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A story of building a unicorn in a no-QA organisation, told from the quality assurance perspective.

In my IT career, I transitioned from manual tester to test automation and performance testing engineer. Then to software engineer, tech lead and engineering manager. On that journey, I have witnessed and experimented with various approaches to the QA. In the end I found my happiness and zen in product organisation setup that has no formal QA at all. No QA role, no testers, no testing managers, no one particular responsible for the QA. Sounds a bit chaotic, right? That's how we do it at

But no worries, because in product engineering the day to day assurance of quality is actually extremely granular and goes way beyond software. I am keen to share our experience and learnings on:

  • How we measure the product quality. Because having no bugs in the application does not mean that product is of great quality.
  • How we track the quality of our product engineering teams, their deployments, releasing, pull requests, services etc.
  • Our methodologies for assessing the product impact of every move we make, every step we take. What we track about customer behavior. How we assess the price of our real and theoretical mistakes.
  • System design quality. Journey from monolith to microservice architecture.
  • Tough life of engineers when they have no testers to rely on. And how we empower them. 
  • Blameless postmortems. 

Key takeaways: 

  • The only sustainable no-QA org setup is probably all-QA
  • Quality in product engineering is very granural - data-driven approach helps to navigate
  • The system needs to be self-aware in terms of quality and test itself 24/7

Opening Keynote: Why Should Exploratory Testing Even Be the Subject of a Keynote?

Exploratory testing isn’t a new concept. It’s been around for ages, it’s a generally well-known approach, and its details have been well described. So why on earth could it be the subject of a keynote?

Because we are, as an industry, still not doing enough to understand, teach and promote the power of exploratory testing. We use it and talk about it (some more confidently and effectively than others), but we are – ironically – often only scratching the surface.

In this keynote, it is my aim to rejuvenate your interest and passion for doing and teaching exploratory testing. I’ll look at why it’s so powerful and necessary, and why it could be our savior in the future. Through stories, examples and new names for things that we’ve called “intuition” for too long, I’ll get you thinking about how you can explore your exploration more – to deliver teams and projects the valuable information they need.

Ending Keynote: How Come Testers Are so Incredibly Successful

It was so mind puzzling how much of my daily life was not contributing to my success and I was just doing things regardless if they improved my life quality or not. It really bothered me. I was not really improving as a tester anymore and not my life either.

I started to use my testing mindset in my life deliberately and challenge it more and more. I found while testing my life I could pinpoint bugs in it and I could get to the root causes of how I was stuck. This in return made me a better tester and so has the loop continued.

Moving abroad with my family was one of the things I did. The experience of living in a different environment has made me realize the value of the testing mindset to a new extent.

I have experienced many controversial methods work out like zero bug policy or transition from developers' and testers' organization to dev ops model as more specific examples.

This story-filled keynote will take you through the personal examples of how I improved my life quality and how that relates to becoming better in the craftmanship of engineering.

Key takeaways:

  • How testing skills hugely improve life quality
  • The value of living abroad and how it contributes to success
  • Key experiences changing from a tester and a developer organization to dev ops and how zero bug policy has helped greatly

OPENING KEYNOTE: Machine Learning from System Quality Perspective

Machine learning systems are among the most complex ones out there. For now, machine learning and data science become a must when a company grows big enough. But with time, it gets adopted in ever more places, big and small. Is it the future? Most probably. For us, at Bolt, it's present. We have grown in 5 years to become a global ride-hailing company operating in tens of countries, with millions of monthly rides. How to handle and optimize everything that's going on? Data science and machine learning was the answer. But creating some models and algorithms is just the first part of the adventure. Each call to this 'artificial intelligence' returns results to some real person in the world, so the quality must be top-notch. And this field is young, the technology changes blazingly fast and there are few established QA practices for it. Solving quality challenges at scale is not easy, but it's rewarding. And fun too.

Machine learning is the cherry on the cake of our technology. I will tell you a story of how we grew as a company, team and an intermix of ever more complex systems.

Key takeaways:

  • If you don't intend to have machine learning in your organization, you might feel happy.
  • But if you do want it, you will be prepared, and happy too.
  • And if you never gave it a thought, you might want to try it out!
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