Press release – Kontich, November 2017 – In early 2016, Pieter Chiau and Koen De Wilde founded the company Brightest. Their mission: to provide a top-quality service by focussing 100% on software testing. Today, they employ a thirty-five-strong team. ‘Our goal is to have one hundred specialists on board within five years. We want to become the player in the field of software testing.’
‘Our fantastic growth is down to our focus,’ says Pieter Chiau. ‘We concentrate exclusively on software testing, test automation and providing testing maturity assessments. Our people are the specialists in their field. We are not a supplier but a partner to our customers. Partners in quality, is what we call it.’
‘Whereas companies used to be reluctant to spend money on testing, today, there is a growing awareness that they will actually save money by paying for quality,’ says Koen De Wilde. ‘Quality is no longer the privilege of multinationals. We make quality available to smaller companies.’ With Testing-as-a-Service, Brightest offers specialists tailored to the SME. The company also provides consultants with specific expert competencies to multinationals.
Despite the highly competitive market, Brightest has managed to make a name for itself. ‘We take a holistic approach to quality. We provide more than just a skill. We think along with the customer and give honest advice, even if this means we end up offering a cheaper solution than originally requested. You don’t need a bazooka to kill a fly, is one of our mottos. There are very few companies that do this.’
Much sought-after profiles
Quality & Test Engineers are among the most sought-after profiles in Belgium according to LinkedIn. Test consultants are popular and make higher pay demands then before. That is unlikely to be changing any time soon, managers predict. ‘And yet, we are selective,’ says Koen De Wilde. ‘We choose people who are technically strong and who are a pleasure to work with. Our consultants are positive people who consistently deliver. That is also something our customers tell us time and again.’
Soft skills are just as important at Brightest as practical skills, says Pieter Chiau. ‘Our people have a strong technical grounding combined with knowledge of agile methods. They make great colleagues, are communicative and work well in both traditional and innovative environments. It isn’t just about what is needed, but also about who is needed: we strongly believe in the right person in the right place.’
Through the Brightest Academy, the company gives its employees an insight into tools and trends in the market. ‘There is a huge rise in freeware and open-source solutions for test automation,’ says Koen De Wilde. ‘It can be hard to see the wood for the trees. We invest a lot of time in discovering and learning about these new tools. We don’t just limit ourselves to topics about testing. This month, for instance, we are organising a session on GDPR, the new European privacy regulation.’
Besides professional support, employees at Brightest have recently also been given access to a wellbeing coach, who offers them physical and mental support, such as healthy living advice. ‘BrightBeing is a brand-new initiative. Sure, you can call our HR policy progressive if you want. We work with people, not employees. It is crucial to us that people are happy in their jobs.’
Thanks to financial and business support from Gumption Group, Brightest is able to fully focus on developing the business. Last year, the company recorded a turnover of 717,000 euros. For 2017, Brightest is aiming to achieve a turnover of 2,700,000 euros.