How America’s Test Kitchen Uses Rainforest to Scale QA Test Coverage Efficiently

Friday October 7, 2016

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.

Director of Software Engineering Welling LaGrone turned to Rainforest QA to scale QA test coverage while keeping the development team focused. Here are three lessons on scaling QA efficiently that we learned from America’s Test Kitchen.

1. Work with Your Workflow

America’s Test Kitchen wanted to avoid building out a large in-house QA team. Working towards continuous deployment is an important part of their team’s culture, and one of their goals is to keep developers involved in QA as much as possible.

Rainforest DevEx provides an effective solution for developer-driven testing by allowing users to write and edit tests from within their workflow. “We love that we can drive Rainforest from the command line and control the scope of the tests and cherry pick the browsers we want to run tests on,” says Welling.

2. Offload Tasks Strategically

Quality assurance is about finding a balance between acceptable quality and adequate deployment timelines, which can vary between organizations. Your QA strategy should fit your bandwidth and your needs. For America’s Test Kitchen, using Rainforest to remove repetitive tasks from their task list helped to keep the focus on building a solid foundation of quality that will grow with the company. “Offloading repetitive testing tasks allows us to invest in higher caliber QA team members and focus our QA capacity on the strategic QA challenges, rather than the mechanics of testing,” says Welling.

3. Start Focused and Build Out Quality

Scaling QA test coverage doesn’t happen overnight. America’s Test Kitchen’s small, fast-moving engineering team maintains five websites, and must constantly work to meet business demands for improvement and new feature development. They needed to strike a balance between implementing a new QA strategy, without taking developers away from new projects.

To keep the team’s priorities on development, America’s Test Kitchen opted to start small with their Rainforest regression testing suite and build up. Welling and his team work with the Rainforest customer success team to develop a plan to build out coverage systematically, adding more tests to their Rainforest suite over time. They currently have regression tests running for two of their five web sites, with plans to expand coverage in the near future.

Read More about America’s Test Kitchen and Rainforest QA

America’s Test Kitchen executes nearly 5000 hours of QA tests via the Rainforest platform. To learn more about how Welling’s team uses Rainforest to push quality forward without sacrificing speed, read our case study of America’s Test Kitchen.

Learn more about Rainforest