NEWS: Pushing boundaries
Strong focus on R&D positions Inspired Testing ahead of the innovation curve
Research and development are core to the Inspired Testing value offer and its R&D Programme is a critical component of the company’s business strategy. “It’s all to the good of our clients,” says Sastri Munsamy, Executive: Technology & Innovation. “For example, we’re turning the default scenario of test passing into a mission to achieve test failure with mutation testing, and expanding our footprint in the AI space. We push boundaries into new technologies and we’re not scared to break the rules.”
Munsamy’s role is pivotal to the Inspired Testing’s R&D Programme as he and his team constantly develop new testing solutions. Their job is to step out of in-the-box thinking and bring an edge into testing strategy. “Research and development are a big part of technology,” he says. “It’s important that we lead the way with a pioneering mentality. It sounds complicated but actually being innovative just requires seeing things with a different perspective.”
As essential elements of the software development process, QA and testing are not meant to be static entities. Inspired Testing’s philosophy of exploring new technologies is aimed to bring innovative testing services to the market.
“In the AI space, we’re working on an AI exploratory tester that uses algorithms coupled with neural networks and deep learning, which has the potential to provide powerful problem solving. It’s a potential gamechanger,” says Munsamy. Other AI-related innovations in the team’s sights are test data management, AI-based mobile testing and AI-inspired framework improvement.
“The greatest teacher, failure is.” – Yoda
Munsamy is also happy to turn existing strategies and current thought processes on their head. Mutation testing is one such case. Munsamy explains: “Mutation testing offers an alternative solution to unit testing. We use a tool that injects defects into an application source code at the beginning of development. It checks if the unit tests fail and picks up the defects that cause the failure. We actually want the test to fail.”
The cost and time benefit of testing this early in the development cycle is significant. The team is currently running a mutation testing PoC and preparing for a first implementation.
Munsamy is a digital native who knew from a very young age he was born to be in the IT space. “Computers, technology and programming all came naturally and there was no doubt about my future field of expertise.” His career started in 2003 and he says he thrived on dissecting a problem and analysing it from every angle to find a solution. “Reverse engineering – starting at the end and working my way backwards – together with thinking outside the box are two of my most valuable traits,” he says. With extensive global exposure and a stint with the US Government, he believes that some of the most innovative solutions are actually the simplest. His role is to keep the company relevant, pick out future trends and find new solutions, working in collaboration with the company’s cloud-based DevOps teams.
There is also a strong commitment internally to upskilling, which is inextricably related to R&D. “We need to be able to implement what we develop,” says Munsamy. “We invest our time internally to find innovative solutions to clients’ business problems. We also ensure our staff remain relevant in current – and future – environments.” As a case in point, Munsamy wanted to give their manual testers a way of learning how to create reusable automation scripts in Java without them having to learn Java in detail. He implemented a Technical Mentorship Programme with classes to teach automation testing. “Pretty much everyone who has been on this programme is now able to script with Selenium in Java, utilising reusable keywords, externalized input data and detailed test reports. This means our manual functional testers can be relevant in the current day and age.”
Munsamy has passion and energy to inspire. “At Inspired Testing, we pride ourselves on being ahead of the curve and finding new ways of testing, instead of waiting for the world to prescribe to us how we should be doing things. We don’t accept that something is impossible. Nothing is impossible.”
Inspired Testing’s disruptive onshore offshore model offers a revitalised alternative to outdated offshore models. With a scalable pool of 260+ expert QA professionals in the UK and South Africa, the company’s strength lies in knowing how to structure, execute and automate testing, using a unique combination of experience, technique and blended onshore offshore delivery capabilities and testing across most platforms, devices and environments.
Inspired Testing is a wholly owned subsidiary of Dynamic Technologies, a software and technology group with 1 100+ staff and 14 group companies across the UK and South Africa, providing a diverse range of technology solutions, digital services and related core competencies. Dynamic Technologies’ group companies comprise Blue Pencil Consulting; Blue Pencil Creative; CloudSmiths; DotModus; DVT; DVT Academy: Dynamic DNA; Dynamic Talent; Emerald Consulting; EventSmiths; IndigoCube; Inspired Testing; SparkSmiths; and Swarm. www.dynamic-tech.com