Noteworthy is a1qa’s streamlined and open communication, flexibility, proactive approach, and commitment to the process, be it the purchase of the necessary mobile devices to run the tests or urgent support despite the time difference.
We enjoy working with a1qa’s team and consider the company a reliable QA partner who contributes to attaining our business objectives.Director of QA
The client is a well-known US-based developer of a web3 social metaverse being one of the 10 most downloaded social apps in the USA. Their main objectives included attaining revenue growth, ensuring top-tier quality of features considering the overall complexity of 3D technology, meeting tight release deadlines, and accelerating time-to-market.
Having insufficient resources for the business needs, the company engaged a1qa due to their mature, ISTQB-based processes, clearly defined QA objectives, and a carefully designed draft of a test strategy and test plan. Along with that, the customer was impressed by the high transparency of workflows, ongoing KPIs measurement, an approach that presupposes continuous improvement and monitoring.
A 3D avatar social app allows users to create characters, customize them, chat with friends or call them, visit parties, watch YouTube, play games, share experiences, and explore virtual worlds. Monetization is performed through selling accessories, clothes, shoes, and more for avatars using a specifically designed currency (can be bought or accrued as a bonus, for instance, after registration).
This software is multiplatform and runs on iOS and Android devices (native applications), in web browsers (Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome), and on desktops (Windows, macOS).
Before the project start, a1qa assigned a QA manager, and then quickly formed a team of QA engineers.
To effectively perform daily activities regardless of the 11-hour time difference, the a1qa QA manager created a communication framework, according to which the QA experts’ schedules were adapted.
This helped maximally utilize obtained crossover time for participating in daily meetings, addressing questions with the development team, understanding the status of tasks, and notifying the client about any schedule updates of diverse QA specialists.
The current 2-hour crossover period contrasts with its longer duration at the project’s start. This extension was required for knowledge transfer and seamless integration of the a1qa team into processes. Refinements led to the present efficient timeframe.
From the very first days, the engineers delved into the nuances of software operation, quickly integrated into Scrum-based workflows, and provided extensive support covering functional and automated testing.
Within a strict timeframe, the client needed to release complex functionalities, including:
For that, a1qa added up to 2 QA experts to each of the 5 client teams. These a1qa’s engineers possessed vast working experience with 3D modeling and were proficient in specific concepts such as:
To decrease the number of issues and eliminate logical contradictions from the get-go, the a1qa professionals wrote test documentation and verified requirements.
Smoke and new feature testing helped ensure that no critical issues impeded correct software functioning and recently added functionality was implemented without affecting the logic of the product. They conducted regression activities and defect validation to confirm that the app was stable, and any newly implemented features wouldn’t crash it.
In addition, a1qa reviewed the operation of the platform’s currency ― its valid processing, balance update, restrictions from buying if the balance is low, etc.
a1qa provided mobile app testing, using in-house real mobile devices for more accuracy, to ensure the software operates in line with requirements regardless of the device or OS. The QA team assessed the connectivity, functionality, menu, and other high-priority aspects.
Furthermore, the client started developing a novel NFT-based solution so users of their online platform could buy and resell NFTs. All the transactions and operations with NFTs are based on blockchain. The a1qa team supported this release and helped ensure faultless software operation.
When a1qa joined the project, test automation of smoke and regression verifications was already in place. QA experts suggested several ways to improve its effectiveness.
For automating software versions for web and desktops, the QA automation engineers performed the following high-priority steps:
1. Migrate test cases from a Spectron framework to Playwright
Test automation specialists adjusted the sensitivity of Playwright’s screen comparison function, so it allows the comparison of two screenshots and does not take into account dynamic changes in the frame.
2. Set up integration with TestRail
Previously, only manual testing teams on the client’s side used TestRail to prioritize and manage tests, define gaps in the test coverage, obtain real-time reporting, and optimize QA processes with a thorough analysis. As for automated workflows, one QA automation engineer ran tests locally and analyzed their results.
This approach had several significant drawbacks. First, it was difficult to store and analyze statistics on passed/failed tests. Second, it was necessary to set up a test environment for test runs on diverse work machines. So, if a person who ran tests wasn’t available, the rest project members lost access to test results, which negatively affected overall work transparency and disrupted the flow.
Therefore, a1qa offered to set up an integration with TestRail, a test-tracking system.
3. Review code
Each time the client’s QA automation team lead performs pull requests, a1qa’s QA automation engineers review their changes to functionality and apply a code analyzer to ensure accuracy and completeness, eliminate code duplications, and remove magic strings.
4. Ongoing development of new automated tests
For mobile test automation, the QA engineers apply the Appium framework (tests for Android and iOS platforms differed as they contained varied locators and method names). They also use AWS Device Farm to run tests on real Android-based items for better testing accuracy as well as launch tests in the cloud and, thus, optimize costs.
The scope of work includes writing new automated test cases using Python, supporting the old ones, setting up integration with TestRail, and code review.
During the project, a1qa successfully overcame a challenge related to the absence of test stands. All testing is performed in the production environment. To do this successfully and mitigate business risks related to releasing new features, the QA engineers used a special checkbox for each feature under test which makes it invisible to other users. Once the testing is over, the checkbox is removed, and the new avatar’s feature becomes available to everyone. This allows verification of new features without affecting the real-time actions of end users.
The cooperation is still ongoing, and the client is satisfied with the quality of a1qa’s delivery.