The Agile Testing Days – that is a conference that takes part in Potsdam, Germany. I’ve wanted to go there last year already, but I somehow didn’t manage to do so. This year was my lucky year: I was chosen as a volunteer. That means a full week of working shifts, attending conference talks and workshops, meeting people, networking and fun. The days were long and I got a lot of input, but it is well worth it. The conference is amazing. I can really recommend you to go there. Awesome community, awesome talks, awesome activities (like the MIATPP award plus Hollywood themed party or the Agile Games Night) and awesome venue and food – what do you need more!?
Due to my working shifts and the huge choice in the schedule, I didn’t manage to attend all the talks and workshops, but here is an overview of the talks that I attended with pictures and sketchnotes:
Agile transformation with remote teams
Continuous performance testing through the users‘ eyes
Crossing over – how developing a feature made me a better tester
Questions to ask: how to deliver the best client experience? How to build products and services our clients want and need?
Elements of design thinking: empathize, define, ideate, prototype, test:
What does a quality advocate do? Inspire a better understanding of quality and improve processes.
Design thinking for testers:
Design thinking is a mindset. „in the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, in the expert’s mind there are few.“ (reference to Shunryu Suzuki)
Dos and don’ts of agile transformations
Feeling safe to be uncomfortable
From inspiration to change
Wim Heemskerk & Eddy Bruin
The big emotional elephant inside of us makes the change. Don’t just use arguments to make change, but use emotions, transfer emotions. Don’t push the elephant around, help to steer it. There are a lot of ways to tweak the env to make the path easier or harder to turn/continue moving. Bring the rider and the elephant together to make change. Motivate the elephant. You can use games for that. Let people have experiences together to learn from that together.
Shape the path. You can try to transfer information in a fun, colourful way to make people pay attention to it:
The rider, the rational side of the brain, has also to be directed, not only the elephant, the emotional side, to make change.
Don’t over do it. You have control about some things, influence on different stuff, and concerns about others. Think about things that are under your control and be realistic.
Every sandstorm starts with some grains that made a lot of sand move. So even small changes have an influence. Just move things and get some help to do that. Start with the parts where you have the freedom to act. Don’t throw the sand grains in the eyes of your colleagues, invite them to think about your changes. Be careful with your nudges.
Catalyze with coffee – lean coffee is a great idea to exchange ideas:
How concepts of feminism make me a better tester
Is your quality on the road to no where?
Definition of software testing:
Testing is the headlights of the projects. We shine a light to find obstacles – we share information about the product.
Software testing provides visibility. Quality tells you how far you have to go.
Software is quality to some person (reference to Jerry Weinberg) – how to explain this to your company? How to identify quality? Deconstruct!
Mindset for quality engineers: PICKLE – participate, innovate, communicate, knowledge, listen, evolve (reference to Margaret Dineen)
Quality Engineering Model:
New quality attributes: Speed (respond to change fast, learn, improve), feedback (how good is it + actions on it), recoverability (how well do we/system recover from problems), qualtability (state of quality)
New challenges to face:
Let’s test testability
Rob uses CODS testability model: controllability, observability, decomposability, simplicity.
Change mindset from building observability into the software to building observability into the team.
A holistic testability model – 10 P’s of testability:
People, Philosophy, Product, Process, Problem, Project, Pipeline, Productivity, Production Issues, Proactivity:
Me and my burnout
Mind the gap
Overcome the obstacles of restrospectives
Trinidad Schmidle & Thomas Fend
Product Owner’s dancing guide to writing acceptance tests (Workshop)
Biggest worries of product owners:
Product Development Flow:
Product Development Currency:
When is a story ready:
User Story Process:
Good acceptance test criteria:
What is quality:
The Hokey Pokey Test Design Model:
Parts of a test case and the connection to Gherkin:
Workshop – final warnings and caution:
Python for testers
Quality assurance in an A/B-test driven company
A/B testing: control vs variation
A/B testing vs multivariate testing
Every user has a different user experience – problems with A/B testing
Front load the work. Use the feature request’s acceptance criteria as you test cases. Focus on the essentials and the least volatile areas of your product for your (UI) test automation.
