As an app-based company, technology is at the very core of the Moneybox business. It is the primary point of contact between us and our customers—it being the interface by which our customers invest and access their funds. As such, making sure that the Moneybox app is robust is critical. Multiple teams each spend hundreds of hours designing, coding and testing each iteration of the Moneybox app. Today’s focus is on the mobile QA team who help bake quality into every stage of the product-development cycle. Moneybox would not be where it is without the hard work of our valued developers and testers. Learn more about our processes, the team, our dedication to our employees, QA team management and finally some things in the pipeline that’ll make everyone’s lives easier!
What is the QA Process at Moneybox?
The QA team, as is common in tech start-ups, operates in a fast-paced environment that takes an iterative approach toward app and product development. It is the QA team’s job to test and sign-off on a release candidate build (following various stages of product-design and feature-implementation) before it gets rolled out to an internal audience and, finally, externally to the Android and iOS’ respective app stores.
The QA stages of our product-development cycle, broadly, is as follows:
Code Review > Product Review > QA.
The highly valued QA role shares some overlap with the equally regarded Product Review role, but they remain separate in some crucial respects—those being the in-depth feature testing done by QA, and UI & design performed during product review. This method ensures multiple approaches to feature-testing and acts as a further checkpoint in which any issues may be found and corrected prior to a new release.
Each team brings our values to life, so at Moneybox our testers feel how much they are valued. Everyone is encouraged to speak up about their ideas towards improving the work environment, workflow and/or product! Contributions are encouraged and considered, regardless of the contributor’s level of seniority. The team itself is comprised of a small but dedicated number of members operating out of two offices: London, UK and Brno, CZECHIA. Work is distributed evenly amongst the team’s members who each specialise in different areas. Our two most recent joiners, for example, are a manual tester and an automation engineer. Individuals are assigned to parts of the QA process (e.g. backend and frontend testing) that best meets the need for QA support as well as their individual interests as QA members. We also actively encourage our team members to grow in their role, from online courses to conferences! In this way, it is possible to support the continued development of our employees whilst effectively balancing work priorities. It is the intent that each new member of the team brings something new to the table, aiding in refining the QA processes and ultimately helping to deliver a superior product.
Managing a team of multiple individuals from different cultures and backgrounds brings with it significant but rewarding challenges. One may find, for example, that one team member places particular emphasis on speed, whilst another has an especially keen eye for details. This presents two opposing QA philosophies, dictated by personality and experience, that each must be accounted for. Working through tests too quickly can come at the expense of precision, whilst spending too much time on one aspect of a product may end up delaying delivery given the rate at which Moneybox develops and rolls out new features and updates. The more experienced the tester is, the more balanced they will likely be, but it is up to the lead to balance the variety of personalities and approaches to testing within the team. It is important to us that we let individuals express their skills and creativity whilst enhancing the overall QA process.
Maximising the Effectiveness of the QA Process
The swift expansion of Moneybox as a company necessitates equally accelerated development processes. This introduces various challenges to app-development such as design and budget constraints, or resource and time limitations at various stages of development. Of these examples, resources and limitations of time are of particular importance to the QA process.
In order to continually meet the rising demands of the business, the team utilise an Agile, sprint-based, approach to testing. This allows QA to be highly structured in its approach whilst simultaneously preserving the vital creative aspect of the work necessary for finding issues that an end user may hit which might otherwise fly under the radar during internal development. At times, when there is a large backlog of tasks that need to be completed within a short timeframe, the team has the means to adapt and prioritise the workload effectively. At the same time, during quieter periods, there is scope for exploratory testing, refining documentation, reflecting on and optimising existing workflows and, importantly, developing new skills—something that each individual within the team is encouraged to do where possible, be it learning new approaches to testing, attending conferences or online courses! This approach ensures the continued growth of the product, whilst offering the QA testers new challenges and opportunities for self-development.
Things to Come
As a fortnightly release, the Moneybox app kicks off new sprints every two weeks. Each new sprint brings a host of new features and improvements to the app with an aim to continually outdo itself. Further, as the team continues to expand, and Moneybox continues to grow, test automation is beginning to ramp up. Automating simpler tasks and tests will ensure that the QA team can spend less time on the time-consuming manual regression tests, and more time on exploring the functionality of new features which will, ultimately, result in a superior product!