In short, Quality Assurance (QA) maintains standards across all work by ensuring that any mistake, no matter how small, is always caught. It's a big deal for us, but it often doesn't get the recognition it deserves, so we sat down with our QA team to discuss why QA is the key to consistency at the highest level.
Meet the team
Daniel Whitelaw, Technical Software Tester
"My job is to help optimise the performance of our software by making sure that any changes to our core rendering pipeline do not affect the load times or frames per second rates of our cars and environments."
Jonathan Mathews, Art QA
"I mainly cover car content, primarily for Audi. My role involves testing our models against the manufacturers' source files to make sure that everything not only looks great, but switches and animates correctly."
Daniel Conway, Senior Software Tester
"My area is quite varied. I maintain quality standards on cloud, website, and UI (user interface) projects, as well as working on overall process improvements."
Sean Defty, Senior Software Tester
"I've worked on all sorts of projects, so I'm a bit of an all-rounder, but I particularly enjoy process improvement. I love analysing our processes and finding ways to streamline them."
Jack Fletcher, Software Tester
"My main area of QA is technical and performance testing. I've worked on a few big projects at ZeroLight, but my main focus has been the Audi VR experience."
Driving QA from the front line, our resident specialists enable us to:
- Approach all testing in a methodical and replicable way
- Accurately document any issue with a build
- Take the time to consider how to fully put a system through its paces to uncover any underlying problems as early in the project's lifecycle as possible
"While QA is categorically the responsibility of everyone within an organisation, having a dedicated team of experts ensures that all deliverable projects are consistently of the highest possible standards."
Daniel Conway - Senior Software Tester
Why is QA so important to ZeroLight?
Quality First is one of the four key values we live by (it's even up in lights at our HQ, Live Works!), and rigorous QA helps us stick to this value like glue throughout all our work. This ensures our software is consistently reliable and means we always deliver for our clients and partners.
While Quality First is obviously integral to the process, delivering effective QA actually requires every single one of these values!
How to deliver great QA
Clearly, an eye for detail is important! Aside from the obvious, though, these are the other key attributes that, according to our team, turn a good tester into a great tester.
Testers need to work closely within a number of teams to ensure all work remains in line with expectations; this would be impossible to achieve without close collaboration and communication!
2. Focus and persistence
Many issues take a huge amount of perseverance to recreate, and a lapse in focus during this process could mean faults are missed.
3. Innovation and creativity
A tester has to step into the mind of the end user to consider all possibilities. To do this, they need to take a really creative approach to their work, testing more than just what has been ‘fixed' by focusing on every conceivable knock-on effect of each decision and iteration.
A top tester will be working on several projects at one time, with each one bringing many individual and distinct challenges. To manage all of these effectively, they need to be able to prioritise their workload and quickly implement and adapt their working processes to suit the current project.
So, how we do QA at ZeroLight?
Despite having various areas of expertise, our QA team is always flexible enough to deal with internal requests and periods of "all hands on deck" to ensure that all projects have constant QA. To do this, they have weekly team meetings to keep up to date with each other's workloads and manage the deadlines of each project. Outside of these meetings, they're always in contact through instant messaging, and they even venture out for the odd team lunch, too!
Constant knowledge pooling keeps the wheel of innovation rolling at ZL HQ. The team set aside a slot in every weekly meeting to share any tips they've picked up from recent projects or research, and occasionally they even swap QA areas! This keeps everyone up-to-date and helps the guys become more well-rounded testers.
Outside influence is just as important, though. Getting fresh ideas from new QA practices and techniques being used across a range of industries is exceptionally valuable to our team. Whether it's through conferences and events like ‘Test Bash' or simple online research, it's always great to compare our work with other leading companies'.
We're always on the look-out for new talent to bolster our ranks. Have you got high-level QA and managerial experience? We're currently looking for a QA Manager to help our team deliver high-quality projects for international OEMs like Audi, Porsche, and Pagani. Find out more here.