BBD’s success in the automated testing space at Vodacom is a point of pride, as a system was implemented to bring reporting time down from five days to a few hours.
BBD has been moving Vodacom’s testing from manual to automated, with BBD test lead Prasad Bhogi leading the team. Using his automation experience, Prasad saw the opportunity to make a truly effective change for Vodacom, by radically cutting down on reporting time.
This was a new service that BBD was providing, with the team involved starting off a zero-base and having to understand the necessary requirements as they emerged, and the business behind what they were implementing. It was a complicated cycle of acquiring the knowledge and then implementing it.
In terms of developing a working automation system, Prasad explains that the first step was to not only understand the product and the product language, but also what level of testing was required by the client. As BBD had to build a framework from scratch, the team had to understand how the solution could be tested based on the tool they wanted to use. Once this initial hybrid framework was in place, the Vodacom team could then add in their requirements and the test team could accommodate these through a new Page Object Model (POM) framework. This process - of having to develop, receive requirements and implement - was one of Prasad’s main hurdles throughout the process, but one they more than overcame. Prasad also pointed out that despite the learning process being undertaken by both BBD and Vodacom, they maintained an excellent working relationships, so much so that Vodacom has requested the team work on other new projects now that the testing is stable.
Carla Vermeulen, a BBD tester who worked on Vodacom in the early phase, explains that “the reason automation was especially successful for Vodacom was because of the site stability”. Automation allows for increased work speed, faster defect finding, regression prevention and the ability to free up team resources. BBD is excited at the possibility to roll automation out to other clients, and are proud of the Vodacom team’s triumph with automation.
As to why he chose automation, Prasad explained that he is a person who likes deep dive into solutions and find the loopholes, solutions and gaps. “Automation is the right carrier for me because it allows me the opportunity to improve myself and what I’ve done. It keeps me interested”. Prasad is continuing his career in testing as he has the opportunity to continually grow and improve, with BBD providing the support by giving him the time and space to build his carrier and showcase his abilities.
DEALING WITH CHALLENGING NEW B-BBEE IT CHARTER CODES
The updated codes for the B-BBEE IT Charter were released in November 2016 and South African IT companies have had their work cut out for them to maintain their level of broad-based black economic empowerment (B-BBEE) compliance.
Read the full article on ITWeb
Cloud computing is transforming the way companies interact with their customers, with 93% of South African companies currently either implementing or planning the initialphase of their cloud strategy
Recently BBD ranked number one in My Broadband’s 2017 Salary Survey for the IT sector, indicating a high employee happiness rating. Over 3 000 South African IT professionals were surveyed.
BBD Group today announced it has acquired a 26% stake in Fusion Software, a South African company providing integrated software solutions and business management tools.
This idea matured, grew some animated characters and ended up in my lap about one year ago. It was at this point that my team and I feverishly started this chaotic journey to deliver the Kids Banking application in record time. Needless to say the timelines never worked out, but what we have after a year is something to be very proud of. “A career highlight” as some people in my team have put it and it’s extremely satisfying for me to have lead one of the most strategic projects in the bank.
The app, which is available for Android, smartphones and tablets as well as Apple’s iPhone and iPad, is meant to help parents educate their children about earning, saving and spending money. An example of this is the Leopard character which encourages kids to complete “missions” or chores assigned by parents, such as tidying their rooms or watering the plants in order to earn money. Parents can teach children to earn money by paying money into the app when allocated tasks are completed.
From a marketing perspective, it’s all about brand affinity from a young age, which will be a massive win for them if Standard Bank is known as an organization that is able to provide value to this banking segment.
Thank you to all the BBD staff that were in my team to help me on this incredible journey to deliver a first of its kind app in SA
BBD represented by Anneke, Refilwe, Dobson and Tiaan participated in the hard preparatory work as well as delivery of the 2016 Local Government Elections (LGE). We are proud of the role we played working with the IEC (Independent Electoral Commission) and our key strategic partner PwC (PriceWaterhouse Coopers).
Anneke and Tiaan were part of the team that was responsible for delivering the Online Candidate Nomination System. This was the first time an online system was used by political parties to nominate and submit their candidates to the IEC. Their roles also included delivering system training to IEC provincial officers in the Free State, Western Cape, Kwazulu-Natal, Limpopo and Gauteng. Anneke was assigned to the National Elections Results Operations Centre to provide assistance to the IEC staff and political parties, whilst Tiaan provided technical support to the Gauteng Provincial Elections Results Centre during voting and counting of votes.
Refilwe was part of the team that was responsible for enhancing the Results System and later assigned to provide technical support to the Limpopo Provincial Elections Results Centre during voting and counting of votes. The Results System is used for results capturing, results auditing, seat calculation and allocation, reporting and publishing of results as they are counted until completion.
Dobson, part of the mobile application team, was responsible for revamping the IEC Mobile App. The mobile application provides interactive functionality and information relating to where a voter is registered, names of councillors contesting elections in a particular ward as well as results per ward, municipality and province. He was given the responsibility to work on the Dashboard Results System used to show results and seat allocation at Elections Results Centres across 9 provinces. Dobson was also assigned to provide technical support to the North West Provincial Elections Results Centre.
Both Sphere and BBD representatives visited the National Elections Results Centre during vote counting to show their support to the IEC.
On the 23rd of September 2016 BBD Celebrates a Colouful Heritage Day.
BBD and Sphere Holdings (Sphere) are today delighted to announce Sphere’s acquisition of an additional 14.2% of BBD, a 32yr old R500 million a year custom software developer. The cash deal sees Sphere’s ownership stake rise to 49.9% which, together with 1.1% held by Student Sponsorship Programme (SSP), a respected education charity, makes BBD 51% black-owned.
