Client story

Software quality at Blokker Holding SSC IT

Industry E-commerce

About the company

Mirage Retail Group (formerly Blokker Holding) is a Dutch company that owns several chains of stores.
Blokker Holding is active in twelve countries and in 2010 all the chains combined had 2825 stores. In 2015 the company had a revenue of 2.1 billion euro, of which 98 million euros from online retail. Most store chains have both stores they own and stores that are franchised to other investors.

Qxperts on this project

Geert-Hinke Addink

The challenge

Within Blokker IT, the e-commerce team delivers the technical platform for all web shops of Blokker Holding. Currently, the software solution is adapted to expose its services through APIs. In addition, Blokker IT would like to increase its ability to deliver more business features more frequently, and to reduce the number of bugs in the production environment.

The solution

With the help of Qxperts, the following improvements were achieved:

  • Introduction of modern collaboration and development practices
  • Team requirements specification
  • Implemented test automation on the APIs (using Serenity and RestAssured)
  • Introduction of test-driven development
  • Moved the focus of the team towards helping end users instead of just taking tasks

Shortened feedback cycle

  • Improved communication with the frontend team as part of the development process
  • Introduced continuous automated regression testing as part of the development process

Optimized software delivery process

  • Reduced the number of hand overs as part of the development process
  • Introduced an improvement-oriented culture
  • Helped introduce Scrum
  • Introduced new version control technology and source code branching strategy

Trained and coached the development team at Blokker IT

  • Coached the testers & team in test automation skills

The results

The delivery process, that had come to a grinding halt of the API part because of the high number of bugs and partially delivered features, has decreased. Blokker IT is now able to deliver better quality software faster with a higher pace and shorter release cycle. Furthermore, the self-reliance of the team was improved, and a true team mindset was created. Finally, the team focus has improved, which reduced the amount of “work in progress” and increased the focus on finishing features.