Automating for Greater Efficiency

Our client, a major prime contractor, was having significant problems with one of the Web-based applications it was developing for a government agency. Components of the system were under development but had not been integrated and tested successfully, and the client’s staff were posting changes from their configuration management system to the website manually. Each modification required making as many as 80 individual changes — and staff were hoping they caught everything.

When Elemental Solutions was brought in, we began by developing scripts to create an automated, end-to-end testing framework. The new scripts could be run on demand by any developer, without the need for advanced Java or UNIX skills. Our new framework automated data entry and batch programs execution, eliminated human error involving repetitive manual tasks and checked final results in the database to determine success or failure. We also provided training and support on the new scripts for staff members outside the client’s core developer team so that they could pitch in and help.

Within two weeks, we gave our client a much more stable system and a more disciplined engineering approach to deploying software. As a result, they significantly increased staff capability and flexibility, and removed some pressure from their more specialized staff, allowing them to address other issues.

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