Coherent Solutions helps Starkey get to market faster with automated regression testing
Headquartered in Eden Prairie, MN, Starkey is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of hearing aids. As the company moved into the digital age in the late 1990s, it relied on more and more advanced software to fit hearing instruments correctly. Coherent Solutions began working with Starkey in 2004, providing both onshore and offshore resources to help develop and test Starkey’s ever-evolving product line.
In 2006, Starkey introduced its Inspire software to audiology professionals for fitting clients with Starkey hearing instruments. Hearing instrument fittings today are extremely complex, involving individual adjustments for a wide variety of situations from quiet conversations, to crowded rooms, to noise-reverberating auditoriums. Angela Pals, Manager of Software Services at Starkey, knew from the start that they would need to automate some of the testing on Inspire.
“We release a new version of Inspire to our practitioners twice a year, to keep up with the constant innovations in our product line,” she explained. “We added two new products and several updates with the last release. All of this has to be backward-compatible with practitioners’ operating systems, which can go all the way back to the original Windows.”
With many different versions of Windows OS available today, the same tests have to be repeated multiple times to assess all the possible configurations of each new Inspire release.
Pals turned to Coherent to help develop the scripts for automating this regression testing. Originally Coherent used Borland’s SilkTest software for automation, but have since moved to Microsoft’s Visual Studio which has proven more versatile. Testing that would take hundreds of hours of monotonous manual work, rife with potential for human error, can be set up in a system to work overnight and be ready for defect resolution in the morning.
“Getting the right fit is the most critical issue we face,” said Pals. “With automated regression testing, my team can be confident that we are putting out a bug-free, quality product that works for every practitioner to be able to fit our clients properly.”