Inevitably Agile

somethings are just inevitable …

Hooray, We’re Agile Testers! What’s Next?

So first off just a little note to explain that I left this session early to go and see a dentist – so my notes only cover the first part only. Oh and a little disclaimer – these are my notes and so they might not all make sense … 😉

Agile2011 session : Advanced Topics in Agile Testing by Lisa Crispin & Janet Gregory

… blurb off Agile2011 site
“Your team successfully adopted Agile, you have traction on practices such as CI, TDD, maybe ATDD. Still, you see lots of room for improvement in testing. Do you sometimes miss or misunderstand customer needs? Is it sometimes hard to complete all testing activities each iteration? In this interactive tutorial, you’ll practice ways to better understand and capture customer needs; collaborate more effectively and enjoyably with developers and other team members; improve continuous integration and delivery; manage technical debt; plan and estimate in ways that ensure testing “keeps up”.”

Test Manager – should be a people manager and not a micro manager. Needs to coach testers and not manage them.

Question: Do we need metrics?

Main aim is to stay potentially shippable.

Cultural influences

Key take away: You cant force but you can influence.

Culture Exercise: Transitioning from previous practices to agile practices.
Ask “what do you want to achieve”
Have pilot and involve Test Manager
Expose “improvement areas” in the “we have always done” conversations

QA label & responsibility
– team with no job titles
team to deliver and take responsibility
litmus test – agile or not – perhaps you just need to leave if its not your cup of tea?

transparency and visibility – show the value and ROI
explain the benefits and the costs → articulate, use the team to help with this.

“testing is not a phase” – shift your mindset
Develop a learning culture – no blame
Give time to learn and develop

Book Recommendation – Tribal Leadership

Customer Issues
requirements – story mapping, mind mapping a feature/theme from a testing perspective
features over quality

Aim: Find questions and then get them answered

Pics from session:

Specification by example
ask your customer for examples
– include undesirable behaviour
– shows intent
– turn them into tests
– automate them

Story done vs feature done – what is difference?

Its easier to sell documentation than automated tests. Automated tests are living documentation.

User persona’s for exploratory testing
Jonathon Kohl – man & machines
James Whitteker – whats the value of a tester
James Bach

What are the most important things in your product?
Make rough notes on exploratory testing to figure out how to learn when we missed things.

Quadrant for tests at feature level:
* idea – adjust the pyramid to your needs
Push the tests as low as you can to get the fastest feedback.

Making Testing keep up
– mini waterfall
– unmaintainable code and tests
– insufficient automated tests

Stumbling blocks (smells)
– refactoring requires updating all the automated tests

QA manager -> managers the test community of practise. Need to recognise the value testers in an agile team

Invest in quality – under commit
Plan less work than you think you can do
Reduce the temptation to cut corners
Create tasks for learning skills, refactoring automated tests

Book Recommendation – Clean Coder by Bob Martin (Say no!)
Review of book:

Using a specific tool will prevent devs from helping out testers because they dont want to learn the tool.

Test automation code is as critical as production code – the whole team needs to understand this.

If devs automate then testers are free to :
– help customers specify examples
– think of the right test cases
– do manual exploratory testing
– think of more good questions

Testers are sometimes taught things that dont work in agile like “ wait until its all done” – you need help unlearning this.

Non co-located teams are ‘dislocated’

Levels of testing – Product, Release, Sprint

What will I take away from this session?
That a manager should coach people rather than manage them, focus should be on a culture of learning.
To keep in mind that our main aim should be to stay potentially shippable.

Link to presentation:

A little bit more on the presentation here:

24 August Update: A post by Riaan Rottier on the session:—hooray-were-agile-testers-whats-next/


2 responses to “Hooray, We’re Agile Testers! What’s Next?

  1. Pingback: Agile 2011 – Session Feedback « Inevitably Agile

  2. Pingback: Notes From James Bach’s Lecture on Testing | SQroot :: A blog about IT & everything

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