Mike Sowers has more than twenty-five years of practical experience as a global quality and test leader of internationally distributed test teams across multiple industries. Mike is a Training Line of Business Leader and a Senior Consultant, skilled in working with both large and small organizations to improve their software development, testing, and delivery approaches. He has worked with companies—including Fidelity Investments, PepsiCo, FedEx, Southwest Airlines, Wells Fargo, ADP, and Lockheed—to improve software quality, reduce time to market, and decrease costs. With his passion for helping teams deliver software faster, better, and cheaper, Mike has mentored and coached senior software leaders, small teams, and direct contributors worldwide.
The importance of the human element in delivering great software is sometimes overlooked, as is the relationship between team health and team performance. Just like physical health checks, team checkups are important. Let's look at some factors that can affect team health and how you can evaluate the important metrics.
Ensuring that quality is advocated for at every step along the lifecycle can be tough. One easy response is, “Quality is everyone’s job”—after all, whole-team accountability is a key tenet of agile. But what does this really mean in practice? What approaches and roles help us embrace a culture of quality engineering?
With all the pressure to “just automate,” we may not invest enough in architecting our test automation. You wouldn't remodel a house without doing some planning and design; our test automation journey should be treated no differently. A comprehensive architecture plan is crucial for increasing test automation coverage.
In their transition to agile and DevOps, many teams forget they also need to update their measurement and metrics plan. Some measurements and metrics from the traditional waterfall software development lifecycle may remain useful, but many may not provide value—and some may even adversely impact progress toward goals.
Software testing expertise is still a critical need. But as we enter the age of agile and DevOps, the industry is changing. If you’re in a software quality or testing role now as a direct contributor or leader, how should you prepare? What’s your next career step? Here's how you should equip yourself for the future.
Estimating testing in the contemporary world of agile and DevOps demands some new rules. Gone are the days of using project planning software and work breakdown structures to define and estimate each category of work and the associated tasks. Here are some modern rules, prerequisites, and advice for test estimation.