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Crucial Application Needed for New Route
A major US-based airline needed help launching a new application that would ensure FAA requirements compliance for aircraft Extended Operations (ETOPS) flight standards. The application is used to track equipment that’s required on long-haul flights and to ensure that only certified ETOPS maintenance personnel have worked on the aircraft. The successful, on-time deployment of this application was crucial for the airline’s new routes to Hawaii that were already being sold to customers. Not meeting the deadline meant the airline would have to push back the launch of their new routes, therefore leading to lost revenue.
We started with a team of four quality assurance (QA) engineers and eight developers, bringing quality into focus from day one. The client had just brought on a new Director of Quality Management and wanted our help evolving that team. They wanted to incorporate shift-left testing, an approach where testing is performed earlier in the lifecycle and they needed us to help them take their current quality management office into the development cycle. Having QA engineers on an engagement allows our clients to have a critical perspective during the design and architecture phases and avoid many of the defect-prone scenarios that may have otherwise not been caught until testing.
This project also needed to be very responsive. With the amount of data coming in that could affect the aircraft’s ability to meet FAA and maintenance standards, the data had to be processed quickly and accurately. To achieve this goal, an AKKA stream processing architecture approach was introduced to the client. The processing flow was not completely designed and had to be modified as the project was being implemented. Since the flows reacted to the data as it was coming into the stream, multiple testing scenarios had to be set up to exercise all of the potential flows and validate the results were accurate.
The ETOPS application was deployed on-time, allowing our client to avoid lost revenue. Over the course of this engagement, our team became a true partner to this client, teaching them how to conduct Unit, Business Driven Development (BDD), Test-Driven Development (TDD), integration, component and performance tests and ensuring that everything was deployed on time and at the highest quality. While implementing the above testing strategies, our team began to see the testing shift-left, allowing the amount of time required to perform final production certification to be reduced. This reduction continues to shrink as we continue working with this client.
The success of this initial engagement and the client’s trust in our team’s ability to tackle a tough project led to additional engagements involving other application launches. Before our team was brought on, these projects were extremely behind schedule. Involving QA professionals meant shorter development cycles and always meeting delivery dates. Our long-term success with this client has boiled down to the talent of our team and their ability to quickly understand the client’s culture and integrate quickly and efficiently.
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