Adoption of continuous testing in DevOps and Agile cultures

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It takes an all-encompassing cultural shift to realize continuous testing in DevOps and Agile teams. All team members must understand and embrace responsibility for quality, but testers — the champions of quality — should lead this transformation. Rely not on technical skills to encourage continuous testing in DevOps teams, but rather on leadership skills, specifically communication, collaboration and creativity.

DevOps and Agile call for communication up, down and across the company. Testers collaborate with multiple, diverse groups to achieve organizational goals and take a visible role in QA. They also foster alignment with the business’s objectives and goals. Testers are creative and innovative when they resolve issues and assess applications’ quality. These are power skills for testers, and they can be the key to continuous testing in Agile and DevOps teams.

Talk to me
Communication is difficult. What we say and how another person interprets it can be completely different. Remember that telephone game where a little story is told from one person to the next and, by the time it gets to the last person, it’s a totally different story? Although technology has opened new communication channels, it has actually increased the complexity of sharing information in our own telephone game.

Mobile devices have fundamentally changed the ways in which we communicate — and not for the better. The best way to be visible and provide a clear, consistent message to all stakeholders is by talking directly to them. Testers, lead by example: Put away electronic devices during meetings, and take time for conversation, especially for offshore team members.

Work with me
Have you ever been in a meeting where someone suggests an idea and others build on it? That’s the power of collaboration. As testers, in order to lead, we must be visible to all of our stakeholders — not just our own teams. Through collaboration, goals align. Scope creep is often an issue in projects, throwing off deadlines and expectations. Scope creep tends to result from misalignment of objectives. To meet the rapid iteration schedules of DevOps and Agile organizations, ensure everyone is working under the same scope.

Transparent metrics are a way to increase testers’ visibility and align everyone’s scope. With data coming in from many disparate tracking applications, transparent metrics are difficult to create. However, with a focus on these metrics, you can enable continuous testing.

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