Mike Fotinakis, Percy

Breakpoint 2020 is a 4-day virtual summit on everything testing. We're bringing speakers from the best dev and QA teams to talk about building QA processes, automating at scale and best practices for success with tools and frameworks.

Mike Fotinakis is the co-founder of Percy, an all-in-one visual testing and review platform, recently acquired by BrowserStack. Mike is passionate about software design and development, music, languages, and understanding how things work. Mike currently leads visual testing at BrowserStack.

What gave you the idea to build Percy?

Percy was created because I wanted somewhere simple I could go to do visual testing. As an engineer, I had lots of tools for automated testing of everything in sight, except for what my applications looked like.

It was a constant source of fear, so I wanted automation to tell me exactly what visual changes my team and I were launching. I knew this was a problem that every engineer and web developer faced, so Percy was built to make visual testing easy for anyone.

How has your vision for Percy changed from when you launched it, to now?

The power of Percy is that it integrates into day-to-day developer life and brings in a confidence that wasn't there before.

We evolved from thinking just about catching visual bugs, to a holistic view of helping developers have confidence in every visual change. This includes redesigns and feature additions, and making the workflow of getting that confidence a part of the normal software development lifecycle.

What does the future of Percy look like?

We're in a brand new phase for Percy with the acquisition by BrowserStack. Percy has spent the last five years focusing on a new category of testing—sitting at the intersection of design, development, and deployment, having a significant overlap with browser automation and developer workflows.

Though our path with BrowserStack has been adjacent until now, our capabilities fit perfectly together to create a comprehensive testing experience for users.

What makes the Percy-BrowserStack integration so exciting?

I think this is a big leap for BrowserStack into a new kind of testing! BrowserStack now has products for everything–from manual testing and automated functional testing, all the way through to visual testing. Many exciting opportunities overlap between these products and the problems they solve for users, as well as the infrastructure that powers everything underneath.

Can you give us a sneak-peek into your session for Breakpoint 2020?

Come and see! It will dive into visual testing, what it is, how it works, and what makes Percy special. We'll talk about best practices for where visual testing is best used, with lots of examples and demos.

What was it like to be a developer and CEO at the same time?

It was one of the most challenging things I've ever done—but also one of the most rewarding. I had to quickly level up in many realms that I had no experience in, and it gave me a newfound appreciation for how successful businesses are built and run. Even so, it is great to get back to my roots, my love of engineering and making products people love.