Monday, May 26, 2008

Zero to Sixty Agile Testing

So, here is my first blog post .... let me give you a little introduction and some background to my current story.

I am Dawn, developer-tester and tester-developer ... I have my BS in Comp Sci from Clemson University. I spent 6 years with a bioinformatics company, starting as a part-time tester, and eventually becoming QA Lead. I had a large part in creating their QA department -- policies, procedures, bug tracking, training, the whole gamut. We used Test Director and WinRunner for a while. I was able to keep my hand in some development, for our internally written bug tracking system and for a project I was technical Project Lead on for the NSF. I can still remember hearing the word 'agile' for the first time while I was there.

When I left that job, I did some .NET development for a while. I developed several enterprise applications, from website/database to mobile/web services apps. I learned a LOT there, like all of the reasons why I don't want to be a developer full-time.

I was happy to get a QA Engineer job at Symantec when I decided full-time development wasn't working for me. However, not long after I got there, Symantec decided that our local office wasn't worth keeping open, and I found myself looking for a job, along with a few hundred other developers and testers. Symantec was one of the best jobs I have ever had.

To my surprise, at about that exact time, a local company, just 2.5 miles from home, had posted for a QA Engineer position that I was a perfect fit for. They were hoping for someone with at least a familiarity with development, and as it turned out, they had never had any formal QA. Luckily, I had experience building a QA department from the ground up. I will call this company 'Rainbow' from this point on.

This is where I get my "Zero to Sixty" reference .... this development team had just started Scrum, just 2 weeks before I started. So ... not only had they never had any formal testing of their products, but they were just starting the transition to an agile team. The road has been bumpy, to say the least, but I have found that as much I thought I had to teach these guys, I have learned some incredible lessons along the way about agile and how testing fits in.

I hope that this blog will tackle, one by one, many of the lessons that I have learned, and the ones that I have taught along the way ..... so buckle your seat belts (yes, I realize how completely dorky that reference was), and get ready.

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