1. I am Fred Stevens-Smith, CEO of Rainforest, a software startup in San Francisco. Given the current political climate in America, and the concern it has created for our team and their families, we are choosing to share our perspective publicly. Prior to publishing this letter, we first shared it with our entire company. We discussed it as a group, and everyone had a chance to provide feedback. It represents our collective point of view.

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  2. New year, New announcements!

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  3. Rainforest returned to AWS re:Invent last month, with CTO and co-founder Russell Smith hosting a breakout session about crowdsourcing work with Amazon Mechanical Turk.

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  4. Legacy applications can present a difficult challenge of many organizations -- while they may not represent the latest and greatest work that the team has produced, they can challenging and expensive to ignore or replace entirely.

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  5. Next week we’ll be switching from the term “steps” to “credits” when running Rainforest tests. These credits can be used across our three product offerings: Rainforest regression for web, Rainforest regression for mobile, and Rainforest exploratory beta.

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  6. Recently, we made an effort to optimize the way we use our own product at Rainforest in order to be more efficient with our step usage, which costs us dollars just like it does for our customers.

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  7. Real world device testing is often touted as a good thing and in some limited circumstances it might be. However, in the vast majority of cases, it's a waste of time – both for your testers and team.

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  8. More often than not, QA ends up being the red-headed stepchild of development, especially in fast-moving organizations that don’t have dedicated QA teams. That’s not the case at Twyla, where VP of Engineering Douglas Ferguson has made quality a team-wide initiative. Here’s how Twyla is building a culture of quality that extends beyond the product team and helps to improve their product every day.

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  9. The following post is adapted from our ebook, A CTO’s Guide to Continuous Testing.

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  10. America's Test Kitchen had a plan: to keep the QA team as light as possible and automate testing as much as possible. But they found that going head-first into automation would slow down development and distract from the projects that mattered most for their business.

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