Who Are The Farmers?

The “Farmers” are a group of developers, engineers, project managers and sales professionals who have been involved in the software quality assurance industry for almost two decades in the United States. We have worked for Vendors, Value Added Resellers, and have even been self-employed. Altogether we have well over 100 years of collective experience with load and performance tools, methods and analysis. Many of our tests have been used to value technology associated with merger and acquisition activities, assess prior to deployment the scalability of financial systems, publicly facing websites, and internal support applications; in short to reduce the risk of acquiring and deploying new technology. At times we have been asked to tackle technical challenges that have stymied other organizations with success. In fact, if you shop online, have a phone, hold a mortgage or have traveled via airplane in the last decade, then there is a very good chance that one of our engineering staff has assisted in testing systems that you have interfaced with.

A few years ago our clients began coming to us with a vexing challenge. While we had the expertise that they needed, these same clients were being compelled by people outside of the software quality assurance organization to use less technically mature organizations, primarily to reduce costs. These clients needed a superior solution at a comparable price point as that offered by the offshore organizations. A lot of late nights, pizza, adult libations and countless “What if” whiteboard sessions later resulted in a very different approach to the delivery of onshore performance testing expertise.

A radically different model was called for in delivery, in personnel, in location. In 2005, we began with exploratory deliveries to prove out the model. In 2006, we opened an office in Fort Mill, SC for the exclusive delivery of offsite performance testing services. We began with LoadRunner, added SilkPerformer the following year (2007) and added testing capabilities for VoIP and networks with Ixia’s IxChariot in 2008.

“ScriptFarm?” How did we come up with that name? When we began delivery of our services, we were limited by the nature of the licenses offered by the major software vendors. We were unable to deliver the complete set of services, limited by the license from one major vendor to offsite script development only. There were no technical barriers to delivery, but we refused to place our clients’ testing tool licenses in jeopardy by running counter to their software license agreements. With our primary focus on script development, “ScriptFarm” seemed a natural name – “PlanningDevelopment&AnalysisFarm” just didn’t have the same ring. Earlier this year the last of license barriers fell and we are now able to deliver the full suite of services for our clients in the load and performance arena, from planning through test development, test execution, analysis and reporting. It’s an exciting shift for the ScriptFarm and our clients.

Will we be changing the ScriptFarm name? Perhaps, but for the time being it’s a keeper. It implies a back to the basics form of development, grounded in solid engineering principals. One of the more comical definitions of a “Farmer” comes from one of our principals, “Some days I am an engineer and some days I am a farmer. It just depends upon what I have stepped in last.” Even in the pressure cooker of performance testing engagements we find time and ways to find humor at our own expense.

The ScriptFarm Code