Meet Quality Assistance
Quality Assistance is a shift in the Testing industry that focuses on empowering the developer with testing knowledge and guidance so the development process can enough Agile speed. The principal promoter of the change is Atlassian, although some other companies are starting to embrace a similar approach (like Spotify)
In this video, Penny Wyatt (Atlassian) beautifully explains why they decided to try Quality Assistance:
Personally, I’m in love with this way to introduce Quality in software projects. I learnt about this approach from my QA Lead and we tried some of the ideas in our startup, learning in the journey some of the challenges needed to embrace it. We learnt how to deal with different developer archetypes convincing them that our goal was empowering them, not procrastinate because we were sharing Quality’s responsibility.
Particularly, I love that I spent most of my time on activities I love doing with this approach, such as revisiting processes, breaking them down along with the product itself looking for dependencies and bottlenecks to focus on; pairing with the developers learning the technical details of the product while I show them the joy of the puzzle of Testing; spending sometimes automating tools, enhancing frameworks and improving automated tests… it was such a win-win situation for me when we embraced this approach!
Obviously, we also encountered walls and difficulties and realise that there is not a simple way to adapt this methodology without customization, iteration and a fair amount of time. Most of the challenges are related to the need to change how most of the people work, being particularly difficult if you find some reluctant to change developers.
It’s impossible to tackle down the details of this encouraging shift in one post. I’ve included some really interesting documentation that I recommend you to visit, as well as the promise to detail in further entries some of the aspects of the approach, and some experiences dealing with it.
For me, Quality Assistance convinced me that Testing is where I want to be. I spent a big percentage of my career thinking that Development is what I should be doing, but I enjoy way more the tester role from Quality Assistance than programmer’s one.