When Testers Feel Left Out in the Cold
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When Testers Feel Left Out in the Cold

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When you're responsible for testing, it's almost a given that you will find yourself in a situation in which you feel alone and out in the cold. Management commitment for testing might be lacking, ...

When you're responsible for testing, it's almost a given that you will find yourself in a situation in which you feel alone and out in the cold. Management commitment for testing might be lacking, your colleagues in the project might be ignoring you, your team members might lack motivation, or the automated testing you had planned is more complicated and difficult than you anticipated. You feel you can't test enough, and you will be blamed for post-release quality problems. Hans Buwalda shares a number of typical chilly situations and offers suggestions for overcoming them, based on his experiences worldwide in large projects. Specifically, Hans focuses on management commitment, politics, project dependencies, managing expectations, motivating team members, testing and automation difficulties, and dealing with overwhelming numbers of day-to-day problems. Take away more than forty-five tips and approaches to use when temperatures drop on you.

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When Testers Feel Left Out in the Cold When Testers Feel Left Out in the Cold Document Transcript

  •       nt Session    Presented by:  Hans Buwalda      Brought to you by:      340 Corporate Way, Suite   Orange Park, FL 32073  888‐2 W1  Concurre 4/9/2014    10:30 AM          “When Testers Feel Left Out in the Cold”      LogiGear              300, 68‐8770 ∙ 904‐278‐0524 ∙ sqeinfo@sqe.com ∙ www.sqe.com 
  • Hans Buwalda LogiGear   Hans Buwalda has been working with information technology since his high school years. In his thirty year career, Hans has gained experience as a developer, manager, and principal consultant for companies and organizations worldwide. He was a pioneer of the keyword approach to testing and automation, now widely used throughout the industry. His approaches to testing, like Action Based Testing and Soap Opera Testing, have helped a variety of customers achieve scalable and maintainable solutions for large and complex testing challenges. Hans is a frequent speaker at STAR conferences and is lead author of Integrated Test Design and Automation: Using the Testframe Method.
  • 2/5/2014 1 STARCANADA 2014 Toronto, Canada "Test Management" Track Session W1 Wednesday, April 9, 10.30 – 11.30 © 2014 LogiGear Corporation. All Rights Reserved Hans Buwalda LogiGear hans @ logigear.com Who is your speaker Software testing company, around since 1994 Testing and test automation services: www.logigear.com www.testarchitect.com LogiGear Corporation Testing and test automation services: − consultancy, training − test development and automation services − "test integrated" development services − focus on big and complex testing projects Products: − TestArchitect™, TestArchitect for Visual Studio™ − integrating test development with test management and automation − based on modularized keyword-driven testing © 2014 LogiGear Corporation. All Rights Reserved Dutch guy, in California since 2001 Background in math, computer science, management Since 1994 focusing on automated testing − keywords, agile testing, big testing Hans Buwalda hans @ logigear.com www.happytester.com
  • 2/5/2014 2 Scope of this talk Introduction to the management aspects specific for a test project Not a project management co rseNot a project management course A personal view, based on experiences with my own method Collection of ideas and experiences, not necessarily a complete picture Input and discussions welcome (also talk with each other!) © 2014 LogiGear Corporation. All Rights Reserved Input and discussions welcome (also talk with each other!) The ideas are coming from mixed European, American and Asian experiences, apply with care The Challenges for a Test Process testing should be fun testing sho ld be effecti etesting should be effective testing should be efficient testing should be under control © 2014 LogiGear Corporation. All Rights Reserved
