Datalogix, based in Westminster, Colorado, provides business intelligence software to analyze market data. Datalogix operates an advertisement network based on purchase data and measures the value of digital campaigns based on return-on-investment. Their products reach customers online and mobile as well as via mail, and integrate with major media publishers, portals and ad networks. Clients come from a number of industries across the U.S., including retail, automotive and travel.

The engineering team at Datalogix consists of more than 25 software engineers and QA people. Software is written in C# and Java and targets a number of different databases including SQL Server, Cassandra and Neteezza running on Windows and Linux. Jenkins is used for build automation, with Cucumber, NUnit and JUnit for automated tests.

The team had been using Agile practices for a year, had well-established 2-week iterations and daily scrums. Some automated builds were running, and the QA team had initiated high-level UI tests. VP of Engineering, Jason Rembert, asked ZeaLake to assist Datalogix in moving their Continuous Integration efforts forward.

The plan became for ZeaLake to do an initial assessment of the CI efforts, give an inspirational talk to the whole team about Test-Driven Development, and then start improving automated test efforts by working closely with the individual software engineers on specific projects. Jason Rembert recalls: “ZeaLake’s training helped kick-start some massive momentum in engineers embracing and developing unit tests.”

Because database management is crucial for Datalogix’s products, a vital component of effective test automation is database versioning. ZeaLake gave specific advice on how to control database schemas and test data for automated tests. “Lars Thorup provided great strategies around database versioning, and how to think about code that was not constructed to support unit test easily.”

In particular, Jason Rembert applauds ZeaLake’s straightforward and practical approach: “Lars Thorup worked 1:1 with engineers, giving very custom instruction on unit testing. He has a great communication style, and the feedback from engineers was very positive all around.”

In between on-site consulting, Datalogix’s team members have been able to contact ZeaLake with specific questions to get immediate advice. “Lars Thorup has been very responsive to communication with engineers and me post-visit”, says Jason Rembert.

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