By Ken Pentimonti

In the race to capture market share, companies are under pressure to accelerate innovation. With tech-enabled services proliferating across every vertical from healthcare to industrials, a business that can deliver quality software quickly can overtake its competitors. Take a look under the hood at this engine of innovation however, and you’ll find all is not running smoothly.

Developers are unable to deliver optimal performance because the tools used to test their new software have not kept pace with the rapidly evolving development lifecycle. Unsystematic, plagued by human error and requiring specialist coding skills, clunky testing tools are getting in the way of software development rather than facilitating it. This means in practice that the crucial testing stage often gets sacrificed.

These obstacles to innovation are what led Founder and CEO, Adil Mohammed, to start Virtuoso. A serial entrepreneur who most recently sold e-commerce company Fabrily to Teespring, Adil observed, “Time and again, I had seen releases delayed and projects run over budget because testing was a bottleneck. Testing was viewed as a problem people had to live with and do their best. We didn’t want to live with it.”

Rather than trying to improve legacy solutions, Adil and team went back to the drawing board. They saw that what was on the market didn’t work, so they looked at QA in its entirety and took a new approach. Thus, Virtuoso was founded with a mission, to release people and organizations from the pain of testing with traditional methods and be the leader in the “Quality First” revolution.

Intelligent automation

Taking a fresh pair of eyes to the problem, “we just couldn’t understand why advances in NLP and machine learning had overlooked testing,” noted Adil. Virtuoso’s new approach was to employ intelligent automation and create testing powered by Machine Learning (ML), Natural Language Processing (NLP) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA).

Virtuoso’s SaaS platform enables QA teams to test applications using intelligent bots that perform actions and behave like users would in practice but much, much faster, more reliable and at scale. Virtuoso allows anyone in the Software Development Lifecycle to create automated test using a codeless interface, identify bugs and maintain tests with its self-healing capabilities in a fraction of the time taken by traditional testing (up to 10 times faster).

The company’s advanced NLP technology enables teams to author fully functioning, automated tests from business requirements or wireframes before even a single line of code has been written. Virtuoso also delivers on the promise of “codeless test automation”, allowing testers made up of different skills and individual preferences to author and execute automated tests on the most dynamic, fast-evolving applications, without the use of code.

As Virtuoso self-heals these tests as the application changes, hence maintenance is a walk in the park. The tests are then executed in the cloud at lightning speed. No wonder then, that Virtuoso is bringing down the costs of QA by 80–90%.

With its ability to automatically create tests from requirements and wireframes, Virtuoso is leading the “shift left” revolution in software testing, allowing teams to detect issues sooner in the software development lifecycle. Paladin as a cyber and deep tech investor is a true believer in the shift-left movement and shift-left testing plays an integral part of achieving DevSecOps maturity.

From a cybersecurity perspective, testing is fundamental to building secure and reliable software applications, given that failure or incorrect execution of the application can elicit exploitable security vulnerabilities. Organizations need to understand whether the developed software is functioning the way it was intended. This has recently been echoed by a US Government Executive Order, “Improving the Nation’s Cybersecurity”, which directs the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) to recommend minimum standards for software testing.

We’re excited to support Virtuoso as it brings a radically better approach to this fast-expanding sector in which innovation has been limited to date.