A Testers Guide To the Galaxy

A Testers Guide To the Galaxy

Who am I to write this blog?

I've been in the testing game for app. 12 years now and in the agile game for more then 14 years, started out as a part time tester in internal test projects, moved on to a role as full time tester doing automation, took my ISEB foundation, moved on the consulting world, now as test coordinator, became part of an agile project, added certified SCRUM Master to my CV, got my ISTQB ATM exam, moved on to role as Test Manager. Recently I have moved more and more into the agile game, adding CAT Certified Agile Tester, ISTQB CTFL Agile Tester Extension and SAFe Agilist to the list of certifications. So now I act more as a trainer (CAT, ISTQB CTFL & CTFL AT) and agile coach!

I simply want to share my thoughts on agile and testing and all thats connected with it.
Feel free to comment on my thoughts!

Test is dead - RIP!

Thoughts on testingPosted by Søren Wassard Wed, June 21, 2017 10:34:49
Did I get your attention? I'm a for real? Do I actually mean that?
Yes, I will state that testing is dead!
You probably disagree; How can test be dead, if we do not test how can we ensure a high product quality, how can we validate that the system works as intended, how can we verify that the functionality works?
Well, the statement "test is dead" is based on the context in which we normally would test; re-actively! Testing is re-actively verifying and validating a solution. "But we have shifted left, we do reviews, we are involved early in the process, whenever something is ready for either static or dynamic testing" - exactly my point - when something allready has been created = a re-active action.
Shift-left is simply not enough, we must enter the scene way earlier, we must be present when the solution is being formed, being discussed, being detailed from idea level to Release theme, features, epics, user stories, so not reviewing, but being part of the creation.
My thesis is based on the power of 3, the 3 amigos concept; At least 3 different roles / archetypes must be involved in the creation of the requirements (what ever form they are in) to ensure that as many angles to the requirement / solution are taken into consideration. If 1 person alone writes a requirement there will be undocumented assumptions, expected levels of knowledge, tendencies to "happy path" the solution. The more roles you involve, the more angles you get to a given solution, hence assumptions and other issues are identified before the solution is being described and created.
One of these roles is of cause the "tester" who really shouldn't spend time on testing, but rather must spend time on facilitating and securing quality in the process and in the description of the solution (requirement, epic, user story - what ever), and that is why I state that test is dead.
We must be involved as soon as something starts, we must ensure that we wander of the happy path and challenge assumptions. If we do that right, if we ensure, or rather contribute to the quality assurance of the product up front, we do not have to test re-actively, or at least we can minimize the amount of testing needed.
Statement; Prevention over detection! Be pro-active over being re-active!
So, testers are no longer testers! I'd prefer the title Quality Facilitator, which in my mind makes so much more sense. It really states what we should do, instead of what we have been doing.
It makes sense in the agile context where the team is responsible for the quality of the product, it makes sense in the context of Acceptance Test Driven Development, Behaviour Driven Development, Test Driven Development where the test cases that we create simply are an outcome of the conversation that we have about writing / building the right requirement / solution, and we can of casuse benefit from these test cases to re-actively ensure that we have build it correct, that we can state when we are done, but neither ATDD, BDD or TDD's main focus is to create test cases, it is to create the conversation - pro-actively.
So test is maybe really not dead, but the attention needs to shift beyond left, tests must become a byproduct of the conversation of doing things right from the beginning


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Test managers: Endangered species ?

Thoughts on testingPosted by Søren Wassard Wed, September 28, 2011 10:29:44

I was at a seminar a couple of weeks ago. The speaker was Janet Gregory. It was a magnificent session, but one thing startled me. Janet claimed that the test manager as we know him/her will be gone in a few years, at least if everyone embraced agile development. Do I agree? Not entirely, but I agree that we need to change the way we act.

I have a theory; there are 2 kinds of people, "I" people and "T" people.

"I" people are people who almost stubbornly cling to their role; "My contract states that I was hired as a test manager and therefore that is solely what I'll do", whereas "T" people will go beyond their role to make the project succeed, they will help where ever they can. The issue here is that not all people are "T" people, and among testers and test managers I will argue that there are significantly more "I" then "T" people, which is a challenge. We need to broaden our minds, we need to embrace the world around us.

But isn't that what we have tried not to do for several years now, by becoming ISTQB certified, to show the world that testing is a carreer path? To some extend yes, but that doesn't mean we have to dig trenches and defend our newly gained professionalism stubbornly!

So will test managers be obsolete in a few years if all projects suddenly went agile? No. But we need to change. And knowing that not all people can (or will!) change, that is where I see our chance. We as test managers are perfect bridge builders between business, test and development. A test manager should be able to speak all 3 languages, and therefore be the person who ensures quality throughout the project.

Actually as I see it, we will in this way get even closer to the ideal world where a project manager and a test manager is at the same level in the hierarchy.

So be ready to chance, the storm is coming! Time to build windmills, not shelters!

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