How to make Software Testing a Team Sport

George Panagopoulos, VP of Engineering, Catalina Marketing
George Panagopoulos, VP of Engineering, Catalina Marketing

George Panagopoulos, VP of Engineering, Catalina Marketing

Organizations are shifting the way they approach development due to disruptions occurring throughout the software development industry. Companies are simultaneously adjusting to agile practices, fluid DevOps cycles and Cloud-native solutions, and more. As everyone attempts to speed up delivery while maintaining high-quality releases, testing has struggled to maintain today’s pace.

But, with the right focus on technologies, practices, and expansion of people responsible for the quality, organizations can overcome the testing bottleneck, move faster, and increase quality.

Create Agile Teams

Many companies, including ours, have made the transition to Agile methodologies and practices for solving business problems. This change requires instilling a new mentality in your organization. It is time to make quality a team sport by pushing the responsibility for quality to every member of the team. 

Testers will still exist, of course, but their job will be to provide a focused perspective on quality and use their experience to guide the team towards the right practices. This means everyone on the team has a responsibility to code coverage and raise the quality of deployments. 

  ​Many companies, including ours, have made the transition to Agile methodologies and practices for solving business problems. This change requires instilling a new mentality in your organization  

Turn Testers into Sherpas

While continuous learning has become commonplace for developers and DevOps engineers, many testers have not adapted as quickly. As they take on this new sherpa-like responsibility for the team, cast testers who are ready to embrace change and willing to focus a good portion of their time on learning new tools and processes. 

This approach is especially necessary for those processes that eliminate “testing silos” and make development cycles more fluid, such as DevOps. In these cases, the tester’s role should expand to focus on understanding how each application is built, and they should be ready to pick up coding skills along the way to guarantee proper test case coverage.

Keep DevOps/Cloud Testing Hands-On

DevOps practices and Cloud infrastructure has changed the testing landscape. Continuous Testing and Continuous Monitoring are now the status quo. Testers can quickly validate that the team built the right features, receiving feedback alongside the group’s development efforts.

This isn’t isolated from featuring testing but includes performance and integration testing, as well. Thanks to Cloud infrastructure, we can test these capabilities while simultaneously using DevOps practices to guarantee exact configurations across development, testing, staging, and production environments. While it’s tempting to automate everything at this point, it’s important that testers and, ultimately, the team not over-automate because there is a point of diminishing returns. 

Use Machine Learning to Optimize 

There is a time and place for ML in testing, however. It’s the next area of disruption. Testers can embrace the change and use ML to smartly and efficiently test suite optimization, defect analysis, log analytics, and other use cases. With it, testers can optimize and refine their process and test cases. 

As technology changes and the development process evolves, so must the way companies approach quality. Have more of your team play a role in testing. Encourage testers to embrace the increasing speed of change, continuously learn, and share their expertise with all members of the expanded team. Use fluid development practices and one-click provisioned infrastructure so teams can work toward continuous testing and monitoring while looking to the next advancement, ML. Done right, testing will no longer be the bottleneck but the driving force for quality in this modern, fast-paced world. 

See Also: 

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Top Software Testing Consulting Companies

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