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Be Ready for the Future

Agile teams continue to experiment and improve the ways they build quality into their software products. How can we be prepared for the twists and turns that may lie ahead? We’ve learned the importance of T-shaped skills, gaining depth in our areas of specialty while continuing to broaden our more shallow knowledge of many aspects of software delivery and our business domains.

Technology grows and changes too fast for most of us to learn it all. Each of us has to determine what is most important to know in our own situation, and what special expertise we can bring to a team. You might be faced with testing something new to you, such as embedded software or a data warehouse. You might be in a situation where facilitation skills are more critical than testing skills. Your team could encounter a tough regression-test automation challenge. Or maybe your team does a great job with developing software, but your business experts are terrible at deciding what features to develop next. Be aware of trends, and have resources ready if you need to add to your skill set.

Up to now, agile testing’s evolution has taught us that we need to think about business value, risk, and uncertainty, rather than focusing on metrics, code coverage, and a laundry list of requirements. Use models to ensure that the most important areas are tested. Learn how to ask the right questions, make sure that you understand the problems, and do small experiments to chip away at obstacles.

Agile has encouraged the whole team approach to building in quality and making sure that all necessary testing activities are accomplished. How will you help prevent defects, enhance your current testing skills, and help deliver the most valuable features? It takes a village to deliver great software. We’ll continue to learn from each other and raise the bar on software quality.

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