It All Started With a Mouse
It all started with a mouse. Or perhaps more accurately, it all started with our last visit to the mouse.
You can read the full story Here, or this TL;DR version:
Our last visit to the Disneyland resort was in December 2019, shortly after my partner was diagnosed with celiac disease. Disney parks do an outstanding job acommodating dietary restrictions and allergies, but accurate food information can be difficult to source ahead of time and costly (in park-enjoyment-time) to navigate on the fly.
I retuned home from that trip with an idea to create a gluten/wheat-friendly meal planning tool for the Disneyland Resort. I started the #100DaysOfCode challenge and dove head first into learning Ruby on Rails so I could being working on (drumroll 🥁) Gluten-free Land.
A couple months (and several name changes ~ branding editor) later, I launched the first version of Friendliest.app in late February 2020. And for those of you doing COVID math, yes, within weeks of launching my resort companion app, said resort shut down for over 400 days.
But that is a story for another post…on a different blog.
What does any of this have to do with QABuddy?
I’m getting there. As I mentioned, it is only tangentially related.
Fast forward about a year and in early 2021 I started work on a second Rails project, a brand advocacy management tool. At that time I was managing not only the two Rails projects, but also a Gatsby blog and Jekyll knowledge base. I was beginning to get my head around test automation, RSpec, Selenium and the like, but I was also starting to miss more and push out buggier builds as I bounced between projects.
My tests were passing, but my UI’s application flows were suffering. I created a notebook in OneNote and started documenting the various pieces and parts of my applications and the User Acceptance Testing (UAT) I would need to perform in each to be confident pushing a build to production.
At the same time, I was running into testing issues at the day job. We had a couple on-premise ERP applications that are co-developed with the vendors. As the customer, we performed all UAT, but didn’t have access to any of the upstream testing performed before the build is delivered.
We had refined our acceptance testing processes over several years (stay tuned for more on this topic ~ content editor) but they were still far from perfect. We continuously ran into issues with missed bugs, duplicitive testing and delays due to the extra time needed to coordinate and validate testing around peoples’ schedules. All costly problems, both in terms of real dollars and sunk team member time. Yuck.
Jump ahead again to the beginning of 2022 and I decided to take a stab at writing an web app to better document and coordinate manual testing. Something that could both streamline the testing processes for closed-source, on-prem applications and also fill in the gaps for web app developers left by automated testing tools.
I wanted to build a QABuddy.
So, what began with a mouse (arguably what began with an autoimmune disease ~ fact checker) has arrived at a better way to perform manual QA. 🎉🎉🎉