Rethinking the role of testers in agile and structured projects
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Rethinking the Role of Testers in Agile and Structured Projects. Paul Gerrard [email protected] Twitter: @ paul_gerrard Web: gerrardconsulting.com. Theme: Changes in our business demand a re-think of where testing fits in systems projects. Health Warning!.

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Rethinking the Role of Testers in Agile and Structured Projects

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Rethinking the role of testers in agile and structured projects

Rethinking the Role of Testers in Agile and Structured Projects

Paul Gerrard

[email protected]

Twitter: @paul_gerrard

Web: gerrardconsulting.com

Intelligent Testing, Improvement and Assurance


Theme changes in our business demand a re think of where testing fits in systems projects

Theme:Changes in our business demand a re-think of where testing fits in systems projects

Intelligent Testing, Improvement and Assurance


Health warning

Health Warning!

I’m going to generalise quite a lot because I’m talking about the market in general.

YOU may be an exception; these trends are happening outside testing

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Why is a re think required

(Why) is a re-think required?

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Rethinking the role of testers in agile and structured projects

Intelligent Testing, Improvement and Assurance


Rethinking the role of testers in agile and structured projects

Intelligent Testing, Improvement and Assurance


Gerrardconsulting com some stats

gerrardconsulting.com - some stats

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Even after 15 years, the IEEE 829 ‘sample test plan’ is the most popular download on our site (1434 per month)

Was it such a good paper or are people stuck in the 70s/80s?


Old style formality hasn t advanced

Old style formality hasn’t advanced

  • Countless books available

  • 100,000+ certified testers

  • Conferences, gatherings, forums, SIGs all over the world

  • But certification seems to have more critics than supporters these days

    • Beginners are put on courses to get the tick-in-box

    • Experienced folk don’t usually have a good thing to say about certification

    • Its an easy target.

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The new testing squeeze

The new testing squeeze

  • Developers are beginning to take test-first, unit-testing, continuous integration very seriously (at last)

  • Better testing up-front (what we’ve always wanted)

    • More stable software sooner

    • Functional/structural coverage ‘upstream’

  • But do better developer practices remove the need for system testers?

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The new testing squeeze 2

The new testing squeeze 2

  • Larger/structured projects treat testing as a factory process (to be offshored mostly)

  • Promoting standards and the certified way is consistent with factory processes

  • But the same old, bad old attitudes prevail:

    • Anyone can test, so do it on the cheap

  • Offshoring leaves certified, unskilled testers without a role – maybe its for the best?

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The new testing squeeze 3

The new testing squeeze 3

  • Some Agile projects squeeze testers out completely – the developers and product owners can test, can’t they?

  • More often, testers are coerced into being eyes/ears of the stakeholder

  • This is a good thing but…

    • Is it testing? Can our testers, test managers cope?

    • Agile testing = Test Assurance in the small?

    • A different set of skills are required.

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Agile is here to stay

Agile is here to stay

  • Many (most?) people are still waiting for Agile to just ‘go away’ – it won’t

  • A certified generation of testers rely on:

    • Having time to do ‘a good job’ whatever that is

    • Specifications, requirements (available and stable)

    • Tabulated test cases, test procedures

    • Test design techniques that rely on perfect specs.

    • Test management tools that support practices dating back to the 60s

  • But Agile is getting all the attention and it simply doesn’t work this way.

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A methodological shift

A methodological shift…

  • There seems to be a methodological shift from staged to iterative and now ‘continuous’

  • Just as companies seem to be coming to terms with Agile…

  • They are now being invited to consider continuous ‘Specification by Example’ approaches

  • Specification by example promotes acontinual process of specification, exampling, test-first, and continuous integration

  • Where does the tester fit here?

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Specification by example

Specification by example

  • SBE promises much:

    • Consistent requirements, stories/examples tests and code for the lifetime of a product

    • Extremely rapid end-to-end turnaround – 24hours

    • CI is the heartbeat, life-support and early warning system

  • Of course, workflow, user experience and end-to-end testing are required

  • But these can be managed by business analysts, UX experts and the stakeholder community.

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The testing crunch

The testing ‘crunch’

  • Testing is being squeezed:

    • From the ‘low-value’ norm of unskilled teams…

    • To upstream, business-savvy, workflow-oriented, UX-aware testing experts, with new tools

  • BAs who can test… or testers who can BA

  • How many of the current generation of testers and test managers will cope with this change?

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The purpose of testing is to locate defects

‘The purpose of testing is to locate defects’ ?

  • This stood in good stead in the 80sand 90s

  • But stakeholders (all of them) know that avoiding defects is better than finding them

    • Standard test approaches are good at providing the documentation (sort of) but are an inefficient way of detecting defects

    • Exploration is effective but happens at the end

  • “Let’s take requirements more seriously, let’s get the devs to test, let’s offshore the paperwork”

  • Testers need to understand they are in the information business.

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Predictions

Predictions

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1 half of the current onshore testing community will see their job disappear in the next five years

#1Half of the current onshore testing community will see their job disappear in the next five years.

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2 business test planning will become part of up front analysis and design where it should be

#2Business test planning will become part of up-front analysis and design (where it should be)

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3 functional unit testing driven by stories mostly structural testing defined by developers

#3Functional unit testing driven by stories (mostly)Structural testing defined by developers

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4 requirements and business models will become executable through stories and examples

#4Requirements and business models will become ‘executable’ through stories and examples

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5 some system tests and most acceptance tests will be model driven models created by analysts

#5Some system tests and most acceptance tests will be model-driven(models created by analysts)

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6 business models plus stories and examples will increasingly be contractual

#6Business models plus stories and examples will increasingly be ‘contractual’

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7 system test detailing the creation of executable manual tests will be outsourced

#7System Test detailing – the creation of executable manual tests will be outsourced

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8 manual system test execution will be outsourced and in the cloud

#8Manual system test execution will be outsourced (and in the cloud)

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9 maybe half of all acceptance tests will be automated in ci forever

#9Maybe half of all acceptance tests will be automated in CI……forever

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Rethinking the role of testers in agile and structured projects

#10New tools will emerge that manage requirements, stories, scenarios, workflows, prototyping and testing

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Recommendation

Recommendation

Take a long, hard look at where your future lies

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1 upstream with stakeholders and analysis providing testing and assurance skills to business

#1Upstream with stakeholders and analysis – providing testing and assurance skills to business

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2 managing the business requirements knowledge base analysing business impact of change

#2Managing the Business Requirements knowledge base; analysing business impact of change

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3 providing an assurance function to teams projects and business stakeholders testmaster

#3Providing an assurance function to teams, projects, and business stakeholders(“testmaster”)

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4 managing the information flows to from development teams and the ci process

#4Managing the information flows to/from development teams and the CI process

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5 managing monitoring offshore resources who detail and execute tests

#5Managing/monitoring offshore resources who detail and execute tests

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Shameless plug

Shameless Plug

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Business story method

Business Story Method™

The Method, to be published in booklet form in early December, supports this vision

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Our story platform implements the business story method

Our Story Platform implements the Business Story Method

Maelscrum for Agile

Business Story Manager for Structured

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Rethinking the role of testers in agile and structured projects

Want to evaluateBusiness Story Manageror Maelscrum?Visit…maelscrum.combusinessstorymanager.comThanks once again

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Rethinking the role of testers in agile and structured projects1

Rethinking the Role of Testers in Agile and Structured Projects

Paul Gerrard

[email protected]

Twitter: @paul_gerrard

Web: gerrardconsulting.com

Intelligent Testing, Improvement and Assurance


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