The Quality Assurance Journey - From Waterfall to Continuous Delivery

In the past several years we have seen more and more organization taking the decision and moving their development divisions to adopt Agile methodology. In most cases the change starts with a POC of a new and – in most cases – small project that validates the ability of the organization to make the shift to Agile. In many cases the development team takes the lead: changing the process, moving to unified teams, selecting which Agile practice to adopt, etc.

In this session I will share how we made the shift, while focusing on the change in our quality process.

As an R&D group that develops an Agile solution (HP Agile Manager), we wanted to get it right. We changed the way in which we develop software from waterfall to Agile, and built a process to support the teams in a complex and large enterprise. While previously we were accustomed to delivering releases in 1-2 year cycles, we now operate within a SaaS model where we update our production environment on a weekly basis. 

We have experimented with the same process that our customers are going through and, as a result, we adapted the way our QA engineers work. In accordance with their new role, we gave them a new title – Dev Testers.

Here are some of the dilemmas we faced:

-          What are the differences between "Dev Tester" and "QA Engineer"?

-          How can we measure quality in 2-week sprints?

-          What needs to change when testing a SaaS solution that is delivered on a weekly basis?

-          When and how should load testing be performed?

-          Automated v. manual testing

-          What testing should be part of the CI process?

-          How do offshore Dev Testers take part in our Agile practices (e.g. daily meetings)?

We dealt with all of these questions, and I would like to share the lessons we learned, our conclusions, and some of the challenges that we still face.

 
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Outline/structure of the Session

  1. The process we went through: how we worked before the shift to Agile, and how we operate today
  2. Short intro – Who I am, my background and what I'm doing today
    1. High-level process description
    2. Describe the change in the personas: QA Engineer v. Dev Testers
    3. What quality activities are done during the sprint and by whom (Developers \ Dev Testers \ Product Owner \ UX)
    4. What and how do we automate
    5. Exploratory testing
  3. CI integration and cloud test execution
  4. Offshore – How our offshore teams are taking part in our Agile process
  5. SaaS product – Learn the benefits, learn what risks you can take in your testing cycle

Learning Outcome

  1. Learn what skills are required for the Dev-Tester
  2. Learn what quality activities are needed at each phase of the Agile project
  3. Learn how to validate your application performance: what activities are done during the sprint, and what validations are done by the Performance Center of Excellence (PCoE)
  4. Learn how to utilize the cloud for faster quality feedback
  5. Learn how to you can make better decisions when validating SaaS products v. on-premise products.

Target Audience

Tester, developer, business analyst, coach, manager, Test lead, or anyone else with a stake in delivering high-quality software

Requirements

I need only:

- Room with projector

- Whiteboard

schedule Submitted 3 years ago

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comment Comment on this Proposal
  • Ram Srinivasan
    By Ram Srinivasan  ~  3 years ago
    reply Reply

    Hi Roy,

     

    i would like to know the difference between Dev Testers and QA Engineer, can you add the difference as a private comment?

     

    Did developers' title also change? I also get the sense that your teams were not cross functional. (Implementation starts with Dev team, performance center of excellence doing work, etc). I strongly get the feel that it is a siloed team/organization. Is this correct?

    How did you run the planning meeting if your teams were distributed? And retrospectives? What are the changes that the management had to go through to make the change stick?

    Thanks,

    ram

    • steve ropa
      By steve ropa  ~  3 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Roy,

      I like what you have to say here.  I am wondering about what would put this over the top and make it a session I would definitely choose to attend.  One thing that comes to mind is that you mention that your team creates an Agile software solution.  That is great on one hand, but offers a catch-22 as well.  Many times when one sees that the presenter is working for a tool vendor, one suspects that the session might become a sales demo.  I don't think that is your intention here, but I wonder if there is a way we can word the proposal so as to make it clear to others.

       

      Regards,

      Steve

      • Roy Nuriel
        By Roy Nuriel  ~  3 years ago
        reply Reply

        Hi Steve,

         

        Thanks for your feedback – I definitely agree with you that people may have concerns that this will become marketing session and not a lessons learned session.

        My advantage is that I have wide view of the market and trends in the market and that helped us to make our own decisions on what is good for us.

        I've attended vendors sessions in conferences that became marketing session and this is defiantly not my intention, even more than that I think that the vendor lose credibility when they do those kind of sessions since the audience is smart.

         

        As I wrote I'm going to focus on lessons we learned which are tool agnostic and this is a disclaim I plan to give at the beginning of the session. I personally think that our story is even more fascinating since we leave in this market and I see many organizations doing or moving to agile (some of them aren't our customers) and we decided which process are the right process for us and still we went through many challenges along the way.

         

        I hope that it clarifay my intention. Please let me know if you have additional questions or comments.

