Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Cambridge Lean Coffee

This month's Lean Coffee was hosted by us at Linguamatics. Here's some brief, aggregated comments and questions  on topics covered by the group I was in.

If we don't do testing, what do we replace it with?

  • We move test environment and tooling into Dev.
  • But practically, how do you ensure the customer gets the right thing?
  • Testing vs checking: testers need to exist.
  • Perhaps the tester just becomes an advisor?
  • With more ability to push into production more often and roll back if there's a problem, there can be less testing.
  • Even if testing is done elsewhere (by developers or customers) we still need someone to ask pertinent questions about the product, to evaluate risks.
  • And where is the test manager?
  • The test manager is taking a more strategic view, coaching, keeping people aligned, across products and projects.
  • Testing is being pushed left (into Dev) and pushed right (into production) and up (into the business).
  • Then what would be down?
  • Why do we need test managers? Why not just engineering managers?
  • Managers with relevant technical skills are respected by staff.

Formal test plans. How can they help in coordinating phases or levels of development?

  • A fair analogy to the questioner's context might be coordination between teams building layers of unit tests, integration tests, end-to-end tests.
  • How do you get the right amount of co-ordination between the different phases?
  • How can you compare the coverage in each phase?
  • Can a formal test plan (whatever that is) be a way to begin to share what's done in each phase?
  • ... and make it consistent across releases?
  • Talk to people!
  • Consider checklists over something heavyweight.
  • What problem are you trying to solve here?
  • A perception that there is repeated work in phases, and that this impedes delivery to market.
  • Are you concerned that there might be testing that no-one is doing?
  • Oops.
  • Can all phases work in one environment so that more can be shared?
  • Is there a way to instrument environments to tell what of the product functionality is being exercised in each environment?
  • ... perhaps something like code coverage metrics in software?

What are you reading? Has it helped you? How?

  • Conceptual Blockbusting by James L Adams.
  • ... it identifies ways in which creativity is blocked
  • ... and it suggests techniques for overcoming them
  • ... which I find valuable as I view testing as inherently creative.
  • Podcasts more than reading at the moment
  • ... because I can do them at the same time as something else
  • ... topics include culture, science, testing, mental health, sports
  • ... and I find I can draw parallels to my work.
  • Coaching Agile Teams by Lyssa Adkins
  • ... right now, I'm re-reading the section on conflict resolution
  • ... because it's relevant to my work situation.

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