Testing Talk Interview Series- JetBrains’ YouTrack

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YouTrack is a Geeky Bug tracker , designed to save developers and development teams’ time.

1. If you can tell us about yourself. Think about 2 interesting things that we want to hear about you.

My name is Valerie Andrianova, and I am a product marketing manager at JetBrains, specifically working on YouTrack, our issue tracker, and on Hub,  our user management system to connect all the systems together.

My background… I have a technological education.  My speciality is mathematics and theoretical mechanics, but surprisingly I am not a developer 🙂

I have been working in the IT industry for 10 year; and I have experience in software testing and business analysis.

I am passionate about what I am doing!  I have been working for JetBrains for 6 years doing marketing. 

Regarding something interesting…  I have to admit that I would have become a professional musician if I was more talented.  For now let’s say that I can play the Piano 🙂

2. JetBrains is a very interesting company.  Can tell us more about your company, products, atmosphere?  How do things work at JetBrains?

The first thing to mention is that our approach is very unusual for a development company, in that developers are the most important people in it.  We don’t have managers at all, not a single one! We have a flat structure with 500 to 600 workers, and 85% of them are developers.

We work based on several product teams, with about 18 different products.  For every product we have a separate team and we have everything inside the team.   You may say that work like a set of startups under one roof:  each team has developers, testers, and designers inside each team. 

Each team has a Lead and he reports directly to the CEO of the company, who is also a developer and tries to still develop every now and then. No management, No processes.

A very important characteristic of every person working in Jetbrains is that we are all self managed.   You need to love what you are doing, since there is no one that will check directly what you are doing and gives you tasks.   This is the most important thing about being a JetBrains’ employee, and what you need to show in the interview if you wish to work with us ;-).

3. How do you keep communication with your customers, the outside world and your users?

Of course it starts from the fact that we use our own products, we eat our own dog-food!

For example, we have a open and public YouTrack issue tracker environment that is open to everyone in the world.   Any user at any time can report bugs, issues and requests directly; and they can also check what is happening to them. 

Right now there are more than one million issues and around 100,000 registered users; as you can see this is an important factor.

In addition to this we also have our public forums – where people are sharing their opinions, asking questions.   We have support teams, of course.  And we also visit many development conferences where we get feedback and bring it back to the team.

4.  Let’s assume that I am not currently using YouTrack.  Which are the 3 things I am missing by not using this tool?

The main idea is that YouTrack is a “geeky” bug tracker.   We are the bug tracker for developers and development teams. 

As a developer you like to write code,  if you a tester you like to run tests, and in general everyone likes to focus on their own tasks. With this in mind we know that every time people have to switch to work on the issue tracker it is costly to them.

When we started to work on YouTrack we wanted to save as much time to developers as possible.  Base on this, the 3 main things that we did were:

  1. YouTrack is keyboard centered: Every action you can do in the GUI is supported by a keyboard shortcut, which is really speeding the process.
  2. We added a powerful and intelligent search. You constantly need to filter your issues and so we created an intelligent query-based search engine.
  3. Command window. When you work with a lot of entities you may need to change them quickly.  For this you can  mark as many issue as you want, and then apply commands that will update these issues accordingly.

All these features are there in order to give you more time to develop your great product.

5. How do you see the development and the testing ecosystem evolve over the 3-5-7 years from now.

This is a pretty tricky question.

The way I see it, everything is moving to the cloud, and taking that into account raises 3 main issues:

* Security issues. We are paying more attention to this in the development, and we are handling this accordingly in the testing, marketing and in every other activity.

* Privacy of your data, this is being raised more and more.

* I think we are getting more towards automated and performance testing.