Creating a QA team that can also contribute in areas outside of testing.
Taking the first step by deploying MagicPod.
Showcase Gig, Inc.
I went to Showcase Gig with Ito, the MagicPod CEO.
We discussed many topics related to MagicPod, including the time before its introduction, how it is currently operated, as well as screen captures that are being used in unexpected ways.
Showcase Gig, Inc.
Since its founding in 2012, Showcase Gig has been working on creating a sustainable store model that embodies the consumer behavior of a new era. With their next-generation store creation O:der (order) platform, they provide “O:der Table” for in-store mobile orders, “O:der ToGo”, for take-out mobile orders, and “O:der Kiosk”, a next-generation touch panel-type order settlement device.
- MagicPod is only option with strength in mobile field as well as browser.
- The connection with development is strengthened by visualizing test results
- Featured screen capture function that proved useful in unexpected ways
The limits of QA that became apparent through manual tests
We deployed MagicPod in 2020. Until that point, the pre-release tests were virtually all done manually, but as it is not possible to run manual tests everyday, they would be done immediately before release. If a problem was discovered, they would be forced to start again, and it took resources to investigate where the problem occurred. The biggest problem was that it was not possible to allocate man-hours to other tests they wanted to run or to non-test activities.
Only MagicPod is strong in the mobile field as well
The reason they chose MagicPod was in order to run automatic tests on both native apps and browsers. There were products that only supported iOS, but I don’t think there are any others yet that support both iOS and Android. The CEO, Ito-san, is someone who has taken various approaches to test automation and Selenium-related activities, so I knew of him from before. When deploying, I was able to ask a lot of questions on Zoom, and all of my doubts were resolved, so I had a strong feeling of “I want to ask for their help”.
The connection with development is strengthened by visualizing test results
MagicPod is mainly used for “pre-release regression tests,” “post-release operational checks,” and “daily regular execution.” This is a service that relates to real stores, so it is difficult to automate all test items, but we have automated as much as possible using MagicPod.
In specific terms, “O:der Table” is run regularly every morning at 9 AM and finishes in about 20 minutes, so if a problem emerges there, the content can be communicated to developers based on screen captures and logs. If the regular test the previous day ran without a hitch but failed today, the cause is highly likely to be due to the difference in that one day, so the number of manhours before resolution will be reduced. If you run tests every day, you can detect even slight degradations right away, and I think this enhances safety as well.
The test result notifications are sent every day by email, but as these may be missed, notifications are also sent to Slack. I believe it is because the results can be seen by the development side that the system has operated smoothly since its introduction.
Reference: “I created a Slack Bot that checks MagicPod results every day” (Showcase Gig Tech Blog)
A screen capture function that is useful in unexpected ways
It may be just our company, but we find the screen capture function extremely useful. For example, every time we add features, we need to provide a new manual to implementing stores. The screens used for that manual are created by the support team, so if MagicPod can set up a scenario to acquire screen captures, we can acquire them at the desired time. If a logo just changes in one place, we have to redo multiple screens, so it is wonderful to be able to automate screen captures as well.
Creating a QA team that can also contribute in areas outside of testing
We had an organizational change in November 2021, and created a new QA team. Until then, there had been one or two QA engineers in each of the development teams, but we changed the organization in a way that the QA team could look at each product in a cross-platform way. We are moving to transform the QA team from a team that “does” testing to one that “also does” testing.
It is because we were able to reduce the number of man-hours required for testing with the introduction of MagicPod that allowed us to think this way. By introducing exploratory testing, for example, we are able to provide frequent feedback to development engineers on defects and give suggestions for improvement. As a next step, we are looking into how the QA team can contribute in ways outside of just testing.
Reference: “The Trajectory of QA and Suffering in a Scrum team” (Showcase Gig Tech Blog)
Test automation is the first step towards the future
In the past, there were many difficult challenges to overcome in writing code for those who had to proceed with manual and automated testing in parallel, such as needing to write Appium for mobile apps and Selenium for browser apps, and the like. I wrote some code in my previous job, but maintaining it was really hard work, and I think many people face setbacks because of this.
Deploying MagicPod has had the benefits of decreasing the psychological load, and lowering the bar for test automation. But what is important is not just simplifying the deployment of test automation, but rather thinking in advance about “what do we want to do” and “what problems we want to solve.” I think it is hard to maintain motivation if the aim is simply to reduce man-hours. I believe that the deployment of MagicPod will lead to stronger cooperation between QA and development, and will be an important step toward the future.
We are actively accepting applications for QA engineers.
・Engineer recruitment page
・Tech blog page
We are also producing an advent calendar this year!
・Showcase Gig Advent Calendar 2021
A word from the Editorial Department
I was a little nervous heading into this interview, as it was my first.
The first thing that struck me when I arrived was how cool the office was.
There was even a bar counter and salad bar within the office.
Dashing out of the office came gentlemanly Yokota-san and cute Hirose-san. Greeted by the smiling pair, I felt relaxed straight away, and we were able to have an enjoyable conversation!!
Simply due to the sheer volume of information, Showcase Gig's tech blog is a must-see! (Seeing MagicPod mentioned twice moved me to tears)