Keynote: A Test Management Retrospective

Abstract

Cross-functional teams with a tester embedded into a small agile team is a popular and on-trend approach to distributing the testing effort across software development. Ebay, Google, Microsoft are some of the more well-known names to have adopted this approach.

Atlassian has taken a slightly different approach having testers who – instead of testing – coach developers how to test. These testers often report to a test lead but this can only scale so far especially if there’s an emphasis on testing and coaching testers.

It could be that for large organisations, a test manager is required to which multiple test leads report to. But this hierarchical structure creates a distance between those who do the work and those who make decisions about the work.

At Tyro Payments, we’ve built a team from 5 to 23 testers in one year. The emphasis has been on training and coaching so each tester is the expert within their team able to continuously improve the testing process. However, as we grew, the approach had to be constantly revised.

We experimented with many ideas, pivoted a few times and constantly evolved our ideas about what it meant to lead testing in a high growth organisation.

This keynote will describe that journey ending with some salient points about the future of test management and how it might fit into a future where the only certainty we have is that testing will look very different to what we do today.

About Anne-Marie Charrett

ATD2K16 Conference Closing Speaker

I’m Anne-Marie Charrett, software tester, trainer and coach with a reputation of excellence and passion for the craft of software testing.

An electronic engineer by trade, software testing chose me when I started conformance testing against European standards. I now consult and train testers specialising in transforming test teams into powerhouses of testing skill.

I founded Testing Times in 1998 as a way to offer a personalised, high-calibre testing service to corporates and smaller businesses.

I understand testing and contemporary development approaches such as agile and continuous delivery. I also understand and experienced the many challenges organisations face when adopting these new ideas.

What I do well is get your testing to where it needs to be. To get there you can either hire me as a consultant, a coach or a trainer.

My work has crossed sectors such as banking, telecommunications and government agencies. I’m considered an expert in testing, having spoken at many international conferences as well as lecturing at UTS on a purpose built course on software testing.