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.
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.
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 stumbled on an interesting webinar by 321Gang.com 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.
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).
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.
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.
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:
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.
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
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.
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….!
DevOps teams have to balance their work between three types of tasks. Development, Operational tasks and Improvements. Many DevOps teams (and that includes the PO) are struggling with balancing between the three types of work. Often Ops work uses up much of the time reducing the adaptivity of the business, while other teams focus heavily on new features and create too much technical debt.
To get a feel about this challenge we created a serious game, called the DevOpsImprovement Game. In this game teams experience how to have a maximum of business value in a sustainable way without ignoring operational responsibilities.