Monday, 27 May 2013

The Wall Is Still There

There were 3 blog posts I read last week that seemed to have a common theme but the contents were widely different.

First post I came across was Testers and Developers please get along. I wondered why such a title was still being used in 2013, haven't we got past all this ages ago? The author ( architect for Smart Bear ) had gone along to a testing conference and found there were still jokes about "stupid developers" and throwing things over the wall.
He ended his article with some suggestions - pair-test programming, sit together, do stuff together.

Remind me again when the Agile manifesto was written and when the first edition of Extreme Programming came out?

On the subject of walls, Alan Page wrote a post Tear Down The Wall and the wall between testers and developers and although things are changing there is still a wall at MS - smaller than it used to be but still there
He has a vision for the future of s/w development

"What software teams need in the future is team members who can perform the activities of programming, testing, and analysis – together"

The third blog post I read was in reaction to Alans post - Test Activity and Testing Roles
It had 2 quotes that I found sad and depressing - but could relate to as that is how it is in a lot of companies.

That is so far from my reality that I actually find it a little threatening.

I’d love to see a system that functions like this, but I rather doubt I’ll get to see one soon.

I could give a trite response and tell him to move and get out there as there are companies like that - but it's not as easy or as simple as that.
Several years ago I was in the same position - I'd read the books, was reading the blogs and mailing lists, I knew there was a better way of making s/w than the place I was working at. Trying to change things was incredibly hard and frustrating. Comfortably Numb was becoming my daily theme song.
I gave up trying there and left

Just sad to read that for many things are the same as they were for me all those years ago.


Lisa said...

I heard some motivation experts on the radio recently who explained that we feel motivated when we're part of an organization that shares our values. During my last job search, it was exceedingly difficult to FIND an organization that shared my values, but finding one was worth the long hunt.

I know sometimes we just have to pay the mortgage or whatever and can't be picky. But if you (not you personally, Phil, because you've already made that journey, I mean readers of this blog) have a good attitude and mindset, there IS a team out there who values you, keep looking, use your network!

Clearly not only is testing misunderstood by business execs, but s/w development in general is a mystery to them. Let's keep doing our best to educate them.

Clint Hoagland said...

Hi Phil, saw this post and it got me to finally post something I've been stewing on for awhile:

Northern Tester said...

Interesting post with a couple of links I'll certainly keep in my locker.

When I hear someone say 'I gave up and left' I think two things, almost simultaneously:

1. Good for you! Life's too short!

2.Cliches like 'Be the change that you want to see' and 'if you don't change then your surrounding won't either.'

I chose 2, I'll let you know how it works out.

It reminds me of the massive impatience for change and an almost intolerance for the variable pace which naturally accompanies change.

I have recently consulted as part of a wider agile transformation. Spoke to someone who wanted to leave as change was too slow and too hard.

I reminded this someone that prior to embarking on their agile journey, the state was:

-Multiple projects on the go for each team, rarely finished.
-Uneven team skillsets, some with no test/devops/analysis focused individuals at all.
-No test automation or continuous integration/delivery.
-Long drawn out projects,you know the drill.
-The list goes on.

I then reminded this someone that, in a relatively short space of time:

-Each team worked on one project until it was done.
-Each team had a blended skillset.
-Almost every team had continuous integration and delivery integrated into their processes.
-Testing individuals had 3 or 4 tools in their locker for testing at DB, Service and UI levels.
-Projects were split into 3-6 month chunks.

That someone stayed. When it comes to change, I find that many cannot see the woods for the trees.

Last cliche, I promise.