Building Quality Assurance Programs for Startups with Tyler Newman


To learn building quality assurance programs for startups, click here to watch Tyler Newman’s webinar.

NASA’s Mars Climate Orbiter. The Mariner 1 Spacecraft. The Morris Worm. The Pentium FDIV Bug. Each is an example of a catastrophic software error that cost millions of dollars.

However despite these high-profile incidents, tech startups often overlook the quality assurance necessary to prevent such catastrophes. That’s likely because startups have limited resources and are forced to make difficult decisions about what to prioritize.

“I spent a long time, 20 years or so in the Bay Area working in startups in a QA role.

And a lot of startups, especially early stage startups, see it as unnecessary,” says Tyler Newman, co-founder and CEO of Outpost QA. “They don’t understand the value that it provides. But it’s such an important part of the development process.” 

In a Founders Network webinar on September 12, Tyler will highlight the importance of QA for startups in particular. He’ll also share insights on how to build quality assurance programs for startups. 

His webinar will cover:

  • What is quality assurance and why is it important?
  • Why quality matters to your business and customers
  • How to effectively build a team that makes sense for your business
  • Common misconceptions around how QA works

Underlining the Importance

According to one report, 40% of tech startups have failed because of poor quality assurance or the decision to ignore QA altogether. This statistic combined with ample tech horror stories is enough to give many startups pause, but there continue to be those that throw caution to the wind.

“It’s important to make sure your product works before you ship it,” Tyler says. “Some companies don’t do that. Facebook very famously didn’t have QA for most of the early years because they thought, well, the users are the testers. And if something breaks, they report it. 

“That’s one way you can handle that. If you’re a business that scales to 5 billion users, I guess it’s reasonable to think that that’s okay. But if you’re a startup with 10 employees and 100 users, that’s not the same play you want to make.”

Best Practices

According to data, the average budget allocated towards quality assurance and testing has been declining. In 2019, a group of CIOs and senior tech experts reported they spent about 23% of their yearly IT budget on quality assurance. That was a decrease from 35% in 2015. However, many of the top companies, who recognize the importance of QA, continue to invest in it.

“It’s something that the best companies really take seriously and they bake it into their product life cycle,” Tyler says. “Apple has an incredible QA team. They take their product quality really seriously, obviously. And, you know, their $3 trillion in the bank speaks for itself. It’s a brand that’s known for being very high quality.”

The Human Element

In QA roles with a number of tech companies, Tyler has seen what can go wrong when there isn’t a human involved in testing. 

“You need a human making decisions with a rational logical approach,” Tyler says. “Alot of startups think ‘can’t we just automate all of this? Can’t we just have developers write test code and automate the whole process? You can, but it’s not something that you should be relying on 100%.”

To learn building quality assurance programs for startups, click here to watch Tyler Newman’s webinar.

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