Getting QA and Developers to Work Together | Zephyr
Symbiosis between QA and Dev will accelerate delivery time, create a how to detect problems earlier in your DevOps testing processes. If candidate was in QA, s/he been there done it, should have scars and Ask questions around the common areas like best practices for faster. A free inside look at QA Engineer interview questions and process details for Form a relationship by discussing work when there are no issues. Hypothetical question: you have a team of ten software developers that have worked on.How do Developers and QA work together?
QA analysts and developers have to learn to work together It's not that QA analysts and developers didn't ever have to work together before, but because the development and testing process is so different—and so intertwined in an Agile environment, the need for cooperation between developers and QA becomes much more apparent.
How things work now… In many development environments it is commonplace for developers to work on some code and features independently of QA and when they are done pass that code over to QA to test, only ever hearing back from them when a bug is found that needs to be fixed. This is often called throwing the code over the wall. Most software development shops run in this fashion, because it is the default way of doing things.
It is pretty common for software developers to sit in a completely different corner of the office than their QA counterparts and it is pretty common for them to have minimal interactions. When organizations were writing code using a waterfall approach, they could afford to have this disconnect, because they tested everything at the end of the development phase and they had detailed specifications that told software developers and QA analysts exactly how the software was supposed to behave.
Or at least they were supposed to have those detailed specifications… With the waterfall approach to software development, software developers and QA analysts could work independently of each other much more easily, because it was a downstream process. Developers would write code and they would pass that code downstream to QA who would test the code. Bugs would flow back upstream until the software had reached the level of quality that was expected. The traditional waterfall model How Agile changes things Many software development organizations practicing Agile methodologies still try to operate in this fashion.
It is common to see software development teams staggering iterations so that the developers will work on writing code for one iteration while the QA team is testing the code from the previous iteration. This kind of methodology is not really Agile, it is mini-waterfall. When organizations are developing code in this manner, they are simply taking the waterfall process and chopping it up into smaller segments.
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They are getting all the pain of the waterfall process and missing many of the benefits of Agile. To truly operate in an Agile environment, entire organizations need to be Agile.
Sure, that is easy to say, but what does that actually mean? It means that organizations need to be able to respond to change quickly and to iterate their software in response to that change.
Here is an example that will make things a bit more clear Staggered iterations mini-waterfall Suppose a team is developing a feature for call center software that allows a customer representative to provide detailed notes about a call to their supervisor for review each week.
The software developer on that team's project writes the code for that feature during the current iteration, while the QA team is happily testing the features the development team had completed last week.
The development team finishes the feature and in the next iteration, they move on to another feature and hand the call notes feature over to QA to test. Well, it just so happens that when the QA team starts testing the feature, the customer who is going to use the software tries it out as well and discovers that they actually want the feature implemented in a completely different way.
Obviously, at this point it doesn't make sense for QA to continue testing the feature, so they stop. But now, the developers are already working on something else, so they either have to stop what they are doing and start working on the call notes feature again, or they have to put off the changes to the feature for the next iteration. Even if they manage to complete the requested changes to the feature in their current iteration, it will be a whole other iteration before the feature is tested.
How working together makes you more agile So, following an Agile process alone does not make one agile. In order to really be agile, in the true sense of the word, meaning an organizations can respond to change rapidly, they need to have their QA and development teams working together each iteration. Instead of developers completing code and throwing it over the wall to be tested in the next iteration, a truly Agile team will have developer and QA team members work together during the current sprint to both develop and test a feature.
By doing this, a team is able to respond to any changes immediately and is truly able to iterate the development of their software. Going back to the example with the call center software.
It can be seen that if the QA team was testing the call note feature in the same iteration that the developers were developing it, making changes midstream would be a much easier task. The developers could simply make modifications to the feature and give those modifications directly to QA in the same iteration. No time would be lost waiting for the feature to make it completely through the pipeline.
Development and testing in the same iteration How to create a unified team Of course this is all easier said than done. How can a team develop and test a feature in the same iteration? Doesn't the feature need to be developed before it can be tested? If a team looks at a feature as an atomic element that can't be broken up into smaller parts, then yes, it does.
But, most features are not unbreakable stones. Most features can be broken up into smaller pebbles which can be developed and tested independently of the whole.
To look at features and develop them this way requires coordination and communication between the developers and QA analysts. When a new feature is going to be worked on in an iteration, the development team needs to meet with the QA team together to talk about exactly how the feature is going to be broken up and what exactly is going to be tested. The term test driven development, or TDD is used to describe the practice of writing failing unit tests before writing code in a software project.
This same idea can be applied at a higher level to the development and testing of an actual feature to allow the tests to drive the development of that feature. In this scenario the development and QA teams meet together and the first thing that is decided upon is the high level tests that will be used to verify the correctness of the feature. Developers and QA analysts work together to define, at a high level, what test will be run and created to test the feature. Developers then start writing the code that will be necessary to make those tests pass, one test at a time.
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Each time the development team has enough code created to make a test pass, that code is handed over to QA to execute that test against the code for the feature. One by one, the code required to make each test pass is written and tested and little by little over the course of the iteration the feature is both developed and tested at the same time. This process of developing features one test at a time requires the entire team to work together as a single unit to complete the work for a sprint.
It requires developers to understand more about the testing process, since they will need to know how the features they are developing will be tested.
Always think of your users and don't test just to say that you performed a test.
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Users don't care how many tests you ran on your application—they care about the product quality and that it answers their needs. Share responsibility It's very simple: Everyone should be responsible for the quality of the product. In an agile team, there's no more "us" and "them.
QA should test the whole system. Yes, QA are the gatekeepers, but everyone in the agile team should have the same responsibility for the quality of the product. Three best practices ] 3. Choose your battles As a gatekeeper, you can't fight over every single defect. Understand which fights are worth fighting and where you can let go.
Otherwise, everyone will spend a lot of time fixing things that are not that important. Define your own "red line" of things you simply won't compromise on, and focus only on those things. For example, I am very particular about initial interactions with a product e. Conversely, I've avoided fights about installation tweaks for on-premises solutions that only get installed once.
Many teams set up a "defects committee," which predefines showstoppers vs. This helps focus everyone's efforts. Be constructive about defects No amount of testing will ensure that you have zero defects.
Getting QA and Developers to Work Together
Some will always escape even the most rigorous testing procedures and be discovered by external users. The key is to keep calm, learn from these "escaped defects," and improve your next release. Developers love to ask QA engineers, "How did this get past you? We conduct risk-based testing and test the user flows we see as most important and common according to the time we have.
In some cases we consult with product management, commercial stakeholders sales, pre-sales, etc. If something gets through our web, we do a debrief to discover what happened and why we missed it, and, we create an automatic test for escaped defects. Create visibility into your activities Visibility improves collaboration and trust in any team, and agile teams are no exception. You shouldn't assume that developers or any other stakeholders know what you're up to, how you're testing, or what your standards are.
Review what you're planning to test with the developer. When you share your work with developers, they can start paying attention to the things that matter, upstream. Having bug-hunt days, with additional stakeholders from product management, support, and architects, not only widens the scope of testing efficiently, but also gets more eyes to scrutinize the product.
Publishing important lessons learned from customers has the added benefit of establishing you as a subject matter expert who represents the end user. Don't punish developers or users I often hear QA threaten that they won't approve a feature because of low quality.
In my opinion, this is really the worst thing you can do as a tester. Think of the outcome here: By not approving a feature, you alienate the developer, and, worse, your users will not have the chance to use it.