IT Life: Fixing Other People’s Mistakes

Dmitry Tishchenko is addicted to measurements, and says Agile is the saviour of IT

Dmitry Tishchenko is the CTO and head of Automation Testing at A1QA, Eastern Europe’s largest software quality assurance company. He has been patching code for the past nine years, and says automated testing algorithms and agile development can help businesses anticipate rapid change that has become the bane of the industry.

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Software BugWhat has been your favorite project so far?
My favorite project so far is actually the implementation of a KPI-based management system at A1QA. This system covers business aspects of our company as well as testing itself. I’m addicted to the measurement of any values. Only when that’s done, we can say that we fully control any particular activity.

For testing activities this measurement approach means that it is growing from Quality Control to real Quality Assurance.

What tech you were involved with ten years ago?
Ten years is a lifetime for the IT industry. During the last decade the complexity of the software, anticipated value for business and end-users’ expectations have changed dramatically. Rapid change in IT has become  the norm and it will continue this way, possibly with even more intensity and drive.

What tech do you expect to be using in ten years’ time?
One of the most important factors to emerge during the last decade is mobility. Ten years ago we were focusing on heavy desktop systems but now even corporate software is ready to be ported to mobile platforms. The mobile world is investigating better ways (including UI, hardware – different screen resolutions and sizes, number of buttons etc.) to to interact with users. I believe that moving corporate systems to mobile environment and ensuring compatibility and security is one of the top priorities in IT world.

Another point is the increasing number of transactions and complexity of integration paths of the software.  I am 100 percent sure that performance, ability to process large amount of data quicker, and increasing complexity of integration is a challenge all of us are going to face in the near future. It will push the hardware market as well as the software.

I also expect that existing software solutions will be fragmented into smaller parts, with a goal to target and address particular and precise tasks.

Who’s your tech hero?
I believe that heroes are the individuals who make a breakthrough, whose invention has significantly increased results based on the solution and process of how it is to be  applied. In terms of process, my heroes are the Agile founders. Agile principles have significantly improved the flexibility of IT development process and its ability to quickly respond to change.

Who’s your tech villain?
I cannot give you any particular names here, but I’m far from being fond of the people who do not respect Intellectual Property rights in our industry.

Power to the people

What is your favorite technology ever made?
There are a lot of great tools which help testers do a better job. But there are also tools which have an impact on the whole industry. I believe that one  such tool is the Selenium project. It increased the flexibility of automated tests, made them quicker, and much, much more.

We at A1QA widely use Selenium. For the last three years, we managed to improve our ROI timeline by 50 percent (with 10 percent due the fact we’ve adopted Selenium).

What is your budget outlook going forward?
With a constantly growing competition across all industries and verticals, businesses are becoming more and more IT dependent in order to keep up with consumers’ requirements and expectations, which are growing exponentially.

So nowadays, even if the business is not focusing on IT, the share of IT in business is constantly growing. As a result, the budget for technology is increasing. On one hand, it’s ok considering the penetration of technology in peoples’ lives. On the other hand, it’s quite a challenge for non-IT companies to deal with and invest into something that is not their core business.

Apart from your own, which company do you admire most and why?
Original iPodI admire companies which bring innovation to the masses. Although it’s great to find new ways to optimize the production process, it is many times more significant to have an impact on the lives of ordinary people. In our company, we contribute to this ultimate goal by improving the quality of software.

Following this concept, I really admire Apple for what they do, how they do it and their dedication to the end users’ satisfaction.

What is the greatest challenge for an IT company/department today?
The market is highly competitive and IT companies must be able to deliver their products or services quickly. So I believe that the main challenge is to continue optimizing time and costs, and increasing the effectiveness of software development life-cycle, as well as quality of the software.

To cloud or not to cloud?
To cloud, of course! Many people consider “the cloud”  to be a technology. The way I see it, it’s more of a new level of abstraction. It helps people to use more and more IT services in a convenient and user-friendly way, which does not require special technical background. As a result, it has turned out to be an accelerator for the entire IT industry, setting a new direction. Software QA, as an IT industry vertical, has also been impacted by the “cloud” revolution, reflected in the TaaS (Testing-as-a-Service) concept.

What did you want to be when you were a child?
I was committed to many different options, but that was  before I first saw a PC.

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