QA Mentor: Driving Better Results through Assured Quality Processes

QA Mentor: Driving Better Results through Assured Quality Processes | The Enterprise World

There is a thin line between a good and a great product. A major factor that separates the two is an effective Quality Assurance process. A good QA implementation can help organizations remove defective product elements, helping deliver products that meet customer demands in an uncompromised manner. There are numerous benefits of a well-managed QA, however, several organizations are not aware of its maximum potential. 

Established in 2010, QA Mentor guides such organizations and educates them about the importance of good QA processes. With a team of seasoned experts, the company offers tailored services to organizations that drive better results in the long run and save time. In our latest issue ‘Most Trusted Testing Software Solution Providers Companies’, we are featuring the fascinating success story of QA Mentor. 

Comprehensive QA Support

Ruslan Desyatnikov is the CEO, President, and Founder of QA Mentor. He independently established the company in 2010 and named it QA Mentor because the idea was to provide mentorship services around the quality assurance and software testing domain. The company aimed to help organizations mature and improve their QA processes and methodology. 

At QA Mentor, the client organizations receive strategic support through mentorships, guidance, coaching, training, and strategic services. The company helps its clients conduct QA audits using QA Mentor’s proprietary QA Audit framework which helps to identify gaps, areas of improvement, broken processes, and put transformational strategies in place. 

However, the QA Mentor soon realized that only strategic support was insufficient. Organizations also need specialized resources around automation, performance, and security. To keep up with these organizational demands, QA Mentor developed specialized services around those technical areas. 

Initially, it opened one location in Ukraine and soon progressed to another in Pune, India. During this period, the company started growing significantly and increased its number of testing service offerings. In its journey of 12 years, the company also acquired five different companies in France, another in Ukraine, and three in India. Currently, it operates with 375 employees located in 11 countries globally.

Barriers at the Beginning

During the initial stages, the major challenge for QA Mentor was to manage finances. The company utilized and invested its own money without the help of any funding rounds. As a result, it lacked the capital to buy new equipment like mobile devices, laptops, etc. at that stage. 

As a matter of fact, we have over 400 mobile devices in our possession for mobile compatibility testing as well as various laptops and configurations, because we are doing a lot of game testing,” mentions Ruslan. 

As an international company with different offices across the board, getting people to operate and follow the same strategy, methodology, and best practices was another challenge for QA Mentor. To cope with this challenge, QA Mentor invested a lot into upgrading its maturity level. The company achieved CMMI level three appraisal certification and ISO Certificates—ISO 27000, ISO 9001, ISO 20000, etc. that allow it to operate on the same page across different offices and locations. It took a while for QA Mentor to reach this level of seamless operations. 

Another challenge was that many companies were doing QA with the help of developers. They didn’t realize the importance of having an independent, unbiased QA function or independent software testing provider to assure uncompromised quality. It took a lot of time and effort to educate these clients on the importance of independent software testing. 

Bouquet of Services

QA Mentor offers functional and non-functional testing services to 475 global clients. This includes API level automation testing, UI automation, functional automation, compatibility automation, database automation, process automation, performance testing, security penetration testing, test data management, Internet of Things, and robotics.

QA Mentor developed 7 proprietary automation frameworks for open source and enterprise-level technologies including Selenium Java Cucumber Framework, Appium, UFT, Ranorex, TestComplete, and UIPath. 

Offerings that stand out

Besides the aforementioned services, one of the unique services offered by QA Mentor is the Architecture review service. This service allows the company to verify and validate the architecture design of the application. It has on-staff IT architects from different industries who can unbiasedly assess existing technology, existing applications, security aspects, as well as performance aspects of the architecture. 

QA Mentor also offers a crowdsourcing service that allows it to practically test on every language in the world. In terms of localization testing, the company has over 12000 professional testers from 182 countries around the world as part of its community. Many of its clients are localizing their applications in different languages like Arabic, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Spanish, French, etc. 

The company also offers ‘Testing in your Time Zone’ service where it provides testing services 24/7. It has different shifts operating at different time zones. These shifts also include weekend shifts as many clients launch their releases on weekends and they want QA Mentor to do testing in production. 

Leveraging the Technology

With the help of automation and technology, QA Mentor has built a wide portfolio of products in several sections, enabling its customers to execute enhanced and more disciplined processes.

QA coverage is one such product developed by QA Mentor. It is a comprehensive test management platform that manages the entire software development life cycle, from requirements gathering to building test cases, executing test cases from the test lab, and identifying defects, risks, and issues. The product is primarily offered to many of QA Mentor’s clients who do not have a sophisticated test management solution. 

Its second product was Metrics Alert, a key performance indicator platform with over 60 different key performance indicators. Metrics Alert allows customers to measure quality, productivity, and the overall efficiency of the software development lifecycle.

In addition to these products, QA mentor has built numerous automation frameworks that can be deployed and adopted for banking customers, e-commerce customers, or healthcare customers. It is a cookie cutter that can apply to the customers’ platforms and applications so they don’t need to spend time to design and build test cases. 

