The location: a dark bar stuffed with oversized Chesterfield sofas in shades of murky brown. A top-level executive looks around, bored. What was he doing here, anyway?
A post-conference networking event full of smart minds and brilliant people. They are from various companies that work with testing, test automation, AI, Quality Assurance… like Comic con but better, because testers are cooler. The location is a dark bar stuffed with oversized Chesterfield sofas in shades of murky brown.
VERNON stands off to the side with a glass of wine, looking for something interesting. Something that stands out. He takes a sip and hums to himself, bored. A slight shove from behind makes Vernon sway as he grips his glass.
HAMES: Sorry about that.
VERNON: [slightly annoyed] It’s fine. Not much of a party anyway, is it?
HAMES: Really? I’ve been having a great time!
Vernon is perplexed. The guy seemed to be truly enjoying himself. Vernon was like this in his young days, but his passion and excitement over AI had long since fizzled, just like his robot vacuum cleaner’s charging port when it stopped working last week.
VERNON: [with a scoff] You’re kidding, right?
HAMES: Not kidding. I’ve seen some interesting projects and signed up to a new test automation plan. I’ve always been a skeptic of automated testing but the two reps were just so convincing I couldn’t say no…
VERNON: So you got reeled in by sweet words and empty promises, basically.
HAMES: No, that’s not it. The product is convincing. It’s built well. It makes sense. It delivers within days. I’m Hames by the way, from GROW TECH. We have an app that measures how much kids grow overnight.
VERNON: [offering his elbow for a bump instead of a handshake in these Covid times] Vernon, from SOUNDON Inc.
HAMES: SOUNDON? Isn’t that the company that makes emojis with sounds for web apps? I love the little robot and it’s *meep* *morp*. Great product!
VERNON: Yeah, great product. It’s growing fast, and we were hoping to transform our testing strategy. But nothing at this conference seemed even remotely helpful…honestly, I don’t think a change is even necessary.
HAMES: Ah, you should have a talk with the two reps that bowled me over. They’re from Virtuoso, have you heard of them?
VERNON: Virtuoso… oh yeah, I remember. Decent offering. Nothing groundbreaking.
HAMES: That’s what I thought at first.
Hames stands up and gives the loudest whistle anyone has ever heard, then hollers two names. Within seconds two strapping young men with blue gradient V badges pinned to their jackets come running.
HAMES: Farley. Daime. Vernon needs some convincing about Virtuoso.
FARLEY: Well, what do you currently use for testing? That’s a good starting point.
VERNON: Ah, some code-based thing. Devs chose it, devs love it. Why change?
DAIME: Well, there are so many options in the market today. Can you think of any problems you’ve had with your code-based thing?
VERNON: Not really. It does what we need. Devs can write tests and maintain them. It automates things. There’s the random failure every now and then, but that will always happen.
Farley and Daime share a concerned look and raise their brows in unison.
FARLEY: Random failures don’t sound normal… we’ve never had a user complain about that with Virtuoso. Can other people on the team use your code-based thing? Manual testers and UX designers, say, to track visual regressions?
VERNON: I don't think so.
FARLEY: Can your product managers use it?
VERNON: Probably not... is that a bad thing?
DAIME: [tutting in pity] That’s a bad thing. When you’re using a code-based platform, you’re limiting your testing to devs who are able to code.
VERNON: Okay, but why not just go with any low-cost codeless thing then.
FARLEY: [also tutting in pity] Not all codeless things are alike, Vernon. A lot of them are so basic that you lose the ability to run complex tests, can’t test in multiple browsers, have scaling problems, fall back to manual testing when it takes too long to author tests…
VERNON: Fine, I get you. So what sets Virtuoso apart from these other codeless platforms?
DAIME: With Virtuoso, anyone can write tests - we’re codeless, but still powerful. Let’s put it this way: There’s nothing you can do with your code-based thing that you can’t do with Virtuoso.
FARLEY: In fact, you can do much more! And all in natural language, with the power of the cloud behind it. We’ve managed to make it so that tests maintain themselves - they’re self-healing tests. And to track visual regressions we built in a snapshot feature to highlight anything that’s out of place.
VERNON: [starting to look interested] Well, what else? We don’t have any non-devs right now anyway so there has to be something else that makes it worth the time and effort to switch over.
FARLEY: Well, Virtuoso requires no installation or set up. We have out-of-the-box integrations with almost any software you can think of, including SaaS platforms - basically, Virtuoso has a zero ramp-up time. We’ve automated scaling for faster execution. You can cut down your testing time within days of starting with Virtuoso.
DAIME: And you can test on any browser or device, and across multiple devices at the same time.
VERNON: [raising his hands in submission] Not gonna lie, it sounds really good. But what’s the benefit to my developers, if they seem to be happy with how things are now?
FARLEY: They’ll see an increase in effective capacity, leaving them free to work on other issues. With manual testing, you’re using highly skilled resources to do testing - if they even have time to get around to it. You’re paying a premium price for slow outputs, long lead times, and inevitable backlogs.
VERNON: [with a frown] That’s bad news. Why aren’t my devs complaining about it, then, if it’s that detrimental?
DAIME: Your devs aren’t going to complain about doing their jobs. Their code-based thing just means that right now, their jobs divert valuable time to script, fix, and maintain tests. In a word, they’re doing manual testing and only automating the execution part. Maybe it’s time for you to try something new.
FARLEY: And have you heard of shift-left testing? Virtuoso let’s you start testing earlier so you can deliver quality software, faster.
VERNON: How early?
DAIME: Earliest. You can start building tests from stories and wireframes, before an app is even developed. That means you can automate testing fully, in-sprint. Just think of the time your developers will save by getting ahead. No more bottlenecks, no more last-minute fixes, no more Friday nights at the office...
VERNON: That’s a game changer. I’m almost convinced, but this is a huge change for us.
DAIME: Vernon, a huge change means huge results. Virtuoso makes things easier for you and your team - we’re talking lower cost per test, increased efficiency and scale, and objective, measurable reporting tools to show upper management Virtuoso’s cost-effectiveness. Farley’s going to spit some numbers at you now. They’re not made up. Don’t panic, and try to absorb the knowledge.
FARLEY: You can accelerate your execution time tenfold. Increase your authoring speed by nine times. Reduce test maintenance costs by 85%. And, get 100% in-sprint regression testing.
VERNON: It’s too much to take in, but you guys are definitely convincing. What comes next?
HAMES: [clapping his hands] Farley, Daime, get this man a beer! You have some business to do.
FARLEY: First up, let’s organize a demo…