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When Craig Camara first started at UrbanSitter, he was the only test engineer working on the iOS and web-based versions of the app. In order to scale, the company needed a more comprehensive testing solution for their growing portfolio of apps.

At first, they decided to try a crowdsourced service to share the workload. That didn’t go as well as they had hoped. There was no continuity to the team. Different testers would come in and do their small piece, but they were never able to see the big picture and couldn’t anticipate problems or suggest better approaches to testing plans.

The work kept stacking up, and in Craig’s own words, “It was a difficult time and situation. The crowdsourced testing site didn’t work for us, and they actually increased the QA workload.” On top of that, the development team was about to release an app for a third platform, Android.

The Nearsoft Way

UrbanSitter turned to Nearsoft after hearing a glowing recommendation about “The Nearsoft Way.” They immediately extended their team with new testers and saw results.

I wouldn’t even compare the two, with the crowdsourcing site, it was like having faceless people in the internet help you. You can’t really rely on them. There’s no accountability. It was completely night and day after we switched to Nearsoft. With Nearsoft, it was like hiring internal members of our company.

— Craig Camara

Eventually the team grew to three test engineers who cover iOS, Android and web-based versions of the app.

Initially, all members of the team worked together to get out a release on one platform at a time, but that wasn’t sustainable. That’s when Craig decided to switch his strategy and assigned the Nearsoft team members QA for individual apps. Joel was put in charge of the web version. Jane focused on iOS. Jorge worked with Android and additionally helped others in his “spare time.”

As Craig puts it,

Since then, the team pretty much runs itself. Everybody’s accountable to their own team. They are our QA Team at UrbanSitter. I don’t think we could have hired three better testers here in San Francisco. That is how good they are.

— Craig Camara

Besides testing, Joel, Jane, and Jorge give feedback on workflows and new features. They make sure anything added to the product works together, as a whole. This is the long-term win for UrbanSitter.

A Full-fledged Test Team

Before having a test engineering team at UrbanSitter, the approach was, “let’s cross our fingers and hope nothing breaks,” says Craig. When he got to the company he started establishing a QA culture that made testing a vital part of the development process. As he put it, “what we’ve done with the whole team is create a quality standard across all platforms.”

A few years ago the uptime was somewhere in the high 80s, now it’s a fixed 99%. This helps with revenue, user experience, NPS scores, and store reviews.

— Craig Camara

Before the test team was created, releases happened every two weeks across platforms. Now, the average is 2.7 releases per week!

It took Nearsoft’s test engineers six months to catch up on years of QA work at UrbanSitter. Now, the team is well ahead of the curve, eagerly awaiting new code to test.

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