The company already has pre-built test cases which need to be tuned a little bit more. QA Mentor provides capabilities like time to market and a very quick turnaround time on building and executing the test cases through its automation frameworks. 

Continuous Expansion

About five to six years after its inception, QA Mentor reached a point where it could think about accelerating its growth. This is where the company started the acquisition strategy. It acquired five smaller-size, startup companies around the world—one in Ukraine, one in France, and three in India. QA Mentor’s latest acquisition was Step One Step Ahead, a Mumbai-based robotic process Automation Company which it acquired almost three years ago. 

QA Mentor’s strategy also involves expanding into different areas. The company aims to establish a footprint across the entire world, helping organizations bring maturity to their software development lifecycle with a proper QA and the QA processes around it. To complete this pursuit, QA Mentor has been continuously opening locations in different areas.  Last year, the company started operations in Nigeria. It also started operations in Canada two years ago and is planning to start in Dubai as well. QA Mentor is strategically planning to expand its geographical area to help other areas and countries with the QA processes. 

Leading with Deeper Knowledge

QA Mentor has established its own research and development practice. With the help of this specialized group, the company can learn more about the market, various new tools and technologies, and automation principles to stay ahead of its competitors. It continues to expand its R&D department internally while gathering more knowledge via conferences, webinars, and seminars.

To help the employees upscale their knowledge, the company has developed various training programs to introduce them to new tools, technologies, and approaches. With the help of these initiatives, QA Mentor cross-trains each individual to help them upgrade their skills. QA Mentor wanted to approach every situation smartly as it covered all the possible angles when it came to testing. 

We try to deploy specific strategies for every engagement, every project, and every new customer and client,” adds Ruslan. 

Reflecting on the Leadership Philosophy

Ruslan describes that the leadership style at the company revolves around not spoon-feeding anyone. The company does not believe in micromanaging the employees and instead showcases high trust in them, empowering them along the way.

At QA Mentor, the teams get complete freedom in their decisions, ensuring they are independent and not over-reliant on the leadership. The company wants the employees to take control and ownership of decisions. In the process, making a mistake is fine as long as teams do not repeat the mistakes.

We want to grow leaders and we want potentially every single employee to be a leader for this organization. This will help us expand and grow,” says Ruslan. 

Furthermore, QA Mentor follows an open-door policy where the employees aren’t afraid to raise concerns or suggest changes or improvements. Ruslan also highlights the importance of listening to your employees. The company conducts various surveys to ensure each employee at QA Mentor feels heard and seen. The employee feedback from the surveys helps the company improve its operations further.

Nurturing the In-House Talent

As its name suggests, QA Mentor is all about mentorship and guidance. The company identifies people who need help within the organization, And unlike other organizations, it holds on to these talented individuals and trains them toward betterment.

The company primarily hires students from colleges and puts them in a program called How to Become a QA Tester in 30 days. In these 30 days, these individuals can amass a lot of knowledge. Later, they are admitted into another program where they gain actual practical experience. 

This hiring process specifically showcases that seniors are not the sole focus at QA Mentor. Along the way to build their careers, the company guides the employees to reach the next level where they can tackle any situation easily. “We know how to mentor and we know how to grow individuals and bring them to the next level of their maturity,” adds Ruslan. 

Minimizing the Risks

Most businesses carry with them a certain level of risk. Be it gambling on people’s talents when hiring or acquiring organizations without knowing the future for certain. When Ruslan started this company, walking away from a big management role in his previous company was also risky. 

We like to take risks because people who take risks will have a higher degree of rewards. But you need to be smart while taking risks. You need to have a risk mitigation strategy in place,” adds Ruslan. 

Taking unhealthy risks is not the way forward. However, if the organization does land in a risky situation for some reason, having risk mitigation strategies at hand is ideal, says Ruslan. Before making any decision, whether potentially risky or not, the organization needs to analyze various factors such as rewards, benefits, and risks behind the decision. 

Envisioning the Product Expansion

As QA Mentor expands its horizons, it continues to add more services to its arsenal. Looking into the future, the company aspires to offer robotics testing services for the automotive industry. For example, there are car manufacturers that have different platforms like hardware platforms which they are interested in automating. QA Mentor is building, improving upon, and learning other capabilities like Big data testing and data verification and validation. 

QA Mentor also aspires to venture into Internet of Things Testing (IoT Testing). The company has built specific practices for IoT Testing and is expanding and adding more capabilities to it. To enhance the customer experience further, it plans to make more services and tools available to its clients and customers in the market. QA Mentor is assessing how to leverage and utilize spaces such as AI and Machine learning in the market to bring more maturity into the testing processes. 

In addition, QA Mentor has also created a platform to train kids about robotics automation. The aim is to help them build scripts for robotics. Moreover, as mentioned earlier, the company is planning to open new strategic offices in Dubai as well as the Philippines. The company is looking for other ideas so that it can expand into other regions as well. 

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