Testing Manager screenshot showing Add Issue screen

Testing Manager is a combination of client portal and our internal system, all of which we have built in-house. It is a bug tracker with integrations to external tools, a scheduling system with rudimentary capacity planning, a project tracker with task management, a device management tool, a lightweight CRM and a simple document manager.

It's going to become a lot more, the plans for 2024 are taking shape, definitions for new features are being finalised and some kind of roadmap for the year will hopefully become clearer over the next couple of weeks. Test Management will be on roadmap, as will the launch of our Automation Testing service.

Those big new features will be covered in more detail in future blog posts, this article is a brief history of Testing Manager, how did we get here?

Testing Manager - the Client Portal

Testing Manager started life way back in 2018 as a kind of client portal, our customers could log in and retrieve test reports and documents related to the testing we carried out for them.

It was very basic and didn't really get used a great deal, we got busy testing client projects and didn't add any new features. After a while we were just using it for 1 or 2 customers and it seemed like there was little point in continuing to use it at all. Customers didn't seem to find it that helpful and I found that I was emailing test reports and update documents directly to customers rather than directing them to Testing Manager.

Pivoting from Client Portal to Internal System

Through 2019 and 2020 we took on more customers and started to increase the team at WebDepend to carry out all the testing for those additional clients. One pain point with the team was organising everyone's schedule and their availability. It occurred to me that we could build a scheduling system and use Testing Manager for that.

The development of Testing Manager restarted, we put together the scheduling system, enabled team members to log in and have their own interface to add their availability and view their upcoming work schedule.

Using Testing Manager for our own internal use cases reignited the desire to improve, add to the features, receive feedback from team members and automate parts of our processes where it made sense.

For example, we added a simple CRM to keep track of potential customers and added an automation so that any enquiries received from the WebDepend website went straight into Testing Manager. From there we can keep track of the enquiry and what stage it is at, hopefully turning the prospect into a customer. Another automation is then triggered to set up customer onboarding documents and add customer details to our other internal systems, such as our accounts system, which reduces having to enter the same customer info several times into different systems.

Issues - Our Own Bug Tracker

In March 2022 we added Issues, our very own bug tracker. Now our testers could raise all the bugs they found in Testing Manager instead of adding them to various other systems we were using to track bugs before adding them to customer systems, if applicable.

Some more automations were added to sync those bugs to customer systems, we added support for several bug tracking and project management apps including Asana, Trello, Teamwork, Jira and ClickUp. This list continues to expand, more integrations are coming soon.

Throughout 2022 we continued to improve Issues and add more features, including a Device management tool to keep track of all the mobile devices we use, including operating system versions. We opened up access to Customers to view bug reports, some customers preferred to use Testing Manager rather than their own system. We refined the bug syncs to Asana, Trello, etc. and improved the workflows for when we retest customer bugs and reassign back to the customer's system based on whether the bug is fixed or not fixed.

The Rebuild

Towards the end of 2022 we undertook a complete overhaul of the UI, to make it easier to navigate and look more professional. This was a big update as it involved big changes across most of the application - new navigation for each user type, new combined pages with features switched on or off based on user role, new table styles, new page styles, new element styles, practically everything relating to the UI was updated and improved. We also improved mobile responsiveness so that Testing Manager could be used on a mobile device.

The rebuild continued through the first half of 2023, alongside adding Tasks and starting to build a big and quite complicated Test Management feature. This is still ongoing and is intended to track the test cases that we prepare, link them to tasks and link to bugs raised to be able to better report on test progress and results of our testing.

The 2024 Roadmap

For the year head we have a long list of updates coming, including launching Test Management and also adding new services - built into Testing Manager - such as Automated Testing.

There is so much that I want to add, at the moment the wishlist is being corralled, curated and then ultimately cut down to the most beneficial features to add into the Testing Manager application.

We're also continuing to release new versions on a regular basis, most recently we added the ability to have sub-tasks in our task management feature and support T-shirt size estimates. This is so we can import tasks from customer systems, assign to our testers to work on and link bugs raised to those tasks.

Currently we're working on supporting GitHub Issues and Linear and updating how we sync screenshots and screen recordings to each external bug tracker.

Stay tuned for more updates regarding Testing Manager or sign up to our newsletter for an update roughly every 2 to 3 months on our progress.

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