Love for Testing

I've worked at a couple companies that have eliminated all software Test/QA roles.  The CTOs at both provided the rationale that they place full responsibility for quality on software developers and that the presence of testers or QA engineers allowed software engineers to shirk that responsibility.

I've not seen an implementation of teams without testing that provides business value equal to teams with testing.  In my admittedly limited personal experience, teams without testing impose on themselves and their stakeholders/users a high cost of quality.  And this is understandable and to be expected.

When you consider the range of factors that affect product quality and success from the stakeholder and end user perspective, many of them fall outside the domain of control of the software developer in an Agile framework.

Considering the broad and varied range of quality concerns, it's seems obvious that much that can and should be tested fall outside the scope of the software developer in an Agile context.

 From Lisa Crispin, Agile Testing Quadrants:

And Gojko Adzic's adaptation of that:


In a keynote address titled The Thinking Tester in 2012, Elizabeth Hendrickson provided this definition of testing intending to put it in the context of Agile software development and delivery:
Testing:
Any activity that yields empirical evidence about the extent to which our
 intentions, our implementation, and the actual business needs are aligned.
This summary post describes the radical change to the software testing regime Keith Klain leads at Barclays Capital. That seems like an acknowledgement of the high value quality testing is capable of delivering, and an elevation of the profession to a place that allows testers to contribute to the fullest.  (See this CIO article description of Keith's efforts at Barclays.)

I've had the good fortune in my career to work with some outstanding Test/QA engineers--people who understand the state of the art in software testing and quality assurance.  They take pride in their skills and expertise, and work to understand the latest tools and techniques for contributing to high quality in team outcomes.  They collaborate with Product Owners, business stakeholders, end users, and software developers to develop a whole system definition of quality.  They apply a range of skills and the appropriate tools to build in quality to the process of software delivery.  I anticipate an opportunity as a Product Owner to engage with a test professional as a member of the Product Team demonstrating the capacity for innovation, technical and business expertise, and commitment to quality that raises the entire team's ability to deliver value.



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