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Software Testing as an Olympic Sport: 5 Tips For Gold

By Shailesh Rao, COO

As you’re reading this, nearly three thousand athletes from 92 countries are taking part in the PyeongChang 2018 Olympics. Each has devoted years of training and hard work – aside from shedding blood, sweat and tears – for their opportunity to win gold and glory.

In some ways, software testing has its own parallels with the Olympics. Development and quality assurance take time, dedication and a continual, undying determination for perfection. Competition is fierce. And the ultimate goal? A release that receives a perfect 10 from every customer.

Reaching gold medal-level software testing status is no easy feat. Here are five tips to help you and your team get there:

  1. Speed up your test runs. Whether we’re talking about speed skating, or software testing, all else being equal, fast always beats slow. Faster test runs translate to faster and better releases, providing a leg up against your competition. Leveraging the right equipment – or tools, can help reduce the time to deploy code down from weeks to hours. The end result is faster deployments and iterations, bringing you closer to gold.

  2. Cultivate teamwork. For team sports such as hockey and curling, success comes not from individual talent, but from how well athletes perform as a group. The same goes for software testing. When everyone works to the best of their ability, together as one cohesive team, they are able to scale greater heights. A culture of working together is key for success.

  3. Strive for agility. Physical agility is to athletes what development agility is to software teams. This means uniting teams around the principles of collaboration, transparency and responsiveness with feedback throughout the testing process. When your team is dynamic enough to be truly Agile, it can approach and succeed over challenges as they come. The result is maximum efficiency.

  4. Go big or go home. Olympians give their sport everything they have, and so should developers, by testing software against the most combinations of browsers and devices possible. With a platform like BrowserStack, which offers a combination of more than 2,000 real mobile devices, browsers and operating systems, you can be confident your product works everywhere.

  5. Keep your eye on the prize. From sports to testing, it is the undying desire to achieve greatness that drives continual improvement and brings us closer to success. Maintaining the right focus – of being faster and better than the competition and releasing bug-free code quickly and effectively – helps to ensure you are on a path to achieve greatness. This is part of the Olympic creed. Indeed, it’s not about where you start, but where you finish that really matters.

“Citius, Altius, Fortius”, which is Latin for “Faster, Higher, Stronger” is the Olympic motto. In today’s world of agile development, the phrase could easily serve as every software team’s motto as well. Whatever your area of expertise, dreaming to achieve something great drives improvement and accomplishment. Are you and your team up for the challenge to achieve gold?