Building Engines uses mabl to Promote a QA Culture Throughout their Organization

Building Engines improves net operating income across the world’s most successful Commercial Real Estate portfolios. Their customers increase their revenue, deliver the best occupant experience, and reduce their operating costs using our innovative building operations software platform. Building Engines lets owners set and monitor critical KPIs and helps them communicate the key information to their tenants for complete transparency.

Because the platform was built by working closely with customers, partners, and other industry experts, Building Engines takes pride in using agile development processes to continuously deliver new features and refine existing features. One of the Engineering Managers at Building Engines, Joe Wong, manages a quality control team focused not just on finding and fixing errors, but also creating a culture of quality throughout the organization. This means working with individual engineers to help them improve QC and write better test cases as part of Building Engines’ overall commitment to rapidly developing high-quality software.

Working with engineers to create a sustainable culture of quality is great on its own, but it becomes easier when engineers can use their own regression tools. Since many engineers aren’t necessarily familiar with QA, finding a tool that’s easy to train and use became paramount.

mabl’s user-friendly interface and intuitive automation tools were vital to promoting QA throughout the organization. Joe Wong, Engineering Manager, Building Engines

Delivering with confidence

Building Engines is devoted to supporting its customers in every way possible. What they hope for, however, is that their phone never rings with a support call. In other words, they hope that they’ve designed their product to be both stable and user-friendly enough that no one is ever confused while using it. Whenever they receive a support call to that effect, they go back and use the data to refine their product.

Joe’s goal was to minimize the number of Building Engines customers asking for support, which would, in turn, allow engineers to be more forward-looking and less reactive. The less time they spent addressing specific questions, the more time they could spend building new software features. As such, he aimed at optimizing the software as early as possible in the development pipeline.

Meanwhile, he found that testing using Selenium required more expertise – expertise that needed to scale for every new browser that Building Engines had to test. All of this added up to more time and effort spent validating builds and less time releasing new code into production. Joe needed a more modern and user-friendly tool, especially one that supported Internet Explorer 11 (used by 30% of his customer base) – which not many testing tools do currently.

Integrating mabl with Bitbucket Pipelines gave us the ability to test earlier in the development process without disrupting the development workflow — helping us more closely adhere to our CI/CD philosophy. Joe Wong, Engineering Manager, Building Engines

mabl Provides Fast and Easy Regression Testing

Not only does mabl support IE 11, it also helps Building Engines speed up and maintain testing over time as they continue expanding their CI/CD pipeline.

The organization currently uses Jira Software to track issues, and Bitbucket Pipelines to run CI/CD. They use the initial release of the mabl CLI via curl command to run mabl integration. When they deploy code to their developer environments, they call mabl to run smoke tests and find errors. Once those are addressed, the development team gets the green light and they just keep developing. That happens at least six times a day. Adding mabl to this pipeline gives Building Engines the ability to test earlier in the development process without disrupting the development workflow — helping them more closely adhere to the CI/CD philosophy.

Whereas previously we were only able to run tests on IE11 once a week, we can now test once a day. We’ve expanded our IE11 test coverage from 10 percent to 80 percent. Joe Wong, Engineering Manager, Building Engines

In concrete terms, mabl provides end-to-end coverage of IE11, which solves the team’s initial problem. When they run their application every day, IE11 doesn’t crash – it performs as expected, which is invaluable. Whereas previously they were only able to run tests on IE11 once a week, they can now test once a day. They’ve expanded their IE11 test coverage from 10 percent to 80 percent.

A faded out photo of Boston with sky scrapers in the foreground and water in the background.

Right now, Building Engines leverages mabl in order to spot bugs as soon as development is completed, which makes them that much easier to detect. In the future, however, Joe will work with the mabl team to find issues even earlier in the process. What’s more, Joe now plans to train every member of the development team to use mabl, helping to democratize testing and further embedding a testing culture throughout the organization.

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