Joining a moving train during a global pandemic.....

Date: Thursday, April 8, 2021

Starting a new job can be a daunting prospect, will you get along with the team? What challenges will have to overcome.  

Add in a global pandemic (and starting the role from home) and you can imagine how unusual my first week was.  

Thankfully I had already met the Village team in 2017. I was working in an adjacent office in the same building when Village moved into The Tempest.  We got chatting (I can do that a lot 😊) and I joined in on some of their lunchtime training sessions.    

Ian got in touch in early 2020 to discuss taking over testing at Village. In all honesty I was so excited to get the opportunity. I started my career over ten years ago at a global software publisher, since then I’ve worked for several years in both Cambridge and London. My experience is fairly wide ranging from testing mobile ticketing services to anyone riding in and out of New York City to delivering a home automation platform for the second largest hardware chain in the United States.  

Village work on several projects simultaneously and I was keen to apply my prior experience to enhance uniformity between software development projects. Tasked with enhancing the QA process, I began by updating the flow of work items on existing projects. My primary aim was to create clear steps for each work item (to make it more obvious what state a work item was in). For example, when a work item is with a developer its state is ‘In Development’, once development has been completed the work item moves to ‘Ready for QA’. Once I’ve tested the work item meets requirements against it can then be moved into ‘Ready for UAT’. While in UAT I keep myself available to answer any questions the client has while they carry out acceptance testing.  Having the ‘QA’ step clearly defined on all projects gives greater clarity and transparency. The client can be confident that a proper QA process has been applied.   

To further improve the robustness of the testing Village can offer I wrote and deployed UI test automation (using Cypress) into a handful of existing projectsThe main purpose of having test automation is to provide confidence that code changes have not introduced failures (severe enough to halt a prospective release). These tests are designed to test core functionality, for example log in, creating, edited and updating a record. Test automation is fairly resource intensive to setup, however it saves time in the long-term, by removing the need to perform manual smoke tests.  

I’ve really enjoyed the flexibility to implement change so quickly. The team at Village are encouraging and curious about new approaches to development and tools available to us. I’m excited to continue improving the testing services Village can offer going forward.  

Well, I may have jumped on a moving train to join, but now I feel part of the team. 

Chris Begley

Chris joined Village with over a decade of experience in software testing across a wide range of products including home automation, mobile ticketing services and healthcare information technology systems both in the UK and the US. Joining the company during a pandemic can’t have been easy but Chris soon got to work applying his extensive experience of software testing, implementing UI automation using Cypress and QA processes. Village now has a more enhanced testing and QA processes and clients can be confident that Chris always on hand to assist clients with UAT queries and management.

Read more posts by Chris Begley