  • 2/5/2014 3 Keywords, Action Words number name quantity new product P-9009 Sledge Hammer 5 number quantity add quantity P-9009 20 number name quantity new product P-9009 Sledge Hammer 5 number quantity add quantity P-9009 20 actions, each with a keyword and arguments read from top to bottom fragment from a test with actions Common in automation tools nowadays (but with different styles) Identify tasks for both test development and automation q y add quantity P-9009 3 add quantity P-9009 6 number quantity check quantity P-9009 34 q y add quantity P-9009 3 add quantity P-9009 6 number quantity check quantity P-9009 34 "34" is the expected value here to bottom © 2014 LogiGear Corporation. All Rights Reserved y p The test developer creates tests using actions Each action consists of a keyword and arguments The automation task focuses on automating the actions Each action is automated only once Test Module Plan Test Module 1 Test Module 2 Test Module N Overview Tests Objectives Tests Tests Actions . . . Objectives Objectives © 2014 LogiGear Corporation. All Rights Reserved AUTOMATION user password log in jdoe StarEast first last brand model rent car John Renter Ford Escape rent car John Renter Chevrolet Volt last total check bill Renter 140.42 interaction test business test window control value enter log in user name jdoe enter log in password StarEast window control property expected check prop log in ok button enabled true car guy
  • 2/5/2014 4 Discussing costs and benefits © 2014 LogiGear Corporation. All Rights Reserved Examples of costs and benefits Involvement of users and business specialists Preventation of incidents Shorter time to market Costs? Benefits? Need for investments Build up of a test organisation License costs Training, coaching Maintenance of (much) testware ... Increased quality and certainty Lesser dependence on users and experts Elimination of dull work Improved documentation ... © 2014 LogiGear Corporation. All Rights Reserved Business Benefits • Time-to-Market • Quality-to-Market • Control
  • 2/5/2014 5 What can make testing miserable . . . Discussions about costs and benefits Resistance Commitment Politics Dependence Unrealistic expectations © 2014 LogiGear Corporation. All Rights Reserved Unrealistic expectations Difficulty Motivation Practical issues and problems Resistance is Normal “Let's reconsider” “I don't understand this” WHEN THEY SAY : THEY COULD THINK : Let s reconsider Now is not the time All the time new objections “Fine, but are we ready for this?” Saying nothing Saying yes, acting no The method is good but in I don t understand this “I didn't expect all this” “This is going to cost me my job” I'm the star here, I don't need the competition “We can't achieve this” We will become too © 2014 LogiGear Corporation. All Rights Reserved The method is good, but in this specific case …. We will become too dependent on those guys Now they will find out how bad we are testing
  • 2/5/2014 6 GETTING COMMITMENT... © 2014 LogiGear Corporation. All Rights Reserved Management Commitment Offer solutions not additional problems Testing is often not popular . . . Nobody wants an extra task (extra problem) Bug are bad Testing is good Offer solutions, not additional problems Tell managers that a good tested system creates a positive image (not only negative reasons for testing) Present/show what you're doing (glass box) Try to get clarity about policies and directions for testing Keep in mind: managers want things to be under control © 2014 LogiGear Corporation. All Rights Reserved Keep in mind: managers want things to be under control − give clear and timely information about (1) progress and (2) results Use outsiders and/or books/articles to make your case Try to find some bugs . . .
  • 2/5/2014 7 Commitment, specifics “No time, no money, ...” − back to the problem − you should not become the problem owner!you should not become the problem owner! “It is so expensive/it is so difficult” − testing is expensive and difficult − test automation is difficult “The others should do the testing” figure this out © 2014 LogiGear Corporation. All Rights Reserved − figure this out − you can't deal with this yourself (strategic context mismatch) − "doing things right" versus "doing the right things" General vagueness − hidden problems and conflicts Politics . . . Who is to blame when things go wrong Systems are sometimes released while not finished Testers tend to get the bullet Notify the responsible managers early about what is going to happen Make clear written down procedures, especially for the test execution phase Not every bug is equally important (pick your battles) © 2014 LogiGear Corporation. All Rights Reserved Make the test process transparent Maintain an atmosphere of cooperation and communication with all Ask for help, sound the alarm, − don’t underestimate the “politics of failure”, it can hurt you
  • 2/5/2014 8 The Life Cycle of an IT Project An (Old) Joke, Still Valid Enthusiasm Disappointment ! ! ! PANIC ! ! ! Looking for guilty ones ("blame-storming") © 2014 LogiGear Corporation. All Rights Reserved Punishing the innocent Rewarding those who had nothing to do with it The 3 questions for a bug Ask these question, in the given order 1. Is it a problem? 2. What is the root cause? © 2014 LogiGear Corporation. All Rights Reserved 3. Why did we not catch it?
