At Applitools, we make a product that runs globally. We support customers who run software that crosses geographic, political, and linguistic boundaries. Furthermore, our customers develop sites, applications, and services for their customers who operate globally. And we’re not unique. Many other SaaS businesses have a similarly broad set of customers. For this reason, we believe it’s crucial that our industry has a diversity that reflects the customers it serves, in order to best meet their needs.
Recently, we began working with This Dot’s Open Source Apprentice program to give junior-level developers from a range of backgrounds a path to contributing to open source. This initiative allows us to not only invest in open source, which we have been committed to from day one, but also enable energetic and passionate junior developers to help us achieve that vision.
Why is visual testing important for open source projects
With the increased need for web developers to factor in different environments, devices, sizes, and browsers, visual testing has become an essential tool for front end development. This matters for open source as much as it does for commercial software.
Our product makes it easy to detect visual issues early on in your development cycle and reduces the number of bugs in your code. You can read more in-depth on why visual testing is important here.
How it works
This Dot’s Open Source Apprentice program provides a pair of developers consisting of a mentor and junior developer to help us with our open source initiatives.
Our teams work together to provide free licenses to open source projects and help with the integration of visual testing into libraries. (By the way, if you’re an open source maintainer, you can get a free license here.)
We’re grateful to work with maintainers of great projects who also believe in our vision of helping provide more opportunities to underrepresented minorities in tech.
Here are a few of the libraries we have worked with via this program:
Here’s why we love this model:
Gil Tayar, our frontend development architect here at Applitools, serves as the lead on the integration of this program and works closely with each apprentice.
Together, they help accomplish 3 key goals:
- Provide a platform to teach junior developers visual testing
- Show how easy it is to integrate visual testing into an open source library
- Work with open source maintainers to get pull requests merged into real-world projects
Megha Sachdev, an apprentice, says, “The apprentice program gave me an opportunity to work on an amazing visual testing tool. This program helped me explore a lot of new things like visual testing, handling the front end, and more. It was fun working as a part of this program as it was an ice breaker for me into front end development after a gap of one year in my career.”
Thanks to the mentorship structure in place, apprentices have a support system so they never feel alone in their journey, which creates a positive environment to further their development skills.
“The journey in this apprentice program has been amazing for me. My mentors have always been readily available to me. From explaining the tasks to the completion of the same. Mentorship made the projects I was given a cake walk.” says Megha.
Skill Acquisition and Testing
“We believe that visual testing should be accessible and easy for anyone to use and integrate. We are happy to provide this experience to as many underrepresented minorities as possible,” says Gil.
Apprentices are able to immerse themselves deeper into the world of testing and provided a reason to learn and use the Applitools’ visual AI capabilities.
When asked what the most interesting part of working with Applitools has been, Marien Scott, an apprentice says, “It makes software testing so simple.”
Megha says, “Being a part of this program helped me explore new zones which were completely new to me. I am a backend developer and this program has opened new opportunities for me, for which I’m really thankful.”
We’ve been happy to see more underrepresented minorities show interest in furthering their careers in testing and development after the program.
We hope that these stories help inspire other companies to run similar programs internally. Diversification of the tech world is the key to building a better, healthier tech community.
Got an open source project that you’d like start visual testing? Get your free Applitools account here.