having all your test results across the whole development project in one cloud-based location is handy, but if you can’t share that information easily, what’s the point?

With Calliope as a browser-based, cloud solution, sharing test reports is a simple are copy and pasting the URL.  If your latest integration test fails because of a bug between your check-out and stock-keeping processes, copy the URL from the report and send it to the developer. Clicking the link will take them to the report where data from previous tests, screenshots, exception descriptions and report data are waiting to facilitate them in resolving the issue.

This URL can be sent via email and instant messenger or adding it to the descriptions of your issue ticketing and project management software like JIRA or Trello.

Business readable Gherkin syntax

Calliope’s intuitive overview also makes the monitoring of test results understandable for less technical business managers. At a glimpse, managers can see where in the application an issue has cropped up and make decisions with the team to resolve them quickly.

Calliope is the tool to give your development teams the insight into test results to gain a competitive advantage. This means fewer bugs in the wild, faster times to bug fixes, and a more cohesive relationship between QA and the rest of the development team. All ultimately create a better product for your customers.

Don’t just take our word for it, give Calliope Pro a try for yourself. Sign up for our free Starter account now. If you 

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Written by: Travis Hatridge

Travis is the Marketing Manager at spriteCloud. He has an MSc in Marketing and a background in content marketing. He enjoys cooking, travelling, and long walks through the forest.

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