There’s a joke in tech that goes like this: A QA engineer walks into a bar. Orders a beer. Orders 0 beers. Orders 99999999999 beers. Orders a lizard. Orders -1 beers. Orders a ueicbksjdhd. Then, the first real customer walks in and asks where the bathroom is. The bar bursts into flames.
For me this joke does a nice job of explaining the point, and difficulty, of quality assurance (QA) engineering. Software engineers do great work. They build high-functionality, easy-to-use products and services through code. However, tech can be unpredictable, especially when there are a number of systems talking to each other.
This is where QA engineering comes in. It’s there to make sure everything works as planned, no matter how the user or customer uses it. This is important in all tech, but especially in fintech. If a coding error causes a client’s balance to be incorrectly displayed as zero, or a transaction looks like it’s missing, it would understandably create a lot of stress, as well as affecting the trust they had in the payment provider.
QA the OpenPayd way
The core principle of the OpenPayd approach to QA engineering is having an early test culture. Myself and the team write automation code which mirrors our client’s behaviours. By doing this, when the developers build any new features we can test it immediately and see how the client’s tech is going to receive it.
This reduces the possibility that the service our client receives will be disrupted in any way by the changes we have made. The job is about connecting the dots. Other providers only offer a few services, so they only have to manage the interactions between those systems. OpenPayd, however, has a lot of depth in what it can offer, so we need to make sure changing one part of our offering doesn’t impact anything else.
There are a number of tools we use which help us with this. K6 is a load testing software which enables us to run a high volume of tests and ensures our service won’t be disrupted at different levels of scale. Issues with the tech just as the business is experiencing rapid growth would be very frustrating for the customer.
We also use Grafana which gives us analysis into how these tests are going and how they are impacting all other services. Grafana allows us to spot any issues and take action on them immediately because it is so detailed – we know exactly what has happened. There are lots of other tools in our day-to-day work, but these are good examples of what we use to make our tech as reliable as possible.
What good QA engineering does for fintech
I have a lot of experience as a QA engineer, but OpenPayd has been my first role in fintech. One of my favourite things about working in this sector is that we’re making peoples’ lives easier, often in ways they don’t even realise.
By offering a depth of services which can be accessed via one API, businesses can do so much more with fintech. I believe this is where the future is headed. A rise in SuperApps that allow you to experience finance in a much more simple but comprehensive way.
Being part of this new era of finance is very exciting and I’m looking forward to seeing all the new services that come with it. But before all of that happens, we need to test, test and test again.