The Challenges Ahead- Keynote at the AgileTD 2019

This week Jan Jaap Cannegieter and I had the honour to present a keynote at the Agile Testing Days in Potsdam. In our keynote “The challenges ahead we discussed trends that we see around us and how these challenge us. One conclusion is that we are more likely to be confronted with new technologies and applications of these technologies and we are more likely to be in a situation where we do not know how to test it. So adoption new skills and knowledge and learning are crucial. During the keynote we also looked at this years conference program, to highlight sessions that relate to the challengers that lay ahead….

Please find the slides below:

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EuroSTAR workshop: Planning and Testing your releases

The last year I became aware of a growing ‘flying shame’. Did you hear other people apologize that they take a flight or maybe you yourself searched for alternatives that are more environmentally friendly….

I used this setting for a new case: “The green traveler.”  I will use this case as basis for my workshop at the EuroSTAR conference this year. In the “Planning and Testing your releases” workshop we will prioritise our backlog, define valuable releases and make a roadmap. See more details on the conference website.

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Conference season

The conference season has definitely started, I realised as a was checking my schedule. Today I was,

  • Uploading my slides for EuroSTAR
  • Making slides
  • Signing a speaker contract
  • Reviewing proposals for the Agile Testing Days USA
  • Preparing the hand-outs for ATD Germany

A lot of things happening….

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The 24th Testing Retreat was Awesome

The Testing Retreat is an international peer conference that aims to discuss relevant test topics and inspire its participants. During this 24th edition we had 13 participants from the Netherlands, UK, Belgium, Poland, Denmark and even the USA. During normal conferences there is mostly little time to have the in-dept sessions of the kind that the retreat hosts. This weekend we gathered in Friesland to discuss:

  • The role of the tester in Agile development
  • Scaling agile and the the place of the test manager
  • Feedback driven testing
  • DevOps and Testing
  • Test automation research
  • Metamorphic testing in non determinant systems
  • Updating the 2012 Mapa Testi

During the breaks dinner and time-of moments we discussed a lot of different topics as well. It was a very nice, inspiring weekend, that I trust enables participant to improve their value as test professional and to see developments in right perspective. I am already looking forward for next year’s edition, which will be the 25th edition.

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New Job! A great opportunity that I love to embrace.

This week I started with Squerist. The last 9+ years I have worked at Valori and did many beautiful, interesting and fun things. Things that stand out among these are embedding the quality into development, setting up test strategies and helping organizations with their agile transformation.  I will continue to do so within Squerist. Squerist is a Dutch consultancy company that is specialised in progression. Their mission is to continuously improve and develop their employees, their customers and their expertise. They already offer services on Software testing, Business transformation and Security. Together with Squerist I’m going to see how we further grow our agile services and make it into a fourth group of services. A great opportunity that I love to embrace! I believe my passion for quality and agile practices fits right in.

Choosing something also means saying no to something else. Unfortunately, I have to say goodbye to Valori. But I hope to meet you all in my new context, as Test Manager, Agile Coach or at one of the conferences to which I contribute.

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The Relevance of Built in Quality

With Valori we published a new eBook in the series on Digital transformation.

This publication is a follow up on the trend report that was released earlier this year. In this previous ebook we described disruptive trends and explained why organisations need to become adaptive.  In this second edition we focus on the development practises that companies embrace to do so.  In the first part we describe how Agile, DevOps,  CI/CD  and Scaling contribute to business agility. I believe it is a nice introduction for managers, stakeholders and  professionals that are not entirely familiar with these development practises.

The second part of the eBook deals with Built in Quality. We state that the concept of creating fast feedback loops crumbles when you cannot release frequently.  Without confidence in system quality, we cannot make quick adjustments and receive no feedback on the impact of implemented improvements. Built in Quality provides the confidence in the quality of the systems so that we dare to change them frequently and take them into production.   In the eBook we introduce the built in quality circle. It provides an overview of the steps in the development cycle and where errors can be prevented.

I am proud of my contribution to this eBook and hope you find it useful. You can download your free copy of Hoe word je wendbaar als organisatie? – Het belang van built in quality from the Valori site.

download button

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How to Incorporate Testing in a SAFe Development Process.

