S13-603: Pivoting Your Organization to Become Agile Testers

Track: Agile Testing

Many organizations struggle with transforming from the old style teams consisting of members with specialized silos of skills into Agile teams consisting of generalized specialists. This results in sub-optimal Agile adoptions in Agile/Scrum environments, which is where most organizations transforming to Agile are advised to start.

This session will examine the issues surrounding the integration of testers into the Agile/Scrum Delivery Team setting. We will look in depth into the issues which vex so many Agile adoptions that result in, too many times, the organization “reverting to form” and going back to their old practices after having a frustrating failure to adapt Agile to their organization.

We will start with a look into the real role of QA in the organization, and where they truly add value in the production of quality code to allow the business to move forward. We will discuss the issues that organizations have which complicate their lives, and see if the solutions in play today really work. Piggybacking on the role of QA, we will then speak to exactly what QA needs to do to add value to the software development process, and how they integrate in the DevOps model that is a contemporary solution to an age old issue. And, finally, we will speak to some uncomfortable truths, and draw conclusions into the skills that Agile Testers must be expected to master to allow the organization to pivot successfully into a truly Agile development group.

Learning Objectives:

  • Testing is different than certification, although both may be performed by the same team of QA testers in an Agile setting
  • To be Agile, Organizational issues must be addressed in the testing aspect of software development, such as embedding QA with Development and resolving matrixing issues
  • Quality comes from good engineering practices, where QA’s emphasis should be in creating automated testing, rather than the old school of a QC style testing gate
  • There may be skill issues to resolve, as the expectation in an Agile setting is that QA team members are not purely blackbox testers, but can actively participate in working in the code and diagnosing issues as they arise

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Session Speaker:

Howard DeinerHoward Deiner – Principal, Deinersoft, Inc.
Howard Deiner is an independent software consultant who specializes in Agile process and eXtreme Programming practices. He has a varied background spanning 38 years in the industry, with extensive domain knowledge in commercial software, aerospace, and financial services. He has played many of the roles in the development arena, such as developer, analyst, team lead, architect, and project manager. Howard has degrees in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from SUNY at Stonybrook, as well as a Juris Doctor from Thomas M Cooley School of Law. Howard is a long-standing member of the ACM and IEEE.