I read an article by Angie Jones the other day entitled - 7 Habits of Highly Effective SDETs. If you know me, you know how enamored I am of Steven Covey and Angie, so I read it with great anticipation.
And indeed, it was a great piece that focused on the evolution of testing and the testers role.
But it also made me think about testers in a different way. A melancholier way. It reminded me of the song, Where Have All the Flowers Gone, by Pete Seeger. It’s a very dated folk song written in 1955. A year before my birth ;-)
I met a colleague, Noel Wurst, at the Agile Development conference. He's now working for Tricentis and he asked me to do an interview for their website content. Of course, I agreed.
I thought I'd share my replies to his questions. And I want to thank Noel for asking me. It was an honor to contribute...
Here are the interview questions that Noel asked and my replies:
1. Continuous feedback: I hear a lot of people talking about needing to shorten feedback loops, automate reporting, and development, test, and release cycles that deliver continuous feedback. And I agree. CF is highly valuable. But sometimes I wonder if, once people put those things in place, can they immediately act or respond to that feedback? How important is being able to do that, and not just collect or note that feedback, but adjust on the fly to make new decisions, pivots, and responses continuously as well?
I think this is a really important point, Noel. And it’s not simply related to continuous feedback, but also to the continuous improvement cycle. For example, feedback on adjustments that are raised in team, project, or organizational retrospectives. To your point, our lean-age should be towards doing something about our discoveries, in taking action.
In my agile coaching and training journey, I spend a lot of time discussing a wide variety of topics. But there are themes that form a “Top 10” of topics that everyone seems to be interested in.
One of those items is how to handle bugs. Questions like:
- Do you estimate bugs (planning poker - points)?
- Are bugs equivalent to stories?
- When do you “file a bug” while sprinting?
- Do you count bugs as part of your velocity?
- Can you deliver a story in a sprint with bugs still open?
come to the surface in my classes and at conferences with amazing frequency. I often smile inside in amazement at the level of interest focused towards “bugs”. But that being said, it is an important subject for agile teams and I thought I’d discuss my views towards handling bugs in the above contexts.
What is it?
If you’ve been a tester in an agile team you’ve probably experienced Scrummer-fall like behavior. The challenge is to how best describe it. One way is to look at your activity chart. If on day 1-8 of a 10 day sprint you’ve been largely idle and waiting for code to “show up” for testing. Then on day 8-9, suddenly and magically everything arrives on your doorstep for testing. And you rush forward testing all of the teams’ output…only to fail to have sufficient capacity to get your job done. Then you’ve experienced Scrummer-fall.
Basically, it’s applying waterfall process behaviors within the confines of an agile iteration. On the outside, you’re agile. But it’s only a façade. On the inside your team is still subscribing to waterfall principles & behaviors, which means that testing is always done after the developers are completely done with their work and they throw it “over the wall” for testing. It also means that feedback, either on defects or functional acceptance, is occurring quite late as well.
So I published the book in late January 2015, so just a few months ago. I wanted to share some of the happening around the book.
Have been incredibly brisk, both in the US and abroad. The first month or so was quite slow. But we’re now starting to see momentum gaining sharply.
There also another trend, folks are buying larger “chunks” of the books in PDF format to help in their organizational agile transformation efforts. We’ve had 4-5 large purchases of copies for just this purpose. We hope to see that trend continue as well.