Testing, Agile and DevOps: Are they a Separate conversation or a progression of capability?
DevOps, Testing and Agile have shared environments that facilitate working together. These three methods are more than simply adopting new tools and processes and the synergy involves building a development and a stable Continuous Integration (CI) infrastructure, as well as an automated pipeline that moves deliverables from development to production. They can work together and the entire build process should be transparent, and it should enable and support development and operations. This transformation depends on: significant changes in culture; roles and responsibilities; team structure; tools and processes.
The Round Table session is the last of the joint morning session with the other two co-located events. This session is for 45 minutes of which there will be around ten minutes for a general summing up at the end. The speaker at each table will have a set theme and delegates join any table that they are interested in. They are given all the topics with their joining instructions and again at the time of registration and so make their choice on the topics that they want to attend. This is a discussion group and so no presentation slides are necessary, but please submit a topic if you would like to chair a discussion on a topic related to Testing, Agile and DevOps.
Benefits of attending:
We are looking for speakers willing to share their experiences and stories about your work in the field of Testing. If you wish to submit a proposal to present at this event please fill in the speaker’s response form.
Topics we are looking to be addressed include:
Dorothy Graham, Software Testing Consultant
There are many places to visit it the world and it can be interesting to see "where you've been". There are many places in the software for tests to visit, and seeing "where the tests have been" can be very interesting for testers.
Dot Graham explains what coverage is, and why it can be misleading to talk about 100% coverage. Coverage is a relationship between the tests and the software being tested, and is an objective measurement of some aspect of thoroughness of the testing.
There ways in which the term coverage is mis-used, and four caveats of coverage which you should be aware of.
So is coverage a good thing to have? In other words, should testing be thorough? Not necessarily; sometimes testing should be more like strawberry jam than butter or margarine. Whenever you hear the term "coverage", there two important questions that you should always ask: Coverage of what? and Why?
Maria Ball and Terry Bowen, Senior Project Managers, Media Services, BBC Design & Engineering Platform
When the stakeholder "just" wants something simple done, they tend to expect it to be done quickly. What happens when there is more than one team involved?
In a large organisation, teams often work in silos, use their own flavour of Agile, and have their own roadmaps. It can be challenging to get the alignment and the flexibility needed to deliver a simple request. This is then complicated when the requirements evolve from the initial request to something more. Maria Ball and Terry Bowen discuss the complications they faced in managing the development and delivery of a project that required three internal teams and an external supplier, while using Agile methodology. They will share how they were able to resolve the conflicts and software limitations they came across to deliver the feature.
Kevin Rutherford, Software development coach
This talk presents a simple visualisation tool that helps software teams self-organise, deliver, and communicate more effectively. The talk uses examples from recent software development projects in a variety of organisations, showing how this technique has improved both the rate of software delivery and the engagement of key stakeholders.
Mark Smalley, IT Management Consultant, Smalley
A fast-moving, entertaining and insightful session in which you’ll learn about:
♦ 'Selling' the value of DevOps to business executives
♦ Discovering the weakest link in the business-IT-business value chain
♦ Identifying effective collaborative behaviour between business and IT
♦ An ancient DevOps proverb “If you meet DevOps on the road, kill it”
Stephen Mounsey, Agile Coach
Are you really listening? Listening is an important skill for any human being but for a tester an essential skill. If part of testing is about information gathering and interpretation then Listening is a key component.
A look at the art of listening, parallels drawn between listening theory and how we test.
Ash Winter, Consulting Tester and Speaker
API design looks easy, right? Lots of material, methods and examples to look at. However, we've not been on a team that hasn't struggled to build a clean interface for their consumers. From unconventional use of status codes, difficult to parse responses to endless debates about what to name endpoints. This is coupled with iteratively built API's, which potentially realise value and feedback earlier but may suffer from inconsistency over time.
By testing first with effective automation, common errors with API design can be flushed out quicker, even before the code has been written. Design and architecture should not be left to the developers and architects, by following some of these guidelines, as a Tester you will be able to contribute to a consistent, transparent and maintainable API.
Seb Rose, Cucumber
When you invest in the stock market you’ll often be warned to “remember that the value of investments can go down as well as up”. For over a decade User Stories have been the rock steady investment of agile adoption - and they’ve come a long way since XP called them “a placeholder for a conversation”. It’s time to re-evaluate what user stories are trying to achieve, what they’re good for, and why so many of them suck. In this session we’ll explore what a good user story should look like and discover why so many of them fail to live up to our expectations. We'll look under the covers of the INVEST acronym, popularised by Mike Kohn to help people write better user stories and look at why, in many cases, it doesn’t seem to have helped. It's time to stop investing in the boring, formulaic user stories that litter your boards, choke your JIRA and stifle your meetings. Today we're going to see how to make user stories RIVETing again.