  • 2/5/2014 9 Dependencies . . . Testing and automation is dependent on many factors: • Working systems • Test environments (like virtual machines) S ifi ti i t d i k l d Make clear arrangements with everybody about everything, as early as possible − written down • Specifications, requirements, domain knowledge • People • ... © 2014 LogiGear Corporation. All Rights Reserved Keep in touch with the rest of the project Make the high level test products as early as possible Dependencies, specifics “The system under test isn't available” − The automation will be the first in trouble − Discuss this (early)Discuss this (early) − Allocate resources when really needed “The system under test doesn't work” − The automation will be the first in trouble − Create a “health check” (smoke test to see if all functionalities that are relevant to the automation work) “Th i i ” © 2014 LogiGear Corporation. All Rights Reserved “There is no test environment” − Start planning this as early as you can − Make clear how important this is − “No test environment, no test”
  • 2/5/2014 10 Expectations Around Automation The impression can arise that automated testing (in particular with keywords) is just a push of a button . . . even if nobody said so! Message: testing is difficult, automated testing is even more difficult Make clear what is happening Communicate manage expectations . . . even if nobody said so! © 2014 LogiGear Corporation. All Rights Reserved Communicate, manage expectations Don't put too low figures in a test plan − let somebody else lower them (in writing) Ask managers and other people involved what they expect Difficult to Keep People Motivated Watch the signals Motivation of team members can erode when time progresses Happens to both test developers and automation engineers Watch the signals Make sure that the right people are assigned − Automation engineers should have a programming background − Testers should have a testing and/or business background Avoid “monks work” (Dutch expression for tedious repetitive work) Differentiate the work Avoid isolation of the test group © 2014 LogiGear Corporation. All Rights Reserved Be prepared to switch roles Consider agile approaches Be ready for this problem in advance Create operational and professional communication structures − for example special interest groups to regularly discuss professional topics
  • 2/5/2014 11 Complexity: The Work is Difficult Making tests is supposed to be "difficult": • Finding bugs of others • Making concrete examples Automating them is difficult as well Don't be over-confident, use coaching from experienced peers or outsiders Consider reference visits to other projects or sites Talk about the work, even create special interest groups Keep in touch with others doing the same work Automating them is difficult as well © 2014 LogiGear Corporation. All Rights Reserved Keep in touch with others doing the same work Organize interactions (meetings!), for example with: − users − developers − auditors Delegate tasks (better lazy then crazy...) Practical Issues and Problems Does the test tool work here ? ? Do we have authorizations on the test environment ? ? Where do we keep our test products ? ? Which tests do we have ? ? Be prepared for this, automated testing is a “cloud of details” Put suitable team members in leading roles, and delegate responsibilities to them F l t t j t t t t i f ll ti j b Questions, chores, details, . . . © 2014 LogiGear Corporation. All Rights Reserved For larger test projects test management is a full time job, make sure you get this time Try to find easier ways, organize things better, or automate more − “If you have a difficult task, ask a lazy man. He will find an easier way”
  • 2/5/2014 12 Some final remarks Changing a process can mean: − changing of work processes − a learning curvea learning curve − risks and benefits It is not the same as: buy a tool and all will be well Changing any process is more than anything an © 2014 LogiGear Corporation. All Rights Reserved organisational change and should be managed as such Thank you for listening …and... keep cool, even in the cold © 2014 LogiGear Corporation. All Rights Reserved