         

        Thanks,

         

        Roy 

        • steve ropa
          By steve ropa  ~  3 years ago
          reply Reply

          Very nice response. Thanks for that!

    • Sachin goel
      By Sachin goel  ~  3 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hi

      Will participants be able to corelate if they are not related to Peformance CoE or Cloud for testing?

      Thanks - Sachin

      • Roy Nuriel
        By Roy Nuriel  ~  3 years ago
        reply Reply

        Definitely – You can find my comment below – If you care about agile and how quality process take place in agile and you would like to hear how we did than this session is for you.

    • Joel Tosi
      By Joel Tosi  ~  3 years ago
      reply Reply

      Hi Roy,

         Have you given this presentation before?  if so, could you share the slides please?

      Best,

      Joel

      • Roy Nuriel
        By Roy Nuriel  ~  3 years ago
        reply Reply

        Definitely – You can find my comment below – If you care about agile and how quality process take place in agile and you would like to hear how we did than this session is for you.

      • Roy Nuriel
        By Roy Nuriel  ~  3 years ago
        reply Reply

        I haven’t gave that session yet – I plan to give it in one conference early next year.

        Unfortunately at the moment I still don’t have the slides so can’t share them yet but I’ll do so once they will be ready.

        Thanks,

        Roy

    • Doc Norton
      By Doc Norton  ~  3 years ago
      reply Reply

      Can you share more specifically the lessons learned and the learning objectives of this presentation? What are some of the skills required for a dev tester? What are some of the activities needed at each phase of an agile project? etc...

      • Roy Nuriel
        By Roy Nuriel  ~  3 years ago
        reply Reply


        - Dev Tester Skills (In a nutshell) – We understood what skills are needed and had to train them. It didn’t match all of our engineers and some left but we worked very hard even on those with led technical skills to help them to close the gap. We trained them on: basic programing skills (to the ones that didn’t had), SQL, automation tools, load testing basics, Dev environment (SCM + CI Servers), Web & Mobile technologies. In parallel to the training teams changes their methodologies and we made adjustments.
        - Dev Tester need to have very unique combination of technical knowledge, good understanding of user behavior, sense to find scenarios that will break the system and much more.

        Some of the activities
        - Automation – build automation for new functionality for current sprint
        - Regression – One of the biggest challenges is to know what to execute during the sprint….what automation run as part of the continues delivery jobs, what executed during the nightly jobs and what is executed during the weekends and in other QA env.
        - Load testing in cycle – We developed a practice what level of load testing we execute during the sprint, low volume load, basic performance validation on main flows and some more.
        - Load testing out of cycle -  We still have PCoE that execute load tests in major deliveries \ milestones \ risky changes or in order to drill into production performance issues.
        - Security testing – We review the security risk and execute security validation based on analysis once a while or before a significant milestone.
        - And more….

        If everyone that will come to my session will understand what are the process they need to do in order to move their QA department in order to align with the development organization that is moving to agile or improve their quality process if they are already made the shift to agile I will feel that I achieved my goal.
        I’ve seen may organization straggling to understand how the QA department need to align and what changes in the skills that are required.
        I hope that it helps – Please let me know you would like to hear more – feel free to contact me also in private to my mail roy.nuriel@hp.com

        Thanks,
        Roy


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      decision making).


      What is the standard approach when you feel tired and find it difficult to concentrate? Take some coffee (but latest research shows that coffee depletes the brain activity, even when body has more energy), take some sweets (but sugar ends quickly and gives even more exhaustion to the body)? These widely used strategies generally do not work, and in long-term even add harm to the body and brain.


      The willpower is not endless (so-called muscle theory of willpower), it can be saved, it can be trained, there are approaches how to keep the willpower level high. To keep the willpower (and thus, productivity) on the high level, people should know and use different approaches that lay in the field on the social and cognitive science.


      There are a lot of evidences that SCRUM improves the developer’s productivity in terms of speed of development, code quality, and accuracy of design. Unfortunately mainly all recommendations from SCRUM coaches look like “believe me, if you do this, you will have better velocity”. Yes, it works. But why does it work?


      Sometimes SCRUM does not give such great results even when main elements are in place. The question “Why” and “What makes the difference” is here again.


      I will describe the model of relationship between the willpower related brain metabolism on very low level (specific amino acid cycle) and the SCRUM practices. I can prove that SCRUM addresses the productivity of the people’s brain using 3 different flows simultaneously. There are several tips that make these productivity flows working or not. You can make Agile productive, you can have non-productive Agile. I will show you where the difference is.


      Overall there are 10 productivity tips that can be put into 3 flows.


      As the outcome of this session, Agile coaches, and all people who can change the process (in fact that is any team member) will review their SCRUM: does the way they have it improve the productivity or they are losing all the power? The changes are cheap, the outcome can be huge.