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There is a team at dirico that might be feared by colleagues: the quality assurance team. Their job is to put their finger in the wounds every day. In other words: to find the errors in the system.
Nothing works without Christian Schmitz when a new version of dirico is being released: in his role as Quality Assurance Manager, he is responsible for the release of a new update. The four-member team, two in full-time and two working students, regularly tests the platform thoroughly. “This concerns new developments, but also existing functions,” he explains.
On the one hand, the software is being tested manually: the employees run through application scenarios, check the user guidance, logical processes and the designations in dirico’s input masks. On the other hand, automated tests are used: “For this purpose, we create test plans which are tested with each release and tracked in Azure DevOps,” says Christian. DevOps is the name of the platform in the background on which the quality testers work with the developers, sharing their plans and priorities with each other and improving the product in recurring cycles. The working method and documentation is completely digitalised.
“The goal is to deliver the software to customers as error-free as possible,” says Christian. His task is to bring the test coverage as close to 100 percent as possible – so that every function has been tested once. Given the size of the product and the increasing number of functions, this regularly becomes more complex. “The ideal case would be that every customer receives a product without any bugs,” adds working student Alex Weissörtel. In practice this is rather unrealistic, “nevertheless we do everything possible to find bugs in existing code.”
Bugs can never be excluded in products. At dirico, fortunately, they never have as big an impact as the legendary mistake in the programming of the F-16 fighter plane, which turned upside down by the autopilot as soon as it flew over the equator. The mistake was that the programmers had not considered negative latitudes. Fortunately, it was discovered at the end of development using a simulator.
Nevertheless, dirico has already experienced errors, for example, that an input field could not be filled in or that a user from a certain team could not be removed because he was admin. To evaluate the respective solution and to prioritise it correctly requires a sure instinct. In its self-presentation, the DevOps platform used also emphasises the concept of a certain culture, which is necessary for the cooperation between bug finders and developers.
In addition to this platform, in an internal chat group called “Report an incident”, problems are immediately exchanged between support, quality assurance and developers on a minute-by-minute basis: If, for example, a customer reports an unusually long loading time and perhaps a second or third customer joins the group, the developers immediately get to the bottom of it.
For Alex and his colleague Arne Hüsing in the quality assurance team it is particularly important to be able to make decisions and make a difference as working students. Arne came to dirico a year and a half ago. Bonasmitha Behura has recently joined the team: she too now regularly finds bugs in the system and uses them to create prioritised tickets that need to be processed.
“Everyone helps everyone!”Bonasmitha Behura, QA Manager
They all appreciate the working atmosphere with helpful colleagues. In their free time, they occasionally meet up for a game night or spend their lunch break with a walk along the Moselle followed by a pizza together. “With dirico I always have the feeling that everyone is pulling together with full commitment,” says working student Alex. The familiar atmosphere and the flat structure are exactly what he likes.