Episode 03 Leaving footprints as QA

As commerce company, We have a wide variety of services. "Rakuten Ichiba", "Rakuma", "Rakuten Books", "Rakuten Beauty", "Rakuten GORA", etc. These services require extremely high quality in order for users to use them comfortably every day.
We call this quality assurance job QA (quality assurance) About "QA Engineer" It will be serialized three times.
This is the last Episode of the series. From Sonal, Service Quality Assurance Group, Leisure Product Department, Commerce Company Let her talk about her leaving footprints as QA Engineer.

About the author


Sonal joined Rakuten in Feb 2018 prior to that she was working in India. I have more than 10 years of experience as QA (Quality Assurance) in different domains. I have experience of working in a service based company as well as a Product based company.
Both have little different culture and style of working and that helps me now in adopting any new culture.

Joining Rakuten

When I joined SQA (Life & Leisure department) I was the 3rd Rakutenian(Rakuten Regular Employee) in this team. In few days, I learned that, we were lacking in a lot of best practices of QA in our team. I gradually introduced some process change based on my QA experience. There is a lot of difference in testing approach in here and in India. Here, test cases are written very low level and people weren’t doing ad-hoc and exploratory testing. I had a meeting with one of the representative from a company who came with a presentation on Exploratory testing and I was amused. I have been doing it for 10 years and never had to learn about it through presentations. There is a lot of scope to improve testing process and mindset among resources.



As for background, let me share you about our testing process. Whichever the service is, we have QA process for how to write a defect, test plan, test cases. Being a QA one of the key is to follow the processes that helps in maintaining quality. We cover 4 products right now and we're expanding our coverage year by year. Whenever we have any new service onboard then, we explain our process to the stakeholders to have the same understanding and work can be done smoothly. We have review process for Test plan/Design/Cases. Test design review is also done by PDM and Engineer to make sure we have all the scenarios for testing and our understanding of the specification is same.



Let me introduce RTM (Requirement Traceability Matrix) which I introduced for this team and which is one of the important document to ensure testing coverage. We can explain easily test coverage to stakeholders, also we're able to reduce mistakes such as test case leakage. We are using JIRA for defect, tasks and story management. We had a Test management
tool for managing our test cases and execution. This year we brought a new tool which had all those missing requirements (including RTM) which previous tool lacked and trained our resources to use it. I gave presentation about RTM in a conference outside Rakuten and the response was overwhelming. There were many questions asked on how to use it and it amazed me that many QA weren’t aware of it. I designed OJT program for any new joinee who has no knowledge about testing and wants to become QA and got 1 new joinee to train and make the resource productive. This program is one of a kind and can be utilized across Rakuten.



In our team, we have different PICs for different services each having a different perspective sometimes. When discussing about any new process or change in existing process,
we do brainstorming, make consensus and then only follow it. So, this way we get the best solution.


I received New joinee Award for the good performance in my first 3 months of joining. Got nominated multiple times for MIP(Most Impressive Person) award in LPD.

Next Challenge TPI (Test Process Improvement)

I’m looking at all the current processes and see what improvements can be done. With the new tools & technology there is a need to come up with new ideas for improvement. And I believe in change for better. AI is emerging with a high speed and I look forward to using that for improving some of the testing activities.