Interview: Scott Sherwood, founder of TestLodge
Tech Dragons recently caught up with Scott Sherwood, the founder and director of TestLodge. It’s an online test management tool that companies can use in the prototyping stages of launching a product.
TD: Who are you, and what do you do?
SS: I’m Scott Sherwood, founder and director of TestLodge. I graduated from the University of Hull in 2007 with a 1st in internet computing. After eight years’ experience working in the commercial web industry, I saw a gap in the market for a modern, easy to use online test management tool.
I built TestLodge in response to that need. I now manage the day to day activity at TestLodge such as support and marketing while continuing to develop the product based on customer feedback and our ongoing desire to improve.
TD: What’s your company, and what does it do?
SS: Designed with simplicity in mind, TestLodge is an online test management tool that handles all stages of test management with ease. Use it to create test plans that can be tailored to fit your own needs then associate a test plan with your test suites where everything is easy to find, cross reference, copy and maintain.
From there, you can manage multiple test runs with no upper limits as to the amount of users that you can add to your account. This means everyone can manage their own tests as well as come together to collaborate on the bigger picture.
TestLodge is fully integrated with the majority of today’s leading issue tracking tools. This means that a defect is automatically raised when a test fails, saving testers time and allowing them to increase their productivity.
TD: Why did you set the business up?
SS: I became inspired to start TestLodge after reading ReWork, which is a book by 37 Signals/Basecamp. It provides some practical tips and encouragement on how to get started with bootstrapping your own startup with no funding.
TD: What problem is it solving?
SS: TestLodge helps software testers and QA teams manage their testing effort with ease. We don’t aim to be a full featured tool, but instead our focus is on keeping things simple. We provide testers with a robust tool that people enjoy using, and because the tool is easy to learn, the tester can become productive quickly.
TD: What makes your business unique?
SS: You can get straight on with the job when using TestLodge with no fiddly software to learn first. Travel light as there’s nothing to download, install or maintain. Being cloud based means you can test anywhere.
There’s a clean, modern interface to welcome you and inside are just the essentials needed for you and your team to enjoy a comprehensive testing experience with no fluff and no filler. All this time saving, efficiency and open space thinking makes for a happy team and a happy you.
TD: What’s been your biggest success, and biggest obstacle?
SS: The largest obstacle I have faced so far came in the early days. There was so much to do, but being able to allocate enough time to do it while holding down a full time job and paying the bills was really hard.
Eventually, I went part time in my job which gave me an extra day per week for focussing on my own business. The largest success was achieving the revenue needed to allow me to leave my old job and focus on TestLodge full time. Since doing that, revenue has increased by 233%.
TD: Where do you see your business in 5 years’ time?
SS: That’s a long way off, so it’s hard to answer. One thing I will keep doing is listening to user feedback and reacting to what people are saying. Whatever happens, I will make sure TestLodge continues to be one of the top test management tools.
TD: Do you have any advice for budding entrepreneurs?
SS: Based on experience, I would suggest that anyone beginning a start-up try to bootstrap their business as long as possible. I’m sure taking funding has many benefits of its own, but not having to worry about burning cash too quickly or where the next funding round is coming from means you will have time to listen to users and concentrate on the things that really matter, without any outside pressures.