Agile testing expert Antony Marcano has been visiting us periodically for more than a year now. In that time we’ve taken one product from releasing every three months to releasing once a fortnight, introduced a formal quality process, and brought in a full-time QA expert. And most importantly, our level of product quality has shot up. I’ll let Antony compare the level of quality we have now with that of other customers he consults with regularly:

… A handful of FIX-NOW bugs in production in six months is a phenomenally low figure based on my personal experience of some companies. It’s not that uncommon to see one or two fix-now issues per week in production for several weeks after each (infrequent) release (before I’ve had a chance to work with them for a while)… I’ve seen this consume a huge proportion of developers’ time fixing production issues rather than working on new features.

Everyone at youDevise participated in making this change happen, especially our QA specialists (thanks Sai, Jonny, and Wendy!) Antony gets his share of the credit for patiently helping us focus on professionalising our completely informal testing process and helping us begin to rein in and manage our automated tests, especially those pesky slow and inscrutable functional tests.

Antony’s latest suggestion is typically thought-provoking. Our QA expert on one product currently helps develop test cases before we build each feature, then reviews all built tests after they are done. Instead, what if she paired with each developer as he or she builds the tests – developing and reviewing the tests in place, as it were? This is a bit like removing traffic signage in European cities – it should force the drivers (developers) to be extra attentive, instead of just relying on the road markings (test reviews) to tell them what to do. Hmmm…what do others think of this? Please comment!