'Catching A High Speed Train: End-To-End Testing At NSHispeed Fyra' by Nathalie Rooseboom de Vries


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In 2007 I took my first steps in a program for the High Speed Train called ‘Fyra’ in the Netherlands. I was hired for a specific project within the program: End-to-End testing of the vending, control and financial systems regarding the Fyra. This is an experience talk about this end-to-end test. What will I talk about:

I used a generic test plan and generic approach. The actual execution was done (mostly) on a pragmatic basis. I used both knowledge of the ‘traditionalist school’ as the ‘context driven school’. I adapted ‘standard stuff’ to cope with the complexity and agility (nót meant as ‘Agile’ here) within the project. I also changed components when I learned something new, f.e. Exploratory Techniques from EuroSTAR’09, when I thought it would do a better job. I had new, existing and changing components in my ‘chain’. I also had changing suppliers and processes, new processes and even at one time a changing (upgrading) infrastructure. I didn’t have the luxury of saying: “Hey tough luck, I will have to postpone my testing until you’re done”. It took a lot of adaptability, on-the-spot risk analysis and re-planning. Using timed components in a generic planning can help reschedule immensely.

A lot activities were actually non-testing activities. Expectance management, communication and politics swallowed up a large amount of available time. The execution of the tests only used up a couple of percentages of the total time.
The bulk of time was used up by getting the environment ready, lining up the people involved, instructing the people involved, designing test cases and writing stories and a lot of time was used to evaluate the results and follow up. Real life testing with real life customers, using a Closed User Group, camera’s and a survey agency. Not only did I get a lot of info on the actual systems and it’s usage, but management got to see ‘their’ clients. Resulting in some crucial changes but also the awareness that ideas might not always be in the customer’s interest.

And…No experience track without any anecdotes right? I have some very cool ones!

Proving the newspaper wrong;
A white swan causing a black swan situation; -the Sliding Momentum and
the PornTrain

As attendee of this track you get to hear about hands-on experiences in an end-to-end test and how I applied theory I learned in practice. Tale from the trenches AND the books.

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'Catching A High Speed Train: End-To-End Testing At NSHispeed Fyra' by Nathalie Rooseboom de Vries

  1. 1. Catching a high speed train End-2-End testing at FYRA Manchester, November 2011 Nathalie Rooseboom de Vries van Delft
  2. 2. Who am I? 2 Nathalie Rooseboom de Vries van Delft FunTESTic Testing Fanatic at Capgemini since 2004 Married, no kids, casualty simulation victim and film enthusiast, like metal music
  3. 3. Agenda • What is Fyra? • The assignment • How hard can it be? • Theory, learned stuff, processes and pragmatics • One of the testcases • The hard stuff, tips & tricks and learned’s • The real deal • The PornTrain, the White swan, sliding momentum and proving the media wrong • Questions and Closure 3
  4. 4. What’s is FYRA? 4 CODENAME: ALBATROS
  5. 5. The assignment • Perform the End-2-End tests for the FYRA vending, control and financial systems • Perform acceptance tests for any component that is build or developed within the same landscape • Planned go live: December 2007 5
  6. 6. 6 HOW HARD CAN IT BE??
  7. 7. How hard it can be … 7
  8. 8. Theory, learned stuff, processes and pragmatics 8“The more I got to the execution, the more I relied on pragmatics”
  9. 9. One of the testcases 9 S. Hady buys a home-print ticket from Alkmaar to Dordrecht, second class, with the part Amsterdam-Rotterdam via Fyra. To be sure he has a seat, he makes an additional reservation. {customer has print, product is in PCS, correctness of product} During his travel he is validated on the Fyra {Railpocket/valid validation} When arriving in Rotterdam, he goes to the desk and wants to return his ticket, nothing better than a free ride! {This is not possible, message ‘ticket validated’} Finally the product is traceable in the financial reporting (and MIS)}
  10. 10. The hard stuff, tips & tricks and learned’s • The hard stuff – Politics, – Hidden agenda’s, – Changing environments and components, – Changing policies (regulation) and ‘saboteurs’ – Dealing with planning 10
  11. 11. The hard stuff, tips & tricks and learned’s • Tips and Tricks – Be visible, – Organise a team fun event in advance (in stead of celebrating afterwards), – Communicate & communicate!!, – Organise a kick-off with all stakeholders and share information, intentions and expectancies – Use checklists – TOPping – SpeakUp! – NoTest Situation 11
  12. 12. The hard stuff, tips & tricks and learned’s • Learned’s – Start with a generic strategy and plan, communicate this extensively, keep repeating the message – If possible try to set up a seperate, exclusive use E2E environment if not; have a really good release calendar in place and very strict usage-rules – Commitment of people is essential. It helps to work on those relationships 12
  13. 13. The hard stuff, tips & tricks and learned’s • Learned’s – The more time on the way in the project, the more you rely on pragmatics in stead of processes and procedures, methods and techniques, although they can still help a bit – The perception of E2E testing is that of ‘it has to be right, there shouldn’t be any defects or issues at all’ , some people don’t get the idea of ‘testing’ and get in a state of panic when there’s an issue found. 13
  14. 14. The hard stuff, tips & tricks and learned’s • Learned’s – As tester in an End2End test, you probably are one of the few people who know exactly how the whole organisation works, if you don’t want the attention share your knowledge! – Don’t get lured into the politics that are involved, keep true to your reporting values and don’t colour the world more beautiful than it is. 14
  15. 15. The real deal 15 Closed User Group Using camera’s for usability purposes FYRA try-out days Also marketing, information and communication participated as well as cateringservices
  16. 16. The Porn Train 16 Hilarious mix up when sending an invitation for the tests of the train
  17. 17. The White Swan 17 When nature calls…
  18. 18. Sliding Momentum 18 Tilting till spilling
  19. 19. Proving the media wrong 19 High speed train almost causes a collission…
  20. 20. Questions 20
  21. 21. 21 More information Please contact: • Nathalie Rooseboom de Vries van Delft funtestic.fanatic@gmail.com • Twitter: FunTESTic • Blog: funtestic.blogspot.com