I spend about half my work time in the role of a consultant assessing, auditing and examining software development team practices and processes for the purpose of process improvement.
I am regularly surprised to find teams that lack basic skills, management support, tools, information, access to users, Product Owners and to developers. And yet they’re still expected to carry the heaviest burden of quality and customer satisfaction for the company. It’s the lack of easy access to skills and lack of input on team’s process that is the most disheartening.
Most testers/test engineers/quality engineers have a real desire to be the best they can be at their job; find great bugs, be a team player through project problems and create satisfied customers. Unfortunately, many people who get into testing come from various backgrounds with little to no prior formal testing training. The most common training is on the job “doing what we have always done.” This is where I came in.
There are real project and quality issues facing test teams these days. Teams are dealing with all kinds of problematic issues like Development “handoffs” to test teams while still calling themselves Scrum teams, lack of quality practices and methods, lacking automation, or lacking effective automation trying to have Continuous Integration (CI). It’s common to find teams who have never been trained in scrum using totally scrumbut practices—double standards where the documentation load has been reduced on other team members while testers must still document every test and write large test plans. If you think “You may be a Scrumbut,” check out this great description from the Scrum Alliance: https://www.scrumalliance.org/community/articles/2013/february/you-may-be-a-scrum-but
Many test teams need help with the basics. There are also rare occasions where efficient, effective teams need help moving to the next level, for example, teams that have graduated from Scrum and moved to Kanban for their SDLC. My best recommendation in most situations I have described above is to learn as much as possible and strive for incremental change. Change one thing at a time. Change how you do things, learn one new thing and share it with the team.
Our job at LogiGear magazine is to provide you with quick access to high quality great new ideas for testing and quality. In this issue we present you with two rising test methods, BDD and ABT. We also have great pieces on strategically managing risk and effective requirements analysis. And Clemens Reijnen writes a very timely article on testing in Scrum. We have also done methods and strategy issues in the past, the last from just a year ago, February 2014. Our fully searchable archives are full of great articles on various test methods that you can apply from mobile testing to test automation.
From all over the world- we seek out stories and thought work to best benefit teams thrive today. We want to provide one-stop shopping for testing and quality improvement. It is my earnest hope that you can learn something to help you and your team in this issue and have a positive effect on your job satisfaction, daily work, team, product, and customer satisfaction. Good luck!