Software Testing and QA Consulting.

With over 20 years of experience in testing firmware, software, and well, just about everything, we have a passion for seeing quality software. Nothing bugs us more than buggy code, and yet we are drawn to test everything – from our bank's website interface, to the kiosk system in the mall.

Often times, companies struggle with their testing efforts for various reasons. Sometimes it’s a team issue, sometimes it’s a tool issue, and sometimes it’s a process issue. If your Testing/QA team is experiencing difficulty we can help. Our in-depth analysis can help you determine what changes need to be made to propel your test team forward. Our experience across a wide range of techniques – from automation to Exploratory, from functional verification to stress testing, and everything in between will help you find the right testing mix to make your quality efforts are successful.

We have experience designing and presenting training courses that have been used internationally. We can help design training programs tailored to your company. We can also work one-on-one with your team in a mentoring capacity.

Team Building/Tuning

Working on a team can be both a rewarding and a frustrating experience. It’s rewarding when you’re able to collaborate and communicate well, but frustrating when team issues keep you from moving forward. Issues that teams face are often magnified, because it’s a collection of people, while the real root causes of those issues can be hidden underneath layers of drama and history. Taking a team from crisis mode to a healthy state is often a matter of asking the right questions and doing in-depth analysis to find the root of the problem. Usually what you see on the surface isn’t the cause, it’s just the symptom. In my experience, the hardest part of addressing those issues is finding the real cause. Once you identify the cause it can often be fixed by making small adjustments. Sometimes, it takes a fresh set of eyes to look at the issues the team is facing and find the true root cause. At HillCity Technologies, we have worked with teams that were deep in crisis mode and have been able to find the way forward for the team.

Speaking of building teams, wouldn’t it be nice to start out with a team that works well? When we’re building a brand-new team, we’re often under pressure and time constraints so we look more at skillsets than team fit. This can lead to problems though, as eventually the team begins to experience performance issues when the pressure gets intense. Forming a high-performing team is a matter of finding the right mix of skills and personalities, but when you are creating a team you may not have time to really work through that mix. With our connections in the software and testing communities we can work through finding the right people for your team. We can also help you develop your interview process so that you can find the best fits for your team.

Business Processes

Every company has their internal struggles with processes. In some cases, there are too many processes and the employees find it difficult to accomplish their objectives. On the other hand, there are some cases where there are little to no processes and the company is running in constant chaos mode. Finding the right balance between too little and too much is a challenge. The real key is to ask the right questions of all the stakeholders. Every process, or lack thereof, came about because of a need at one particular time in the company’s history. Finding the history and the reasons why companies do things a certain way enables us to help you find the path forward. The real answer to the process dilemma is to find what is needed now as compared to why a process was established in the first place. In our experience, we’ve done both successfully. We will leverage our experience to help you find the way through to the right amount of processes, and how to monitor them for their effectiveness over time.

Transition from Start-Up Mode

Working in a start-up company is wonderful, fun, messy, and scary all at the same time. There’s nothing quite as rewarding as when the company you poured your heart and soul into becomes a success. When a company is in start-up mode you are often required to do whatever it takes to get the job done quickly. There comes a point, however, when you need to apply more rigor to your business. Depending on how long you’ve been operating that can be easier said than done. You need time to figure out how to move your company forward while still meeting the pressures and demands of your day-to-day business.

Once you have the way forward you still need to figure out how to move your team in the direction they need to go. When companies are faced with this situation they often want to make one massive move to a completely new process, but this can be unsustainable and will often result in more chaos than order. You need a plan to implement your new processes in bite-sized chunks so that your team can sustain the changes without killing their productivity. We like to call this process “nudges” – moving people the direction they need to go a little bit at a time.

We have observed both methods in multiple circumstances and have learned several principles that you can leverage to get to your ultimate goal. We will help you figure out what works best for you and craft a plan to help you get the changes you need accomplished in the timeline you have.