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Startup Koality named as one of AWS' most innovative new companies

San Francisco-based startup Koality was today selected by Amazon Web Services (AWS) as one of five AWS-powered startups "helping to define the next generation of cloud services," during an awards ceremony at the re:Invent conference in Las Vegas.

Koality, (pronounced "quality") is a software-testing platform for that its developers claim can "dramatically increase developer productivity".

The platform is powered by Amazon Elastice Compute Cloud (EC2), and allows engineers to test their code before it's distributed to the project repository.

Koality works by spinning up an army of virtual machines in the cloud, a technique that simulates the production environment, and ensures accurate testing. It then uses dynamic scaling to ensure that entire test suites can run in minutes. According to the company, the system can increase test speeds by up to 64 times.

In practice, it means that if one programmer makes an error in his code, it's spotted before it disrupts the work of the whole development team.

We went to speak to co-founder and CEO Jonathan Chu ahead of the announcement.

"When you work in a team, you're sharing code," Jonathan told us. "If one person breaks something, and another person's looking at the same piece of code, that second person gets really confused, because the code's not working, and the pieces of the puzzle in his mind are no longer what they were before."

"So what we do is prevent the engineers from making those mistakes, improving the speed and integration of the engineering process."

So what does Chu think Amazon saw in Koality that was so innovative?

"We have a very heavy tie-in with the cloud, and a close cooperation with Amazon," he told us. "It's actually pretty neat, because if something doesn't work with the AWS, they actually deploy our software to help fix the AWS cloud."

It's a mutually beneficial relationship, Chu told us.

"We get more people using AWS, and our customers get much faster test times, and we boost their engineering productivity by like 10 or 20 per cent."

So would Koality be viable without AWS?

"We tried integrating with one other competitor, but their cloud platform was very out of date. The APIs wouldn't work all the time."

Amazon CTO and vice president Werner Vogel had good things to say about Koality at the awards presentation.

"Koality brings real productivity improvement to the development process and has the potential to positively impact a wide range of engineering organisations," he told reporters.

Chu called the award "an amazing honour for our new company."

Make sure to follow our live blog of the events at the AWS re:Invent conference in Las Vegas. Stay tuned for more news, photos and analysis.