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Quality engineering is a set of practices that enable software development organizations to embed quality into their DevOps pipeline. The end goal: building high quality user experiences in rapid, iterative sprints that allow teams to innovate and build customer loyalty. 

The cornerstone of modern software quality is developing a culture of quality that harnesses manual and automated testing to continuously test code as it moves through the DevOps pipeline. This allows QA teams to cover the growing number of tests needed to maintain quality, such as mobile web, performance, cross browser, and API tests, at the pace of DevOps teams. But even with continuous testing, many software testers will find themselves overwhelmed by the sheer volume of tests needed to assure quality across a growing application or website. Fortunately, the resurgence of customer data platforms (CDPs) is giving quality engineering teams the opportunity to refine their testing strategies with real-world user data. 

Customer Data-Driven Software Testing Unlocks a Competitive Advantage 

Quality engineering is taking on a larger role in ensuring positive customer relationships. In the digital-first era, many consumers have permanently shifted to online experiences for industries as diverse as retail, banking, and even healthcare. This means that many brands’ most important audience - returning customers  - are exclusively built through digital platforms. If quality engineering teams can’t adapt their software testing strategies to current customer trends and preferences, they risk missing highly visible bugs. 

Customer data platforms allow companies to centralize the information they have on customers, unlocking new levels of customization for better digital experiences. As the team that connects code to the customer experience, quality engineering teams can harness CDPs to evolve software testing in near real-time with actual customer usage data. 

Test Coverage that Builds a Culture of Quality

One of the most common metrics for any software testing team is test coverage. But in a DevOps world where new features are shipped on a weekly or daily basis, test coverage can quickly become outdated. 80% test coverage sounds great until it excludes common user journeys. Inaccurate coverage increases the risk of customer-facing defects and undermines trust between quality teams and the rest of the development organization. 

Let’s consider a hypothetical example: an ecommerce company introduces a new product, which quickly becomes their most popular offering. The surge in customer traffic to that product page alters their most popular user journeys almost overnight. Since the page is relatively new, it lacks sufficient test coverage and the API supporting their payment processor is broken on Safari. Customers are frustrated, customer support is overwhelmed, and engineering is rushing to fix the problem. Since test coverage didn’t account for this issue, communication among the entire software development team breaks down, making it harder to build a culture of quality. 

Integrating automated testing with a customer data platform like Segment ensures that test coverage not only remains high, it remains accurate. Modern test automation solutions capitalize on the data offered by CDPs to flag popular, but untested, pages to quality teams and developers. This gives the entire DevOps pipeline a clear understanding of how testing is improving the customer experience, encouraging collaboration and building a culture of quality. 

Proving Value with Quality Customer Experiences

When CDPs first emerged in 2017, many companies struggled to extract true value since they lacked the ability to capitalize on user information. But the pandemic has fueled a long term shift to digital-first experiences that make it essential to modernize both the development process and the customer experience. As more organizations embrace DevOps and digital transformation, collaboration between quality teams and the customer-focused groups that manage CDPs will help both sides maximize the value of their tools and produce quality user journeys. 

Get started with customer data-driven testing in minutes using mabl’s integration with Segment.