Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) have taken the world by storm with a strong presence in entertainment, collectibles, games, music, and the arts. According to Morgan Stanley’s Wealth Management group, NFTs are disrupting the traditional art market, creating new communities of collectors and giving artists more access to their fans and buyers.
Founded in 2020, The LGND Group operates multiple NFT platforms geared toward music and art collectors that are interested in securely owning digital pieces. Using blockchain technology, the LGND ecosystem enables dynamic interaction and trade between high-end collectors and a curated roster of best-in-class creators from around the world. LGND is a web-based platform with ‘coin agnostic’ transaction features and a creators-first mission.
Many things must fall into place to achieve a true CI/CD pipeline.
Building, testing, and launching products are table stakes for most software engineering leaders. However, adding a complete rewrite and launching a global marketplace up the ante.
Adam Kneisler, VP of Engineering for LGND, was brought in to build a fully functional platform so that a global audience could make seamless transactions on opening day. In addition, the software team at LGND had to consider the potential for hundreds of thousands of users downloading high-resolution files on various devices and at different bit rates. This required building a cost-effective data delivery system with powerful payment functionality.
Our first sale involved buyers from 70+ countries. So we had to be prepared to process various payments and ensure every sale was properly recorded and tax compliant. These are things that companies don’t usually have to think about until much, much later.Adam Kneisler, VP of Engineering, LGND
As the LGND team scaled with mounting pressure to release on time, they realized that their deployment cycles were too staggered and inefficient. With an eye toward CI/CD, they needed to test high-resolution art and music files with multiple bitrate train codes in a repeatable and fast way. The faster deployments supported LGNDs ambitions for rapid growth.
Building a CI/CD pipeline requires the right resources, including testing talent. Recruiting for a QA and QE leader, forming an internal testing team, and navigating the automated testing journey was more than Kneisler could take on. In addition, he feared that even a well-staffed squad would struggle to test in multiple languages, currencies, payment types, devices, and operating systems. For example, it’s challenging to identify on-demand testers willing to use their crypto wallets in production, given the minimum balance requirements, fluctuating gas fees, and conversion rates.
We knew that scaling QA was a problem. We just didn’t have a solution.Adam Kneisler, VP of Engineering, LGND
- Launching a fully functional and localized platform for 100+ countries
- Building a cost-effective data delivery system for high-resolution files at various bit rates
- Improving an inefficient, staggered, non-scheduled deployment cycle
- Building an internal QA team is expensive
By fusing automated and manual testing, LGND deployed faster with more confidence.
LGND’s initial testing leveraged Testlio’s on-demand freelance testers to check the user lifecycle like sign-ups, purchases, and small interactions with the site. Manual testing types included functional, exploratory, payments, location, real device, regression, and mobile app testing.
How LGND leverages fused testing:
Frontloaded manual testing for early feedback on functionality, log-in, sign-ups, change passwords, connect digital wallets, payments, UI, and small interactions.
Most of the repeatable manual work shifted to nightly automation runs.
If anything broke during automated runs, a manual regression testing fallback initiated quick verification within the same cycle.
Reported bugs were immediately pushed to a JIRA backlog offering visibility into the entire feedback cycle, with filtered searches to identify issue magnitude.
Any time a merge happened into a specific branch, LGND could automatically push and deploy.
Over time, as the input and output parameters of the manual tests became repeatable, much of the testing became automated through the Testlio platform. Fused testing offered LGND a way to mix and match manual and automated testing – enabling parallel testing, manual continuation, manual validation, and more. Failed automated tests would immediately kick off manual testing, ensuring an optimal combination of humans and machines. This fallback mechanism prevented bottlenecks in the testing flow by deploying human eyes on the testing surface to confirm if issues were related to the automated tests or the application.
“Automation has helped us reduce testing time from 20 hours (5 manual testers x 4 hours each) to closer to 15 minutes, with the same device coverage!”
A shift-left mindset helped LGND build, release, and reduce overall risk. With upfront manual testing, LGND discovered and fixed bugs earlier in the development process. They then converted repeatable manual tests into automated suites with an on-demand manual testing fallback mechanism to ensure continuous testing throughout the entire software development lifecycle. More efficient and comprehensive testing supported LGND on their journey to a true CI/CD pipeline to build, test, and release more frequently and with less fear.
“The reports we get back from Testlio have been so consistently accurate that I don’t worry about missing any issues in production. Our partnership lets us focus on new product development and drive the business forward. We went from no CI/CD cycle to pushing multiple times daily.”Adam Kneisler, VP of Engineering, LGND
LGND reduced their overall testing time by 98% through fused testing. What once took four manual testers 20 hours now takes close to 15 minutes. How? Dedicated QE resources create and implement automated testing scripts, execute and maintain automated tests, and quickly address root cause problems (flakey tests, candidate bugs, etc.) with a default to on-demand manual QA testers for uninterrupted coverage.
So often, new and unfinished products are under very heavy development with frequent changes to the code base, requiring more exploratory manual testing. With automation doing the heavy lifting for LGND Art, Kneisler could assign manual testers to their new product under development, LGND Music. As a result, he gained broader manual coverage without making tradeoffs of what/when to test between the art marketplace and the new music app. This shift-left approach to testing helps his team ensure new features are rock solid and pass tests early on versus waiting to test at the end only to receive a massive list of bugs upon feature complete.
In the past, I’d focus my days on minute technical problems or issues with a build. The partnership with Testlio gets me out of the weeds. I now have more time for research and to find the coolest ways to engage our customers. In my mind, a heightened confidence level improves our engineering team because it gives them more flexibility to evolve the code base. It changes the way our organization operates. Really.Adam Kneisler, VP of Engineering, LGND