For the past 2 years I’ve been focused on transforming quality practices across various programs and teams. On the journey of defining a quality vision and roadmap to get there I learned quite a few things which I feel are not highlighted as much in the community. This led me to designing the talk on test leadership, which I presented at the Test Leadership Congress 2020. In this article I’ll share some key points from the talk.
Our Transformation Journey
If your transformation seems like a cake walk, your doing something wrong. Our journey to culture agile practices and DevOps practices has been very exciting. I wanted to give a context about the overall transformation before specifically talking about the quality aspect. Since this was not the focus of the talk, talked about some very basic concepts around release trains and how chapters can be used to propagate need practices.
In the agile world often the role of testers gets confused, even more so test leadership and if that role is needed. While we had a good understanding of why this role was important, our journey taught us why it’s crucial.
For me the most important points are having a strategic direction, building synergies and upskilling engineers (devs & testers).
Typically, you don’t find test leadership which is very technical and hands on. Having a leadership which is very tech savy, understand software architecture and to develop & test it well makes a big difference. It took a while to define this role and what are we to expect, the skills it would need.
For us test leadership was supposed to be advocates of quality across teams, architect systems which would support the quality transformation we wanted and help devise and develop practices. The ask from this role was complicated and was not an easy role to fill, but essential to make an agile transformation successful.
For an hour long session I added quite a lot of information which zipped through in some places. Here were some of the fey key areas I suggested teams looking to transform their quality practices to look out for.
While designing our automation training program, initially I was focused more on getting the learning path & content perfect..
I was forgetting the operational effort to run it all, few good suggestions I got were:
– Try to avoid workshops and try to use / create online courses as much as possible
– Try to automate the quizzes checking & delivering results
Took some time to develop all of it, but now we’re able to do a good potion of things automatically and saves a lot of time.
The point I’m trying to make: Automating tasks is not a new concept and is not limited to just test automation, it applies to almost other every thing we do in our lives
As engineers, we need to always try and leverage automation for even smaller activities
Freeing up your time even a few minutes here and there frees up your time to do ‘thinking’ work and less ‘remedial chores’