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  • Cotopaxi Lyon

Redefining Quality Assurance: LyonQA's Holistic Approach to Software Development

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LyonQA was founded on the belief that quality assurance can and deserves to be done better. If we stop buying into the frenetic ethos of the tech world — good old “go fast and break shit” — we can slow down to do things right. By slowing down, we can bring curiosity and empathy back to tech.

Many of us at LyonQA honed our skills in an environment where speed was of necessity, questioning clients was discouraged, and we were told to test at off hours to meet arbitrary deadlines. This was an environment of stress, fear, and power dynamics. Many of you in the QA world have likely experienced this - a culture that hindered your ability to do your best work and silenced your advocacy for quality.

Those of us at LyonQA walked away from environment knowing there was a better way to do QA, a way that should, and could be modeled to others. We know that doing QA correctly not only benefits our clients, but also reshaped the narrative of what QA should be.

What do we mean by “doing QA correctly”?

We start by thinking about Quality Assurance holistically. Quality Assurance is much more than just compartmentalized testing and attention to detail; it’s absolutely not just a last check before your code get’s pushed to production. Quality Assurance should be part of your product development ethos. Quality Assurance should be championed by all stakeholders and team members, and should be ingrained in decision-making processes. At it’s core, QA is empathy, curiosity, integrity, and communication.

Empathy: As we craft software, empathy must underpin our efforts — empathy for the end user and for every contributor to the product. This humanizes development, ensuring that each voice is heard and experiences seen.

Curiosity: Curiosity asks us to think about the “what ifs”, to question what is missing, and to envision the end user experience. It compels us to question the accepted "truths" — is the acceptance criteria presented to us up to date and in accordance with development standards? Does it make sense given the surrounding context and features?

Integrity: Upholding what we know to be right is daunting, especially in environments that prioritize speed or client demands over best practices. A holistic QA approach involves empowering our teams to create, test, and develop with integrity. It entails fostering an environment where concerns are heard and questioning is celebrated.

Communication:  Communication is the backbone of quality development, and must be supported and nurtured to ensure mutual understanding throughout the development lifecycle. Too often product and development teams operate on different wave lengths, unable to fully understanding the other. A focus on communication throughout the software development lifecycle ensures all parties are on the same page.

For those of us in Quality Assurance roles, as the QA expert, it is our responsibility to anchor our work in empathy, curiosity, integrity, and communication. With these core tenants we can slow down to ask the right questions, advocate for what is best for product and development quality, and bring calm and intentionality to the work we do, and to those around us. We can model a different, better, way of approaching QA in tech.

LyonQA knows that collectively we can change development for the better. We would love to partner with you to show the tech world what is possible!


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