Building Quorum: An Inside Look at Q Engineering
From a 10,000 foot view, the goal of engineering is to build the software and deliver a quality product to our customers. To accomplish this, engineering must be multi-disciplined to leverage different functional expertise and ensure we are all working towards a common objective.
We follow an agile methodology called Scrum, a standard practice in software development focused on visibility and iterative development and delivery. Within this structure, we form smaller teams dedicated to developing new products, or enhancing and maintaining our existing products. These teams also extend beyond the source code of the product to its infrastructure, quality testing, and the release pipeline which ultimately deploys the code into an environment for immediate access by our users.
The Engineering Team
Leading these teams and our innovation engine is Tom Lacy. He recently joined the Q family bringing years of experience running engineering for leading software companies. We’d like to introduce you to Tom and the core disciplines that make up our engineering team:
With such a wide range of products, millions of lines of code, and constant innovation, software development is naturally the largest department within the engineering organization. This group consists of more than 100 developers with teams all over the US and Canada, and offshore teams in India and Europe. Small teams of less than 10 are formed that focus on delivering a specific product or core service.
To support the development efforts, we need strong infrastructure that handles our Continuous Integration and Continuous Deployment (CI/CD) process, technology stack, and large production workloads. DevOps manages each environment: test, production, software, and cloud. They look at ways to optimize performance, up-time, and increase efficiency.
Testing is essential throughout the development process. Developers unit test before committing their code, but we also have a dedicated department focused on building automated tests and expanding the test coverage. Our customers expect consistent delivery of stable, quality software and we are committed to continuous improvement in this area. With new leadership in both engineering and quality assurance, we are shifting our processes to an automation-first mentality and full team responsibility for product quality that starts in the first phases of design.
Cross-department collaboration is required to build a successful product. Relationships extend beyond the engineering disciplines to areas that directly interface with customers, the industry, and their solutions.
Product management communicates the product vision and features based on industry or customer needs, and works with engineering to develop requirements for usability, functionality, and design.
Customer Support, Client Success, and Professional Services work with our customers daily for solution support and to provide resolutions to issues and bugs. They are the first touchpoint for customer inquiries and pushing feature or fix requests through to development.
The Cloud Operations team is essential in application deployment and works closely with engineering to support the infrastructure.
Twenty years of code built around specific processes doesn’t come without its challenges. Historically, Quorum was a service led organization, building software through custom engagements with our clients. To better meet the needs of the industry, we are shifting our focus to move from a customized service offering to a market-led Software as a Service company. This shift is a work in progress, but we are making strides to achieve a more universal, industry-first approach to products and enhancements.
We know that our customers expect consistent high-quality software releases and we are investing heavily to deliver exactly that. From top down, we are focused on this initiative. We’ve added expertise in this area and are actively recruiting to grow our quality organization.
As you can see, a lot of people, time, and energy are involved with building the products that make up Quorum. We have a strong engineering organization and leadership committed to continuous improvement from processes, to innovation, to quality. We are laying the foundation now so that we can continue serving our customers with leading energy solutions that drive profitability and growth across your business.