Getting the whole team engaged in testing for continuous delivery success

By – Lisa Crispin

More and more teams today are trying to move towards delivering changes to production once or twice a week, daily, or even multiple times per day. Given that we never seem to have enough time to complete all the necessary testing for any new feature, how can we possibly feel confident that these frequent deploys won’t cause pain for our customers? 

In their CAST 2019 tutorial, Ashley Hunsberger and I will lead participants through hands-on simulations to practice a whole-team approach to building confidence for continuous delivery and deployment (both known as CD). We’ll start by having participants think about what is currently getting in their team’s way of succeeding with continuous delivery.

We’ll explain common terminology used in DevOps activities, such as continuous integration, continuous delivery versus continuous deployment, deployment pipeline, and cycle time. Learning the language of DevOps helps testers communicate and collaborate with everyone on the delivery team.

Participants will work in table groups in a fun simulation to design a deployment pipeline and learn ways to shorten feedback loops. They’ll look at ways to solve puzzles like how to complete manual testing activities like exploratory testing and still succeed with continuous delivery. These are exercises they can take back and do with their team to have valuable conversations around understanding and improving their pipelines.

They’ll practice using Ashley’s Test Suite Canvas to evaluate their existing automated test suites and think about what gaps they want to fill. Other areas to be explored include value stream mapping, operability areas such as monitoring and observability, and other aspects of fitting testing into continuous delivery. Engaging the whole team will be the main focus. We’ll use templates and conversation starters that participants can later try with their own teams.

The tutorial wraps up with each table group designing an experiment to help with one of the obstacles to CD identified earlier and sharing with the large group. Participants can take these ideas to experiment with their own teams after the conference. 

About the author

Lisa Crispin

Lisa Crispin is the co-author, with Janet Gregory, of More Agile Testing: Learning Journeys for the Whole Team (2014), Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams (2009), the LiveLessons Agile Testing Essentials video course, and “The Whole Team Approach to Agile Testing” 3-day training course. Lisa was voted by her peers as the Most Influential Agile Testing Professional Person at Agile Testing Days in 2012. She’s a testing practitioner who enjoys helping people find ways to build more quality into their software products. Please, and for more.

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