Quality, quality, quality. We can’t say it enough. At Choco, it’s essential.
As a user-centric organization, we pride ourselves on the way we develop and roll out tech products internally to create an unmatched user experience.
In this article, our QA Chapter Lead, Bruna Chagas, walks us through two of the key internal initiatives that help our team quickly identify issues and maintain the overall quality of our product: Bug Bashing Week and the Bug Hunting approach.
The QA Role At Choco
In her role, Bruna helps define what it means to be a QA Engineer at Choco. A big part of her role is coming up with initiatives to ignite collaboration and expand the high-integrity mindset amongst product developers.
The individuals working in the QA chapter, like Bruna, are the ones leading and driving the topic of quality inside their cross-functional squads.
At Choco, there are three key ways—or perhaps we should say, “three key A’s”—that we use to define the QA role:
#1: Quality Automation: To enable, create, and improve automated testing structures, as well as define foundational strategies, working closely with the developers.
#2: Quality Analysis: Getting involved early in the delivery lifecycle. When defining the testing specifications, make sure the testing procedure is clear and meets quality standards. Work closely with Product and Design to find any edge cases and fully understand tasks, and consequently contribute to the quality of the feature(s).
#3: Quality Advocate: Focusing on quality more holistically. It is about leading the quality topic inside the squads and bringing initiatives inside the QA chapter, defining KPIs of the teams.
We believe that the quality of the product is a shared responsibility. Regardless of their roles, the whole squad is responsible for the quality, not just one person.
So what does this look like? For example, engineers can pick up a QA ticket to objectively assess the work for something that they haven’t personally developed. Before they take on new tasks, engineers and QAs prioritize the QA column, taking ownership by assigning themselves tickets.
The team has also been working on expediting the testing feedback cycle, running automated testing, as well as working together in squads to increase the test coverage. There is test strategy guidance for each chapter—currently only for mobile; future plans include expanding to other platforms, outlining a specific approach to app/software testing and feedback.
Finally, bug hunting is a huge priority for QAs, as well as the entire team. Creating special sessions and initiatives has allowed them to focus on essential bug exploration that helps to find any issues before the products get to our users.
A Look Inside Our Bug Bash Week
At Choco, we’re serious about bugs (bashing them, that is). Bruna described the successful Bug Bash Week that developers, QAs, product managers, and designers recently took part in.
Essentially, each team member could choose to work on any bug that they wanted. The engineers were focused on fixing the issues and testing the fixes. QAs, on the other hand, were busy testing tickets and answering questions in the channel along with the project managers and designers.
Bruna states that the goal of the initiative was quite simple: “to kill the bugs.” She paired up with our Product Director, Carolin Steurer, to organize the “quite intense, but very fun” week.
During this one-week period, the team focused on reducing the number of bugs on the dashboards of all squads. By the end of the week, 81% of all bugs were either resolved or in progress. Moreover, the Web Chapter of our Vendor Squad didn’t have any bugs left at all.
In addition to the obvious value of getting rid of a number of unwanted bugs, the team also got to connect more personally. Those who could make it to the office in person got to eat breakfast together, talk about life, and catch up with each other outside of the usual work chatter.
Bruna shares that the competitive aspect of Bug Bash Week was also advantageous;
“Having a leaders dashboard displayed daily was also a great motivation for people to get excited to fix more and more bugs to get the prizes.”
The prizes included a Nintendo Switch, a night in a hotel, and a North Face jacket. The winners were divided between the QAs and the Engineers, and the winner at the top of the leaderboard got to choose their prizes first (second and third places came after).
In terms of the lessons learned from the event, participants reported that, while the competitive aspect added fun and motivation, there was also room for more balance. One suggestion was to make the competitive aspect less individual-based and more focused on teams/squads so that they can both collaborate and compete with one another.
Bug Hunting At Choco
The Bug Bash week was a “crucial moment" for Choco to work on what would usually be considered “low-priority” bugs and tasks and kick-start a sense of ownership for the team. Bruna explains that our tech leaders wanted the squads to feel empowered by the end of the week to continue fixing bugs as they arose. This ties in well with our core value of “ownership.”
The industry term for common exploratory testing sessions is Bug Hunting. At Choco, it gives us the opportunity to explore our app without a pre-written test. This helps us pinpoint new behaviors that aren’t in the scripts, find glitches that automation may miss, and see if there are any missing requirements for functionality.
Rather than being a substitute for automated testing, it helps the team uncover critical bugs that could otherwise be missed by automated testing alone. Additionally, it gives the team the opportunity to understand more about a new feature and improve how they test it. Moreover, it aligns with Choco's goal of complete product-centricity.
Why Bug Hunting and Bashing is Essential to the Choco Culture
Choco is, at its core, a user-centric platform. We’re always focusing our efforts on how we can directly impact the chefs, restaurant owners, and suppliers using our app in positive ways.
The Bug Hunting and Bug Bashing initiatives were all about finding issues that users may otherwise experience in the Choco app. The initiatives are a way for the team to proactively put themselves in the users’ shoes. Their goal was really to find the bugs before the users did, “in order to give users more confidence in our product,” Bruna says.
The Choco culture also puts a focus on innovation; breaking the mold of what has come before and identifying new, inspiring ways to create, enhance, and problem-solve.
Coming up with new testing strategies is something that QAs, like Bruna are not only responsible for but excited about.
“I really love to think about testing strategies like a puzzle with a lot of pieces coming together. You can then see the whole picture.”
Your Career Development: Become An Industry Leader At Choco
So what does it take to be successful in the QA team at Choco? Bruna shares that at Choco, we’re looking for people who are passionate about quality. "You should understand our mindset of the "three Key As" (automation, analysis, and advocacy) and be actively willing (and excited) to keep raising the bar of what is possible and what is considered great quality."
If you’re a team player, Choco is a great place to be. Bruna comments that it’s one of her favorite parts of working here. These initiatives, in addition to Dogfooding, are just some of the many ways our teams come together to collaborate as a team to drive success. On top of that, we’re here to innovate in the way we do things and the products we create at Choco, but also to influence the industry as a whole.
If you’re a leader, focused on innovation, love a challenge, and love being a part of an awesome team, Choco might just be the place for you. Check out our open positions here!