Janet Gregory on Agile Testing (Interviewed by Kenji Hiranabe)
About her book – “More Agile Testing” (co-written with Lisa Crispin)
Testing is central to the success of agile development, but key aspects of the tester’s role remain ambiguous or misunderstood. In More Agile Testing, two world-renowned agile test experts ask tough questions about agile testing – and provide definitive answers based on the experiences of successful agile teams worldwide.
Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory pioneered the agile testing discipline with their first book, Agile Testing. Now, they reflect on all that’s been learned in five years since it was published, addressing crucial additional issues and sharing newly evolved best practices for successfully integrating testing throughout your agile project….. read more
In Agile, “Testing” is an activity, not a “phase”.
So how is “Agile Testing” different from the traditional testing?
Testing is about asking questions to the software or to people about assumptions. When in traditional testing or in traditional projects, testing is at the end. We base it on the requirements that are written at the beginning so there’s often a mismatch. In agile, what we want to do is, we want to test throughout, so it’s an “activity” – not a “phase”.
So it’s “TESTING”.
It is TESTING – Exactly.!
Tester role can still exist but testing is more of the responsibility of the whole team, so we want to be able to think about how can we start testing earlier in the project instead of waiting in the very end.
Is it about automation?
well, I firmly believe that automation is critical that you can’t be sustainable without having an automation. But automation is not all there it is. It is much more. If you can have a process to say “let’s automate as we go”, the animation is almost a by-product. Asking the questions and getting the shared understanding is what is important, so it’s a necessary thing to be able to do that.
But It (Agile testing) is not just that (Automation).
No. And too many people go and find a tool and map their process to the tool, instead of getting the process and understanding that and then getting the tool to match that. So it’s not about the “tools”, it’s not about “automation”. They’re necessary.
“Testers and developers need to learn how to work together and build the trust.”
Sometimes in the traditional development, developers and testers are separate sometimes. They are kind of enemies.. not enemies but hostile to each other.
I worked in one of those companies and it can be hostile. I use the word “antagonistic”.
In an Agile, we’re asking them to collaborate. Sometimes if testers and developers come from one of those environments the background that says – you know they’ve been enemies. It makes it very very difficult for them to learn how to collaborate. That can be one of the biggest difficulties. “How do we become best friends?” ” How do we work together?”.
And I sometimes spent half my time when I am coaching team just teaching them how to work together, building the trust.
Team members are from so many different places. And when we start to think about where they’re coming from and be aware of their culture, about how they might respond to what we say, how can we help them.
It makes things so much easier in a team. As soon as it starts, people will be open and aware, I see things start to grow.
“Having awareness of what’s going around you -it will solve a lot of problems”
I see. One morning, you wake up and and you have a power to change any two things in the world.
What would you change?
But really I think people’s awareness of what’s going on around them, being able to read people’s reactions and understand what they’re saying. I think that’s one of the harder things. For example, coming into Japan, it’s hard to read emotions from a lot of Japanese people. I don’t know how to read them yet. so I think awareness – “a magical mind reading kind of awareness” would be great.
Mindfulness! Not mind-reading, but yes, It would solve a lot of problems in the world.
but even on teams, just being aware right? so that’s one, that’s a big one!
And that leads to the world peace, right?
And that leads to world peace. Exactly.
Want to go second ?
I was saying in the speakers’ room that it would be really nice, if I can go to every country I go into, and if I could speak their language. So you know in Star Trek when they have a universal translator. I want one of those. Somebody needs to invent one. Because that would solve a lot of issues, too. So, “universal translator”!
And it comes along pretty good, it is close!