Employing over 550 software developers, BBD is South Africa’s oldest and largest independent custom software development company, servicing the financial services, telecommunications and allied industries, and the public sector. BBD’s founders and management retain 49% ownership and will continue in their current management roles providing continuity of leadership, technical skills, client relationships and strategic execution.
Over the past year and a half we have held a Recipe Race Competition, and from that with a whole lot of creative thinking, hard work and fun, I am pleased to announce BBD’s most recent book, our very own Chef de Cuisine.
The book is not only full of your favourite home-spun starter, main & dessert family recipes but also tells a story. 30 years ago BBD was founded by Ralf, Tom and Sandra and our new book starts with a recipe from the last serving BBD founder, our Chairman Ralf Dominick and finishes with recipes from the current Executive Directors. As in BBD’s 30 year history, our book is filled with BBD people and their recipes and photo’s. It was fun to see cooking from an intricate recipe as an analogy for software development. I’m pretty sure our developers will say they never receive such clear specifications when they are asked to cook up some code, and our BA’s will disagree with the PM’s, understanding that both have a role to play in that best recipe of all…all of the people in BBD.
Thank you to all of you who work so hard every day to keep BBD cooking and to all of you who contributed to the book and of course the team who put it together.
Please enjoy your recipe book with the same passion you show for BBD every day!
In 2012 we started a Recipe Race competition, which encouraged all our staff to submit their favourite home-spun starter, main & dessert family recipes. The competition was a lot of fun and many great prizes were given away to the winners of each course category.
The idea to produce the Chef de Cuisine recipe book came about through the similarities found in the principles applied to software development & cooking intricate recipes. Together we will discover the art of good cooking…good coding!
Thank you to everyone for all your hard work, we really hope you love your recipe book & use it with the passion you show BBD every day!!
A generation, that varies by region and social and economic conditions, is generally marked by an increased use and familiarity with communications, media, and digital technologies. Millennial’s are all about taking themselves to the next level, with new learning opportunities and the ability to be a part of something bigger than themselves. Finally we have produced the ideal generation – they are open to change and connected with the planet, their parents, their peers and their feelings.
There are about 80 million of them, born between 1980 and 1995, and they're rapidly taking over from the baby boomers that are now pushing 60. BBD continuously attempts to capture the imagination of these Millennials as they bring a world of new possibilities and could change the world or at least the way things are done in their workplace - using technology. This generation are online natives, their world has always had the internet, cell phones, and now social media allows them to communicate instantaneously. The impact these young people have on technology is constantly improving and changing the ways businesses function today.
The significance of the Millennial generation was underlined by the results of the fifth annual ICT Skills Survey compiled by the Johannesburg Centre for Software Engineering (JCSE) in partnership with ITWeb, and they recognised that when a company is lucky enough to attract any of the qualified bright young minds, it makes sense to hang on to them, by understanding how to manage them.
To stay in the game, businesses can embrace the change and manage Millennials in the following ways:
Listen to Millennials and respect their ideas. They are dependent on their parents for personal and career advice and used to having loving parents who schedule their lives around the activities of their children. These young adults have ideas and opinions, and don't take kindly to having their thoughts ignored.
Millennial employees are up for a challenge and change. Boring is bad. They seek ever-changing tasks within their work. Don’t bore them, ignore them, or trivialize their contribution.
Millennial employees are multi-taskers on a scale you’ve never seen before. Multiple tasks don’t phase them. Talking on the phone, while email and answering multiple instant messages – yes! So take advantage of their computer, cell phone, and electronic literacy. The electronic capabilities of these employees are amazing.
Millennials want to endorse and be endorsed, they need constant feedback and in particular, praise. They actively seek guidance and structure from their mentors, therefore be a firm and fair leader, creating boundaries that help them map out their career paths.
The IT Industry is traditionally poor at providing a life-work balanced workplace. Millennials work hard, but they are not always happy with sixty hour work weeks. Home, family, spending time with the children, are priorities, don’t lose sight of this.
Internet research counts 75,000,000 Millennials are preparing to join or joining the workforce. Millennials are ready to take on the world and companies must direct their enthusiasm and energy into projects that allow them to make a valuable contribution.
Although managing Millennials may be a challenge and risk adverse, they are still extremely desirable employees. Make your Millennial employees happy in a fun, yet structured setting, and you are building the foundation for the superior workforce you desire. You are developing the future of your workforce.
By Tarin Searle
Vodacom changed its colour to red recently. It was literally painted across South Africa and is regarded as South Africa’s biggest ever brand make-over.
The new branding saw Vodacom replacing its familiar blue and green colours with Vodafone’s red colouring, to essentially clone Vodafone’s global branding but keeping the Vodacom name.
The rebrand was more than marketing hype. The ability to implement the rebrand became mission critical to the company when Vodacom became the only Vodafone owned operator to be allowed to keep its name when rebranding to Vodafone. The problem in doing that was how to pull it off in two months!
Enter BBD and the competent and capable members of the VSP team. Under NDA and “top secret” authority the team set about a complete content change for Vodacom Business Self Help Portal, website, VodaManage and DealerWeb systems.
Successful delivery meant personal sacrifices in terms of huge overtime spent, to the point where team members had to forfeit attending the BBD VSP Team building as well as weekend time with both family and friends.
But doing what it takes is what is done at BBD. The team not only turned the rebrand around in just two months but did so in budget. The switch from blue to red was seamless with systems up and running within 15 minutes of go live, switched over and bug free! The team very much deserved the personal thank you they received from the client for BBD’s contribution to a successful project.