100 new features a week is a lot.
No doubt about it.
But when you work in eCommerce, things move at light speed. That means we need to move ultra-fast while keeping quality high.
There are a lot of moving parts that go into doing a release every week. We use Risk-Based Testing (RBT) to establish where changes are being made. We focus our testing efforts around the potential impact of those changes on connected components.
We understand that establishing quality has to happen at the requirements stage. It comes from our clients, our internal reviews and understanding market trends. We also leverage our subject matter experts.
Subject Matter Experts.
Our team members have worked at Amazon, Target, Walmart and a number of major suppliers. That gives us an advantage when it comes to establishing product direction. It means our features contain just the right amount of design and just the right implementation. The capabilities we build work the way our clients need them to.
Actually, we do work overnight. Some of us work while others are sleeping. We have distributed development and quality assurance teams that follow round-the-clock development and QA cycles. That’s where the “swarm” approach comes into play.
You’ve heard of agile, but you may not have heard of swarm. Swarm is a relatively new aspect of the agile methodology that is being implemented at leading technology companies.
- Divide by functionality
- Divide by front-end (user interface) and back-end (processing, database)
- Pair program
- Utilize test driven development
- Integrate QA into the development process
We can also split tickets between two engineers—one in the day shift, one in the night shift so that rather than isolating our development time to, say, eight hours, we can get twice the amount of development time in a 24 hour cycle, which means we can turn around new capabilities twice as fast.
It also means that one person can write the code, the second person can review it. Engineers can therefore swap back and forth in a pairwise programming approach.
Be An Expert.
Everyone on our core team has an understanding of our end to end product. They may not be the absolute owner of it, but they’re knowledgeable about analytics, digital shelf, content management, and syndication. We know our clients need expertise—so we make sure we’re experts.
Of course, there’s nothing like dogfooding the product. Dogfooding means we use our own product. Everyone at the company is in the product—from sales to customer success, from engineering and QA to product management and finance.
Some companies spend the same amount of calendar time as we do building half (or less than half) of the features we build. Their point solutions let you do one or two things. But to succeed in eCommerce you have to get a lot of things right—content, price, in-stock, buy box, search, and more. That’s why we make every second count.
Just like in eCommerce, building tools for eCommerce means we’re always open to changing what we’re doing. eCommerce changes fast and we change with it.
Altogether, that means that we can deliver 100 new capabilities every week, week in, week out and do so with high quality. It’s not easy. But for clients like Kimberly Clark, Mattel, Mondelez, PepsiCo, P&G, Samsung and many more—it’s a requirement.
With special thanks to our Director of QA, James Shattuck.
Want to operate your eCommerce business with the same agility and speed?