Wednesday, May 26, 2021 – Baking Quality In: How Testers Can Help Drive Continuous Improvement

As the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our daily lives, we are making our 2021 KWality Talks available online for free.

Register: Online Using Eventbrite, Zoom link will be included in registration confirmation email

Location: Online

Time: Stream will start at approximately 11:55 am. Meeting starts at 12:00 pm. Meeting ends at approximately 1:00 pm.

Speaker: Ali Hill

Topic:
Testers are often labeled as bottlenecks in continuous delivery environments. In a world where companies are aiming to release frequently, what value can testers provide their team? How can they learn to drive a culture of continuous improvement to assist their team in releasing high quality software?

Being a great tester and being able to perform the testing activity is vitally important. But if that’s all that testers focus on, then they can often find themselves acting as more of a blocker than an enabler within the team. Despite the fact that companies have either adopted or are moving towards an Agile and DevOps cultures, teams are still exhibiting behaviours more commonly associated with Waterfall development processes. Work is thrown over the wall by developers and test results are thrown back.

How, then, can testers use their skills to help bake quality into their teams processes and therefore the software being developed?

Testers can help their team get the most out of their automated tests. Automation tells us much more than whether a code change has introduced a bug. The metrics these tests produce can be monitored and help drive process improvements.

They can also get involved in more activities around the design of the functionality being developed. Testers can coach other team members on the types of tests they should write in order to provide the team with fast feedback on whether they have introduced any problems with their latest changes.

In this talk I will draw upon my own experiences of working as a tester within teams living DevOps cultures and share the value-add activities I have practiced and how these helped the team develop a quality culture and strive for continuous improvement.

Testing is about way more than carrying out the testing activity. Testers can play a key role in accelerating quality releases and helping to bake quality into their processes and the software they are producing.

Takeaways:
– How testers can add value to their teams and assist in delivering high quality software by acting as quality coaches and building a quality culture.
– Activities that teams can perform (such as testing ideas or designs) to prevent bugs from ever entering the software being developed.
– How to extract the most value out of the team’s automated tests and produce metrics that can be used to continuously improve the team’s processes.

Bio: Ali is a Continuous Delivery Consultant currently working for digital transformation consultancy ECS. He began his career as a software tester and went on to spend five years in various software testing roles. Passionate about quality, he has always focused on how to improve his teams’ processes to allow them to deliver quality software for their customers. Although Ali is now working in the DevOps space, he continues to use that passion for quality to drive a quality culture within his team. Ali is based in Edinburgh, Scotland and can be found on Twitter at @ali_hill91 where he is an active member of the testing community.