Ranked second in The Sunday Times Tech Track 100, Switch Concepts is one of the fastest growing technology companies in the UK. Its software and bidding platform powers online advertising auctions and places over one billion adverts per day for customers across 20 countries.
The challenge: growing without scaling
Due to their ongoing success and rapid growth, Switch’s development teams were feeling the increasing pressures of meeting the company’s high quality standards whilst continuing to deliver stable releases of its software.
Switch’s Agile Programme Manager, Myles Hocking, recognised that it needed a new approach to software development; one that would keep its development team on course to deliver reliable software that would keep its clients happy, and its top level management with it.
Taking BDD from theory to practice
Having applied Behaviour-Driven Development (BDD) in previous roles, Myles knew BDD could help Switch’s software engineers develop quality software in line with business needs. Its focus on bridging the disconnect between software engineers and business people would help Switch increase communication between the two parties and develop software that would meet its clients’ requirements.
We chose Inviqa because it has the creme de la creme of trainers. Literally the big names in the industry.
However, to train a full development team, he also knew he needed to find trainers who not only had a thorough understanding of BDD, but were active practitioners and had extensive knowledge of the best tools for the job.
Konstantin Kudryashov, BDD Practice Manager, and Marcello Duarte, Head of Training, launched a training assessment to determine Switch’s exact training requirements and which aspects of BDD would be most valuable to the 20-strong team.
From the assessment, the training team developed a backlog and then a training roadmap to encompass the theory of BDD, unit testing and acceptance criteria, through to automated testing using Behat.
To realise the full potential of Behaviour-Driven Development as a bridge between business and technical departments, Marcello and the training team helped deliver coaching sessions on BDD for Switch’s senior stakeholders. Using everyday language and tangible user stories, the training team introduced the principles and applications of BDD from a business perspective.
“We didn’t want management levels “not getting” what we had started to make happen in development,” explains Tim, “BDD requires cross functional buy-in to be most effective and Inviqa helped us communicate that to upper management.”
Developing quality software with confidence
“I can now say job done when it comes to BDD transformation,” says Tim. “Some developers won’t code without BDD in place and the training was the highest rated thing in our end of year review.”
The development team can now practice BDD using toolsets with confidence. With many more tests in place, they can flag and fix issues immediately while management stakeholders can be confident the software produced will meet business requirements.
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