Users may be experiencing things you’ve never seen before. Dogfood your product (use it), and have regular chats with your customer support and social media people!
Advantage of rigorous A/B testing: does anyone, except our user base, know with certainty what our user base wants?
Tenacity: 1. Things will go wrong. 2. Feature planning meetings you aren’t really invited to and you start asking loads of questions nobody can answer.
You need compassion for the user! Users can make or break the success of your company! Other things you need: humbleness, willingness to learn, grow, adapt, and make mistakes, communication.
Grow beyond the role of traditional testers:
Some more advice:
Where does quality begin? Design and build something perfect or build something and deal with quality at the end. Quality Assurance is managed from the start… evaluated and improved up to and beyond delivery.
Quality Assurance: Watch and manage what we want to deliver and in what way in every stage. It’s somehow release orchestration.
Release orchestration is the logical evolution of automated release management (tools, best practices, workflow integration, mindset, skills) – better, faster software delivering lifetime cycle.
It doesn’t really matter what tools you use, but they have to work together and create transparency.
Challenges to face: lack of practical working definition of what quality means, lack of quality measurements, lack of understanding by senior/project management. Inadequate use of reviews/inspections, inadequate defect prevention, insufficient/careless testing, scheduling pressure, unstable user requirements.
Promise of DevOps: Processes and software management have adapted, organisations are evolving, valued assets have expanded to include competencies.
Value stream mapping:
Value stream mapping 2.0:
Reinventing organizations from success driven:
to culture driven:
Products and processes are one of the greatest assets of a company:
Summary of release orchestration:
Revolutionary Pizza Feedback
Different colours of the team and what they need:
How to give the different colours some feedback:
Saving agile principles with traditional management
Try to make your managers shift from theory x to theory y:
Secrets to cultivating awesome superhero teams
Security in security
Test like a cat
Cats inspired ideas in four areas: survival, hunting, communication, resting & comfort:
Survive with dignity, know what you’re good at. Be useful. Or at least be entertaining.
Testers have a reputation: they are negative, break everything, don’t understand customers and aren’t technical. So: You need to explain your value! Show people what you do.
You need curiosity when testing. Satisfaction is the new knowing. Bring something useful back to your team. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes or not know something.
Be there when there is need. Support your team in times of danger. Bond with your team, have lunch together. Get outside and meet others. Or do some pair testing. Bring adventure into your life.
Testing always happens, it is just a matter of who does it. There are also many ways to do it. So share experience, talk to others to exchange knowledge:
How to handle conflicts? Sometimes going around the edge and avoiding conflicts may be your best catch. It might be hard to fight fights you cannot win. Avoid punishments, they cause side-effects, not desired results.
Tester advantages: When you have even one dedicated tester, someone is focused on evaluating the product as a whole from an outside perspective:
You can see in the dark, so start now. Focus on technical motion. Commit messages, logs, scripts, monitoring, etc. can help you scan for changes. Testers use cat vision:
What special skills do you have that help you stand out? Everyone has their own unique skills. What are yours? What can we do more than hunt for bugs? How can we help others hunt?
You need to learn the inner species language for effective communication. Don’t only listen to bugs, but listen to the people, too.
Keep being experimental. Learn what works and adapt if it stops working. Watch out for body language and actions. Talk like a cat:
Differences in approach, skill, experience and interests make us stronger.
Changes in teams are scary. They are threats to status or territory. But you can adapt to them.
Resting isn’t optional! Watch out for yourself and get a fresh perspective after resting for a while.
Show that you care! Adapt to the style that works for your team. Teach others in areas you have talent. Admit it and apologize when you make mistakes:
Favorite lessons from cats:
Testing the boundaries – how being a parent has improved my testing
The power of not yet – improve your testing skills
Transforming culture with DevOps principles
Why STWC + now what?
„How did we win? By experimenting!“ – experiments to try and avoid:
They asked for a lot of feedback: product owners, testers, testing experts, mobile app developers.
Their success formula:
Lessons learned by Pascal:
I would really love to hear about your experience and stories from the Agile Testing Days 2018! And I’m looking forward to attending the Agile Testing Days 2019 – maybe even again as a volunteer.