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Testing is not a phase

I got to listen to a discussion today where a topic was if a team kanban board should have a "ready for testing" column. I am happy that the discussion ended with the decision not to have it. I am happy on that because in the world of software development, testing is  not a phase to happen somewhere after programming and before pushing something to production.  If/as testing is about raising good questions, seeking answers to those questions, and about exploring risks and opportunities - it should happen all the time. From the beginning when  thinking if the thing should be built at all, into the end when analysing and observing the actual impacts. Everything that happens between is about doing, and any extra column, phase and handover you create inside this is going to hurt you.
Recent posts

Testers of past be the IT stars of the future?

Been noticing two a bit conflicting themes lately. 1. Testers getting (or pushed) to be more technical and write test automation code 2. Articles listing future IT core skills as widely non-technical So whereas many testers are moving to work more on test automation, the vital skills of the future may be such as: - Creativity -  Analytical (critical) thinking  -  Activ e  learning  with a growth mindset   -  Judgment and decision making -  Interpersonal communication skills - Complex Problem Solving Which sounds almost like a list of vital skills needed for an exploratory tester.  So we should perhaps remind the ones starting a testing career or moving away from it, that also these skills are something that can be quite valuable in the future as well. Maybe even the most valuable.

How (not) to measure employee engagement

Want to measure employee engagement? Here is one way how to do it: 1. Measure by a survey sent twice a year But what if people just happen to have a bit sucky day when answering? It can cause quite a distortion.  2. Base it on one question that is: how likely is it that you would recommend the whole company as a great workplace People might be very engaged on their work and/or in their team, while thinking that overall the company is not as good a place to work in. 3. Score based on  NPS  grading Using NPS when everybody knows the valuation behind the numbering distorts the overall grade. 4. Say it is  voluntary to answer but give a lot of pressure to get a 100% answer rate Like, why do stuff like this? 5. If the team score is finally too low, threaten it  by certain negative actions I can't even... (If this sounds a bit too specific to be a general example and more like a real life experience, you might be on to something) An alternative I might support

Should testers learn to automate? is the wrong question

Should all testers learn to automate? Or shift left? Or shift right? Are the wrong questions. The correct question is, should everyone in the team do what is in the long run the most valuable thing to do for the good of the team & product & customers.  The answer to that question is Yes. This is the question you should be pondering, when thinking about what and how to do stuff.  This is the question you should be pondering, when thinking what you are best at, and how you can best help the team.  Forget your role. Forget the hype.  Instead ask yourself, what should I do now that will in the long run provide most value to the team & product & customers. Then (learn to) do that. And you are going to do great. Now, and in the future.

Get rid of hierarchy and get less bureaucracy as a bonus.

I've worked in quite a many places, all having different levels of hierarchy and bureaucracy. I hate that stuff. If a team needs a tool that they think will help them to do better work, why do a "request" from some manager not let the team decide? If a team thinks they would benefit of a new coworker, why let a manager decide who and where to hire and not the team. If team members think they want some yearly reviews, why not let them do those themselves (or just skip those and do something else instead)? And if there are issues why not let the team sort them out, instead of waiting for a manager to "do their job". The more I've worked, the more I've started to think that good teams should just be allowed to do all this. Give them the freedom and responsibility, and expect great results. Lead by providing resources, giving feedback, communicating about the vision. Let the team decide what to do, and how to do it. Let people work to their full

The way our team's work week works

Our normal work week is currently organised like this: Monday morning, and the #weeklyStartUp We start the week with a short 15 minute meeting the whole team (20 people) participates, called "The weekly startup". In that meeting we go briefly through our main goals for the week, and decide in which kind of work groups to solve them. People can themselves decide which goals they want to work with, and based on that we decide our work groups. This goal list is a one page google doc with 5-10 goals, each written in the format of Do what , in order to get why accomplished. And the goal list is not meant to include everything anybody is going to work on, just the most important goals. We allow and expect people to engage on various other things too, as long as those won't come with a big expense on the main goals. Monday-Thursday, we work Work groups have full freedom and responsibility to plan, implement, test, deploy, and communicate what they believe is nece