Rock Solid Software Without Hiring an Army

Trish Khoo, Engineering Manager, Google

Trish Khoo, Engineering Manager, Google

The last presentation I wanted to share with you was the “Rock Solid Software without Hiring an Army," presented by Trish Khoo, Engineering Manager at Google. This was very exciting, because, of course, it was Google, but also because Escape has started implementing Agile methodologies and this presentation confirmed that we are on the right track.

First, Trish gave us some impressive stats about Google users, showing that quality is essential:

  • 1 billion active monthly users of Google Maps services
  • 1 billion downloads of Google maps on Android
  • 2 million active websites and apps use the Google Maps API

That’s a lot of users and those are some complex products. So how do you test? The answer Google came up with is to have the whole team commit to quality. Testing provides expert driven feedback on the state of business requirement gaps, user impact and overall project quality.

Make sure people get info about your product at the optimal time to make timely decisions.
Make your dev process more efficient
Design tools and infrastructure to make your developers more productive

The way they accomplished this was through a four-step program: 

  1. Change your company culture
  2. Hire the Right Skills
  3. Learn, don’t blame. Trust your people. Learn from your mistakes and get feedback.
  4. Launch and iterate. Faster releases mean faster feedback. 

The result: Rock Solid Software

It was satisfying to see that these steps are similar to Escape’s plan, laid out by Ramona in 2014 and implemented in stages over the last two years and continuing into the future. Earlier this year, we started providing report releases twice a month so that our customers don’t have to wait for the next major release for new report functionality. 

We are also in the process of some development lifecycle changes with development and testing. We are cross-training our developers and using new tools to help automate some of our tasks. 

Our goal is to make every Escape Technology product ROCK SOLID!