I stumbled on an interesting webinar by on how to incorporate testing on the various levels in the SAFe framework. Wade Towles explains that Built-In quality is one of the Scaled Agile Framework’s (SAFe) four Core Values and a core principle of the Lean-Agile Mindset. In the webinar  he explains how to Incorporate Testing in a SAFe Development Process using Rational Quality Manger (RQM). Keeping track of what needs to be tested and how is critical for success, especially in regulated environments.

The webinar describes the relationship between requirements on epic, feature and story level (at approx 7:15 min) and shows how capability, feature plans and system demo plans are required to organise testing.

Wade states (at approx 8:30 min) that in order to have effective testing at team level the system team 0r the integration test team should write a PI testplan for the program with a child testplan for each feature in the PI. This Feature testplan ties together the tests done on each features

Likewise at System demo testplan is used at solution level (at approx 16:20 min). This plan can be made by a team of e.e. solution architects, Business architect of test engineers and looks for  successful completion at a solution level The focus of the System demo testplan is to test how the features work together rather than testing the individual features.

What I notice is that the testplan seems to be a collection of tests rather than a testplan that describes how the tests are organised. For me a testplan is often the later.  I guess we need both. I mis a mention on what should be a testplan to effectively align different parties and teams to collaborate on integration testing. But beside this omission, it is an interesting webinar, and I am glad more people start talking about embedding quality in scaled agile settings.


How to Incorporate Testing in a SAFe Development Process using Rational Quality Manager




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SIG on Quality in SAFe: Where should we put the quality responsibility?

Yesterday we had another of our Quality in SAFe meetings. The Special Interest Group is founded by TestNet and aims to define where quality and testing can be mounted into scaled agile organisations. Yesterday we had an interesting discussion on responsibilities. Where should we put the quality responsibility on team and release train level and how does this answer differ when moving from an informal to a highly regulated organisation. We discussed the roles of the productmanager and the RTE with respect to test management and QA. We talked about the function of the systems team and the CoE in providing guidelines and support.

If you are interested in joining these discussion. We meet regularly in regio Utrecht and love to hear your experience and ideas as well. Contact TestNet or Me (Derk-Jan).

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How do you unlock the power of Agile?

10 October the Agile Consortium will organise their annual conference in Doorn (the Netherlands). The theme of the conference is: Unleash! Balancing structure and Autonomy.

About the theme: Many organisations struggle with transforming into a flexible organisation. Some organisations have completely or partially reversed their Agile transformation and ask: Does the transformation to an agile organisation actually have the intended effects? The answer to this question can be confronting …On the other hand, we know of organisations where the transformation to an agile organisation is a success. Organizations where motivated employees and teams deliver the right value to a satisfied customer every day. How have these organisations succeeded? How do you unlock the power of Agile? This is the central question this year that the Agile Consortium’s annual congress wants to answer.

It promises to be a day full of interesting presentation and workshops. Mark 10 October in your calendar, and check the program. As the program is being made the website is updated in short iterations. Check out the preliminary  program on the conference website.


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Full participation during the tutorial Test Management in Agile

On the 25 of May Jan Jaap Cannegieter (Squerist) and I hosted the Tutorial Test Management in Agile on the Agile Testing Days USA. It proved to be an interesting topic, with 40 people in the room it was the best visited tutorial of the conference.

During a full day we discussed the needs for agile test strategies and what role the test manager can take. During the day we collected and prioritized the activities that test managers do and compared them the needs of the stakeholders.

During our hands-on exercises the participants worked in small groups on single-team one-page test plans. We learned how to incorporate non-functional tests and how present the strategy in a visual way using a simple graphic of mind-map. Since we did this tutorial in Copenhagen last month, the quality in a scaled agile setting has become a valued topic on the agenda. So, we discussed how quality can be embedded in a multiple team setting.

In the last hour of the day, we looked at different roles that a test manager can take. We examined the benefits and activities for each role and shared our insights.

We were very pleased with the enthusiastic participation and the high level of discussions we had. We loved the feedback we got on the feedback form (nines and tens) and during the rest of the conference. Many come towards us to share how they valued the session.

