TALMUG: Agile testing

Been a while since I posted anything - so busy with life and work.

Last night I had the chance to attend the Toronto Application Lifecycle Management User Group (TALMUG) as they were discussing something I've been grappling with:  Testing (specifically, Agile testing)

Some key points I pulled out of the discussion:

  • The key to doing Agile correctly is 'definition of done' and retrospectives (continuous improvement)
  • The key to ensuring testing is a part of the process is 'definition of done', and thus, you must have some sort of Agile-y development process
  • The key to getting the time to continuously improve is to PARTNER with your business colleagues - IT must be viewed as a partner, not a cost centre or necessary evil or code factory
  • The key to transforming to a 'team is responsible for all vs. I'm only responsible for my part' is holding the entire team accountable - no deadline extensions, public shaming
    • Sub-key is 'attitude is king' - a team with the right attitude can accomplish anything
  • If you find not enough time to test - most likely committed to too much up front
  • Test automation is best done in TINY pieces.  For example:
    • A login sequence (load page, enter user, enter pass, click login) is too long!
    • Have code for 'load page', 'enter user', 'enter pass', 'click login'
    • This means you can substitute user/pass, or one or the other, for stuff like different environments, or negative testing
  • Test automation requires consistent and agreed-upon naming of IDs that CANNOT change.
    • This gives you a much longer shelf life for UI-based tests
  • Test automation 'helper' tools are useful for starting out, but generally fall down in long-term maintenance
    • That said, they are a good 'better than nothing' first step
  • MOST IMPORTANT I thought was being able to tell a story using metrics
    • Quality is end to end, right? (build quality in)  So use a variety of metrics across the process flow to determine if quality is improving or not
    • Start measuring right away - even if the measurements are manual
It was great - many thanks to ObjectSharp for hosting the event!

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