How to turn your idea into a ready-made product? What are the right people for your team?
Today we asked DogQ founder, Alex Zaytsav, to tell us more about how the company was created. We discussed its main values and priorities, the meaning of the brand name, difficulties at the very first stages, as well as what makes the company’s team spirit special. Eager to know Alex’s plan for DogQ codeless testing tool or want to get advice if you’re starting your way in testing? Probably, you’re even thinking about your own testing company and don’t know how to start? Just take a short coffee break and enjoy a sincere conversation with the DogQ founder!
How did you come to the concept of your future product? What were your first raw thoughts, can you remember?
I always had and still have a deep need to build something that will help people, that will solve real problems, and something that I would use myself. Before starting DogQ, I looked into other options, but in the end, the idea to make automated testing more approachable and by that, I hope, to help other companies worldwide ship better-tested and less-buggy applications won. Another vital point I considered was whether I can build the MVP myself. And with DogQ the answer was "yes" – I can program and had some experience with Selenium (which DogQ uses under the hood). That is how the DogQ codeless testing tool was born and so far I don't regret about the choices I made back then.
“I always had and still have a deep need to build something that will help people, that will solve real problems, and something that I would use myself”
What was the main difficulty on the way to your own company? And how much time has passed from the idea till your first release?
At DogQ we don't have big releases, we are adepts of Continuous Delivery so it would be difficult to have a precise date when we would say that "this is our first release". Probably, it took us around a half year to build the product foundation which could bring value to the customers. And around that time we started to use DogQ to test itself.
I don't think that during that time, we faced any serious difficulties: we are a team of seasoned software engineers and entrepreneurs and DogQ isn't our first company (we did some successful exits in the past 🙂 ). So we know what challenges we may face on our way and how to resolve them. But if I were asked what we could have done better, I would say that we could have started the Marketing activity way earlier. But it's something we are actively working on right now.
Please, tell us about the company’s key values and priorities. And what does the name DogQ stand for?
Our main priority and the driver behind all our decisions is the desire to serve our customers and to help them as much as possible. We want to help companies using DogQ develop better software and eliminate as much uncertainty regarding product quality as possible. And our name stands behind this idea: dogs are long-time servants and friends of people, and "Q" means "Quality" – the property we want our customers to improve via DogQ codeless testing tool.
Besides that, we have values and principles that shape our internal culture:
- transparency – we are open about our failures as we are about our successes;
- camaraderie – we support each other during tough times and we celebrate victories together;
- proactiveness – we encourage everyone to do and try something they would like to; we don't believe in a strict top-down hierarchy and think that the company will benefit much more when everyone has the freedom to make their own decisions.
“Our main priority and the driver behind all our decisions is the desire to serve our customers and to help them as much as possible”
How do you see the main DogQ advantage if being compared with competitors?
Our most significant advantage compared to our competitors in the codeless testing market and something we are proud of is our user-friendly and intuitive interface. Even a person without any experience in Automated Testing within several minutes can create his first scenario and learn how to use DogQ. But the more you use DogQ, the more core features you find out:
- configurable notifications: choose the way to be notified and be notified about all or only failed Test Runs;
- scheduled runs: specify when or how often particular tests should be executed and get the reports afterward;
- integrations: add DogQ to your CI pipeline to ensure that the new release of your application pass all of your tests and nothing is broken.
Is DogQ an expensive tool? How many financial plans does it have?
Currently, DogQ offers 2 weeks trial period for every new customer and after that, there is a choice of 3 subscription plans:
- Basic – $5 and 1 000 Run Steps per month;
- Team – $50 and 10 000 Run Steps per month;
- Business – $500 and 100 000 Run Steps per month.
But if none of our plans fits you or if you are a small startup – let's chat. We are open to hearing your opinions, and I'm sure that we will be able to find common ground 🙂
DogQ is now in the active development stage, but it already has numerous customers. How can you manage the project while working with clients?
For us, customers always come first. If one of our customers is facing an error – we try our best to fix that error as soon as possible to unblock the customer and provide as good experience as possible. The same goes with our product roadmap – we hear our customers' requests and prioritize features that were asked for. We are building DogQ to help others and we do not forget about that in our day-to-day work.
“We are building DogQ to help others and we do not forget about that in our day-to-day work”
DogQ is an international company with specialists working in different countries. What do you value in your people most and how do you inspire them?
Of course, we are doing everything possible to find and hire people who share our values: transparency, camaraderie, and proactiveness. And we want these people to be initiative and move the company forward. We don't want to hire smart people to tell them what to do – they should be telling us how they want the company to evolve in the direction defined by them, people who are really experienced in their areas, and not because someone from C-level decided so.
To keep the team spirit up and to inspire people around me, I'm trying to be honest and caring and lead people by example. I can't ask our employees to do something I would not do myself if needed. Also, it's my responsibility to ensure that DogQ operates as an organization with no blame culture: we accept that mistakes may and will happen and we will do our best to improve processes and tools to exclude the reappearing of those mistakes. But no one will blame the person who accidentally made this or that mistake.
“DogQ operates as an organization with no blame culture: we accept that mistakes may and will happen and we will do our best to improve processes and tools to exclude the reappearing of those mistakes”
The codeless testing market is constantly changing, with new features and trends coming day by day. What are your plans for the future of DogQ?
We have huge plans and hopes for the DogQ codeless testing tool. We are a very ambitious team and we aim high, our end goal is no less than to revolutionize and dramatically simplify the way how companies test their applications. While now we are focused on web applications and how to integrate DogQ into different CI/CD more organically in the long-term, we want to diversify our products portfolio and cover additionally mobile and API testing.
Tell us more about what you would like to be implemented in our product sooner, we are open to hearing your opinions!
As a highly skilled specialist with deep expertise in QA, what professional literature on testing can you recommend to beginners?
The choice of professional literature depends on your level in software testing:
- For someone who is only at the beginning of their journey as a Quality Assurance Engineer, I would suggest laying down a good foundation and starting with "A Practitioner's Guide to Software Test Design" by Lee Copeland;
- If you are further on your road to becoming a Testing Guru, then "Critical Testing Processes: Plan, Prepare, Perform, Perfect" by Rex Black may be handy;
- And if you want to learn more about the world of mobile testing, take a look at "Hands-On Mobile App Testing: A Guide for Mobile Testers and Anyone Involved in the Mobile App Business" by Daniel Knott
As a person who has already come through this challenging and exciting way towards DogQ creation, what can you recommend to those who think of their own startup?
If you are only considering starting your own company then go ahead. Be brave and daring, and there never will be a better time than now. And if you have already started the company – do not quit. It sounds pretty simple while it's challenging to follow in reality, but it's the best advice I can give. If you put enough effort and time into something – it will pay off. Yes, still, there is a chance that your startup will fail but it will never succeed if in your mind you will have an option to quit.
“And if you have already started the company – do not quit. If you put enough effort and time into something – it will pay off”
That’s the end of our very first interview with Alex, the DogQ founder. How do you find it? What insights on quality assurance or company creation impressed you most? What probably thrilled or excited you? Feel free to share your thoughts on our social media profiles pages, let’s discussed it together. And feel free to try our codeless testing platform!