Matthew Skelton, Skelton Thatcher Consulting Ltd
Dorothy Graham, Software Testing Consultant, Speaker and Author
Testing has been around for a long time, but has changed a lot over the years. Agile and DevOps are “the new kids on the block” but are fast becoming mainstream. What are the roots of the changes and popularity of new approaches and how have they evolved over the years? What prophets were around years ago who foresaw current trends? In this presentation, Dorothy Graham leads you through some of her early experiences in testing and early encounters with precursors to Agile and DevOps. We look at why Agile has “taken off” and why DevOps is a hot topic today, and what the role of testing has been, is now and perhaps should be in the future.
- a personal history of testing
- the “grandfather” of agile and DevOps
- what problems do Agile and DevOps solve?
- what’s next?
Matthew Skelton, Skelton Thatcher Consulting Ltd
Moving from a monolith to microservices can be daunting. How do we choose the right bounded contexts? How small should services be? Which teams should get which services? And how do we keep things from falling apart?
By starting with the needs of the team, we can infer some useful heuristics for evolving from a monolithic architecture to a set of more loosely coupled services.
Steve Freeman, Zuhlke Engineering Limited
What does it take to get to a system where I can create a new service in just a few lines of code, and live with the result? In the transition to microservices, it’s critical to consider, and provide support for, the whole lifecycle of a service. Except that now it’s a fleet of services where there are just too many to manage by hand. In this talk, Steve will discuss some of the technical and organisational infrastructure that makes microservices work in practice.
Amany Elbanna, Senior Lecturer in Information Systems, Royal Holloway University of London
In this talk, I will explore what adopting agile has meant to the IS community and argue that our focus on the ‘doing’ of it has blinded us from the bigger picture. I will move beyond the practice to the being agile or agility and show that how this change in the mindset could change how we practice IT. For any organisation, the key is not what methodology IT adopts but what it means for the business. It is indeed time to think agility and how the IT function as a whole can tightly connect with each other and its decisions are tightly connected to customers. Agile practices could play a part but the challenge is to achieve IT agility for the benefit of customers. In this talk, I will give concrete examples, reflect on different organisations’ experience and present a successful case of agility.
Stevan Zivanovic, Infuse Consulting
The desire to deliver software ever more quickly and efficiently is increasing rapidly. Software must be right the first time, as there is little scope for error. Technology seems to change monthly, the tools to deliver these changes are widespread, and all of it needs to be tested. This presentation will look at the pressures on testing and how organisations are responding. It will also cover how Agile, DevOps and Quality Engineering are impacting testers. The goal of this presentation is to provide helpful information to testers on how to adapt their skills and approaches to meet these exciting opportunities.
Ash Winter, Principal Test Engineer,Sky Betting and Gaming
You know what we don't talk about enough. Testability.
I don't just mean testers either. Everybody. The benefits of testability are often forgotten, left until it’s too late, we are left scratching our heads as to why the system is doing that and how unaware we were.If we know how to talk about testability in a compelling way, showing the benefits for all stakeholders, I believe it can be a central part of a product and seen as essential. In the age of focus on the narrowing gap between development and operations, testability shares many those goals, with feature flagging, effective monitoring and log management (to name but a few) synonymous with control and observability. And that is just the start of the benefits of a testability focus can bring. I'll share a few stories that have taught me a great deal, plus the how the work of others has helped me along the way. All in hope of energising those in attendance to use their new-found testability focus in their workplace. After all, if its controllable and observable to some degree, its testable. If it’s not, how effective is your testing? And if it’s not testable, then how will you support it when its live?
* Recognise the key concepts of testability, and perhaps where they are not present.
* Understand the benefits of testability, so you can advocate it when the opportunity arises.
* Apply models of testability when they are needed most, as part of an emergent architecture.
Steve Watson, Test Manager, Reed Business Information
Testers – it’s time to take control of your personal development!
We discuss how the industry currently values testers, the skill areas that make a good all-round tester, motivators for learning, and practical ways in which you can improve a range of different skills to add value in your teams.
Seb Rose, Cucumber Ltd
Behaviour Driven Development (BDD) and Specification By Example (SBE) are quite recent additions to the software development toolbox. Sometimes it feels like we’re using a hammer to drive in a screw, so in this session we’ll explore what they’re good for and when to use them. We’ll also look at what problems they don’t help with and when not to use them. As you might expect, I’m a huge fan of BDD using these tools when done properly, but I’ve also experienced the pain of organisations who have approached BDD from a test automation perspective. Once we’ve put that anti-pattern to bed, we’ll move on to looking at how to write maintainable executable specifications, organising large suites specifications in an accessible way and some of the technological solutions that can help. And we’ll have a brief look at some of the features that are shared (and differentiate) members of the Cucumber family. By the end of this session you’ll know enough to decide whether your problems are more like a screw or a nail – and whether Cucumber/SpecFlow is the right hammer.
Duncan Nisbet, Test Manager, AstraZeneca
• How does testing fit in the Scaled Agile framework (SAFe)
• Experience report of an ongoing agile transformation for a multi-million pound finance improvement programme of work
• Challenges of
-selling continuous testing
-meeting stringent governance requirements
-embedding testers in Scrum teams that are new to Scrum