Since November is recognized as Quality Month, we decided to use that opportunity to share our story about working as a team to learn more about the subject of quality through a fun and interesting game.
In light of the current COVID-19 pandemic and remote way of working, the process of meeting new colleagues and connecting with them is a challenge that we decided to overcome with a fun game.
“We hoped it will be a fun activity for all of our colleagues through which they will get an opportunity to meet new people, but also learn something new, “ said Jelena, our Quality Assurance Engineer and the originator of the idea for this QA Game.
How it all started
On the morning of May 6th, our QA team posted on our general Slack channel a worrying message; they were asking for our help because they are being attacked by something dangerous and unpredictable.
We all gathered in a meeting to find out what we can do to help and quickly realized that the problem was a Superbug Pandemic. We put on our capes and prepared for an adventure of fighting the viruses and embarked on a quest to save the world and become superheroes.
For such a specific problem we had to enlist the help of experts in that area, virologists. We were split into eight teams by a random picker that allowed us to work with colleagues we wouldn’t normally cooperate with: HR with a Frontend Developer, Account Manager with an iOS Team Lead, and other interesting combinations. Every team fought from their assigned position in a virologist unit. As we prepared all our weapons – mobile phones, laptops and tablets for the war on the pandemic, the QA team prepared some interesting challenges for us.
People from Undabot, developers, designers, project managers, but also marketing, finance, and HR specialists put themselves in the QA’s shoes for a whole month; finding bugs, testing web and mobile applications, learning how to write reports and by doing that, helping defeat the viruses. During those 4 weeks we participated in battle games, big and small challenges, but also the final battle. During this time we became infected by the biggest virus of them all, the fun virus, and it was contagious.
The QA Team informed us to gather at the Google Meet call on Thursday at 11 am and prepare our battle gear. We were waiting impatiently for instructions at home in front of our laptops, knowing that some giant bug is awaiting us. As we chatted and tried to guess what unexpected tasks lie in front of us, Ivana and Jelena, our QA Engineers, presented us with a battle plan. Instructions were clear: go to the designated website and make a bug report using a QA handbook. The timer was set and the game began.
In our team, we first tried to understand what kind of bugs we can expect to find on such a website. Since I never used any tool for bug reporting, my teammate spent some time coaching me on it. The time was ticking so we split up and took our chances in the wild vastness of the internet, talking about our findings the whole time. As we fought the Dengue fever, we sure were sweating till the time ran out.
Since then, every Thursday we traveled all over the world to find and defeat the most dangerous of the viruses: Dengue fever in Brazil, Tick-borne encephalitis in Germany and West Nile virus in the United States. Every battle had a different challenge we had to overcome to find the cure. We were testing mobile and web applications, writing test cases and documentation, used Youtrack board for writing bug reports, but also communicated with each other a lot. It is important to mention that the apps we were testing weren’t Undabot projects, they were randomly chosen by our QA Team for this specific purpose.
Reported bugs were rated by the QA team so we had to be careful and pay close attention, since even the little bugs counted and could undo our efforts to defeat the virus. The team with the most points conquered checkpoints and got a Veto card that allowed them to skip one question in the Quiz Game or mini challenges but still receive the points for it.
We also participated in a Quiz game every Monday through Kahoot. That mental exercise with 10 questions with the 30s to answer each, allowed us to stay sharp and resourceful during the game. Each Team selected a representative with the fastest typing skills and other team members were helping them through a channel of communication of their choice (Slack, WhatsApp, Google Meet).
The questions weren’t hard, but the time was short, so in a spree of the moment, sometimes I clicked the wrong button (luckily, my team was very understanding). Googling was of no use if you wanted to score some points, so you just went with your gut and trusted your teammates. Although it seems that the game was the easiest for a team that had good general knowledge, it turned out that the real team players got the most points. The quiz included questions about bugs, viruses, but also QA in general. That way not only did we learn about QA in practice, but also the theory behind it.
Another part of the game were the mini challenges. Occasionally, the QA Team would post a question or a puzzle in our game Slack channel, which could earn bonus points for the quickest of teams. We had to be vigilant and responsive to get our team on the top of the scoreboard. It was a fun activity, but also quite competitive.
The best example would be the time they posted a picture of a sign-up page an gave us instructions: Look at the image carefully and find a bug! The subsequent discussion that started was a true example of how people with different expertise see one picture in a different way. Some focused on the e-mail validation, some on the grammar, others focused on emojis, gender inclusivity, the lack of specifications for the page, the list goes on. When we got a hint: Think outside the box, the chaos ensued.
Our squad gave some excellent ideas, but only one answer was correct. When the QA awarded the points, some weren’t happy with the outcome since the similar answer was already offered, but then we learned about another thing we have to pay attention to, being precise.
“Sharing a bit of the QA world with others and trying to expand their horizons in order to help with our teamwork was all I hoped we would achieve with this game. But most of my colleagues surprised me with their involvement and desire to learn something new. And, of course, seeing everyone have a lot of fun makes it worthwhile. I’m hoping we inspired other Undabot departments to try something similar, “ said Ivana Rajora, QA Lead, when asked to share her thoughts on the game.
Each member contributed significantly to the fight against Superbug Pandemic, but, of course, only one team was the winner: The Generalists. They saved the world from pandemic, one bug at a time, and became the Superheroes!
The first three places didn’t leave empty-handed, they were also awarded Fox in a box gift certificate for an escape room adventure and a commemorative cup to always remind them of the great achievement they accomplished.
We gave a survey to everyone to check their opinion on the game and to share something they found challenging or useful in this experience. There was a common agreement: fun, but a lot of work. Quizzes and finding bugs were selected as the best parts of the game. Through this survey, we also got a lot of suggestions about improving the game in the future.
For me it was fun to take a break from the usual work and hang out with colleagues. This game gave us the opportunity to know each other better, improve our teamwork and elevate the level of our communication.
When asked what his biggest takeaway from this experience is, Domagoj, the winner of the game, said: “Empowering and supporting your colleagues to share their expertise can be a great educational experience and very beneficial to your work. There’s a lot we can learn from each other, and people can surprise you with their passion and knowledge, if you let them.”
Not everything has been just fun and games, throughout these challenges we had an opportunity to learn what the QA is firsthand and try our hand in the QA activities in an interesting way. In Undabot we take great pride in cherishing the Culture of Quality.
That is not achievable by a QA team alone, but with everyone in the company included in the way that they understand what they should do, how, and most importantly why. This game helped us to understand the importance of quality and it was a valuable experience through which we learned from one another.
To learn more about what the Culture of Quality is and how to get it, check out this blog from our Lead QA Engineer, Ivana Rajora.
We would like to thank our QA Team for organizing this fun and educational game that brought us closer together.
The idea for this game came with a help of the following article about the game company Cobe did for their employees: https://medium.com/p/25c5d016a61a (and some inside information we got from their employee ;)). We answered their challenge, now we encourage you to organize it in your agency too, and see for yourself all the benefits of the game.