We are building something great at Camelot and in our Quality Assurance (QA) function, we have an amazing team which is helping to ensure every piece of software put together is what our players want and need.
But what is this ‘QUALITY’ we talk about?
It can be completely subjective but for our QA team, we define it as:
“The measure of whether the software meets the explicit and implicit needs of the player, and their ability to use it successfully.”
We believe quality is something we all should invest in and work towards to ensure that we always achieve a consistently high level. The QA team does all it can to measure this level of quality to make it easy for all to assess whether a system is in a good place or not.
So what does the QA team do?
QA teams tend to have a reputation for “just running tests and finding bugs” but, here at Camelot, we are moving towards a “Culture of Quality”, where the QA team is working across the company. This allows us to build up best practices, raise awareness of having QA involved across the software development lifecycle and embed QUALITY into all that we do.
In most companies, QA or Testing teams tend to be focused on one product and only involved in similar types of project. At Camelot, we are involved in everything from new National Lottery games (such as Set for Life), software which interacts with our retailer network and helps our incredible Retail Sales team, and our digital platform on web and mobile to internal infrastructure/hardware projects and patch releases to our existing systems.
We are becoming more involved from when a piece of work is conceptualised, asking the right questions to “test the idea’, all the way to the end of the cycle when the new system is live and providing value to its intended users.
Here are just some of the types of activity our QA team is involved in:
* Asking questions and assessing requirements to see whether they are ‘testable’.
* Reviewing and testing system designs.
* Working with intended users of the system to assess how best to test it to ensure their needs are met.
* Writing test automation to validate new and existing systems, and to ensure the team can focus on more investigative activities.
* Coaching and supporting the wider business on quality best practices to help it move towards an overall “Culture of quality”.
What is a culture of QUALITY?
Ultimately, a culture is a way of working and a focus for a wider group, which can be impacted and led by a shared vision. Here are our thoughts around this:
“A shared cross-team focus that delivers high quality software that meets users’ needs is the highest priority, and all our practices support this.”
This is our primary focus as a group and we will be constantly evolving to ensure our practices help us get there.
Here is how we want to grow that culture:
* A QA strategy that enables us to be involved in the end-to-end process of software projects.
* A passionate QA team who lives and breathes “Quality”, with a leadership team devoted to ensuring the team has the tools to grow.
* A QA function working closely to build good practices with wider teams across Camelot.
* Continuous learning.
As part of our work to develop this culture, we are passionate about continuously evolving our skills, learning new technologies and ensuring we have the right tools to tackle any projects which may come our way.
We are working hard to ensure the whole team has access to the learnings and trainings they need to improve everything they do and enable them to do their best to assure the integrity of Camelot’s technology estate.
One way we have done this is by having regular talks by external QA/Testing experts in our team meetings. Due to the fact we have two members of our QA leadership team who regularly attend and speak at QA conferences, we also recently hosted our own internal QA conference. We invited four external testing experts to come and speak for the afternoon for the whole QA team’s enjoyment.
The four talks covered these topics:
* Preparing for future technology advancements, and being skilled to test tools such as Alexa and augmented reality.
* Building communities of practice.
* Self-awareness and wellbeing.
* Testing the ideas and looking at a more investigative approach.
Amazing Starts Here
We will continue to evolve and help lead a culture of QUALITY which ensures the right solutions are defined and released to our players, while having fun doing it!
We have some roles opening within QA too, so visit our team page find out more our wider technology department and come and join us!