See below an impression of the day:

If you are interested in our tutorial, feel free to contact me, of visit the Agile Testing Days in Potsdam later this year. We will host the training there as well.

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State of Testing Report 2019

The annual  state of testing report  is based on the contribution of about 1000 participants from 80 countries. They filled in the survey earlier this year and thus sharing  how they perceived their work and the testing profession.

PractiTest and TeaTimeWithTesters are happy to present the report. It’s the 6th edition already. It brings you a lot of data and numbers, and also clarifies trends that are relevant to everyone seeking a future in the QA world.

  • Have  a look at page 13, and see how CI/CD is getting more adopted.
  • See how the number of testers that don’t do automation goes down,
  • or look for the team challenges on page 25.
  • Check how people expect their career to  evolve on page 31

Just a few  of the highlights, Download it now and discover:

State of Testing Survey 2019

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TestExpo Copenhagen

I just got back from Denmark where I contributed to the TestExpo 2019.

Wednesday Jan Jaap Cannegieter and I gave a tutorial on Test Management in Agile. With a group of 23 enthusiastic test managers we explored what task we perform, how these tasks relate to our mission as test manager and what various roles the test manager can have.

A large amount of time was spent on making one-page testplans for sprint and release level.  There were many questions on how we can embed quality in larger agile organisations.  Based on the questions we adapted the program a bit and shared our ideas on building quality into e.g. the SAFe frame work. Based on the eBook I wrote with Mette Bruhn-Pedersen, we had some great discussions. The Chief Quality Officer, that is introduced in the eBook,  even made into the next assignment.

During the Conference Jan Jaap gave an  interactive  session. Since the conference was held in the cinema, the STARWARS theme of “Dark side of test automation” was a close fit. During this  session we discussed the pitfalls of Test Automation and give some tips to stay away from the dark side.



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The impact of AI on testing

Bits & Chips magazine published an article on Artificial intelligence. For this article I sat down with Rik Marselis from Sogeti, and together we had a good conversation about the changes and challenges of AI and testing.

AI is a popular topic these days. As companies are including it in their solutions and services, IT professionals are more likely to encounter AI and machine  learning in their daily work and experience the challenges it brings. We discussed

How AI can be used to:

  • automatically scan the system and run some tests
  • interpret the systems’ response
  • find patterns in the production data
  • learn how the system is being used
  • select the test to include in a regression testset
  • predict where error might occur
  • generate synthetic test data

Read the full article in Bits & chips or here:  Tea and coffee with Rik and Derk-Jan – The impact of AI on testing

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Bringing the DevOpsImprovement Game to Ibiza

This weekend Innspire and Fincalabs host the Agile Coaching Summit – Digital Innovation Camp on the beatiful island of Ibiza. I was thrilled to participate and did the Valori DevOpsImprovement game. We had great fun playing it and had a fruitfull debate afterwards.


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Common sense or Agile Excellence? – A new workshop

Wednesday the Dutch Test Association is hosting its spring-conference in the NBC. We have a full day ahead of us filled with interesting talks and workshops on testing and quality. From Valori we contribute with two sessions

In the morning we start with a tutorial called  “Common sense or Agile Excellence?”. During this workshop Duco Geels, Feline Hermans and I will explore test strategies in a real life experiment:  Agile Evangelists and purist have a very clear picture of how agile development should go. Opposite the purists is a group of pragmatic test professionals. They do not see agile as the ultimate goal and do not approach the problems from the theory, but from their gut feeling or common sense. Sometimes these groups face each other. This is also the case during this session, where we will learn the differences and similarities between both approaches.

In the evening, Linda Dekker, Gerhard Kruiger, Roy Vennik, Jurgen Woen Tjoen Soen and Eric van der Mark will host a session on how testing can be kept out of the crumple zone. If the planning supports testing, the project is helped because feedback is given early, the quality improves and early insight is gained on risks and the effectiveness of the
test approach. It is therefore only logical that testers interfere with the planning of development such that they can start testing as quickly as possible. But is this in daily live the case…. often it is not….!

See more details about the event on the testnet site.

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