Tony and Craig are at YOW! Conference in Brisbane and chat to Jessica Kerr, software developer, consultant and symmathecist (look it up or listen to the podcast) and apart from our first live podcast sneeze they talk about:
Companies struggle to get the metrics to know if their agile transformations are making a difference, hence the creation of Agility Health Radar
Business Agility pillars – customer seat at the table, lean portfolio management, organisation structure and design, agile framework, leadership and culture, make it stick, technology agility and agility metrics
DevOps pillars – faster value delivery, higher quality, culture of improvement and building the right product
There are anti-patterns with doing XP at scale, continuous delivery was born from the learnings from that
Continuous delivery is just extending continuous integration to more of the software development practice (and continuous integration requires test driven development)
Continuous delivery works because it is the application of the scientific method to software development
If you work in an iterative, imperative, experimental way and you take continuous learning seriously and take cycle time as a serious measurement you will naturally drive out agile, lean, systems theory and DevOps
Craig spoke on “The Speed to Cool: Valuing Testing and Quality in Agile Teams” at Agile Australia in 2011. Craig is an Agile Coach and Director at Unbound DNA and works as a Trainer and Consultant at Software Education.
In 2011, my talk highlighted the need for a greater understanding of the changing role of testing in Agile environments and the need to build quality into our solutions from the beginning.
Fast forwarding to 2018, the community is improving in this space but still has a long way to go. The rise in popularity of DevOps has helped immensely in this area, although it astounds me how many teams and organisations I work with still do not have some of the basic building blocks in place (like continuous integration or sometimes, worryingly, version control). Many organisations still have a large focus on manually testing via the UI which becomes increasingly riskier and slower as the importance of digital continues to rise.
In my talk, I spoke about what is now referred to as the “three amigos” concept. In the ‘conversation’ around a user story, three key principles outline how to actually implement the work:
When developers and user representatives collaborate we get a better understanding of the specification or the requirements.
When testers and user representatives collaborate we get a better understanding of the acceptance criteria and how we will meet our agreed definition of ‘done’.
When testers and developers collaborate we get a better understanding of quality, but also get the value of pairing on automated testing.
Approaches such as Behaviour Driven Development have risen in popularity and support the above model well but, as I highlighted in the talk, this requires behavioural changes across the team. Mainly:
User representatives need to have a greater testing involvement, working closer in real time with testers.
Testers need to build technical knowledge and work closer in real time with developers, understanding developer tests and interfaces to avoid rework and improve quality.
Developers need work closer with the user representatives on the requirements collaboration, as well as with the testers to ensure that testing artefacts are left behind.
We need to appreciate testing as a team skill set and not as a job or an anchor. While this now occurs more frequently in the Agile community, many organisations still have a long way to go. Testing remains an important skill, but mindsets and skill sets need to change to fully embrace an Agile way of working.
Jenkins, the popular open source automation server that is used by development teams worldwide for continuous integration and continuous delivery pipelines, has recently announced the general availability of Blue Ocean 1.0.
Atlassian, makers of development tools such as JIRA and Confluence, have just released version 5.11 of their continuous delivery tool Bamboo with a host of new features to help teams scale and collaborate. The key feature in this new release is the ability to scale from 100 to 250 elastic build agents.
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