After a month off we are back with a couple of talks around agile testing and working. Adam Knight will be giving the talk he gave at Agile Testing Days in Berlin last month and I'll give a talk I did recently at Lean Kanban UK and add a bit about how my team all moved to the country and started working from home. As usual we'd like a voluntary contribution of £3 for our fantastic venue.
“Big Data Small Sprint” - Adam Knight
For 6 years I have been testing a data storage system in the context of an agile team. Initially targeting single server archiving we have seen the data storage requirements of our customers increase exponentially to the massive volumes that now constitute “Big Data”. In this talk I’ll examine how our customer data requirements have grown exponentially, and how an agile approach has allowed us to target the emerging Big Data markets, but has also presented unique challenges. With neither the time nor the budget to recreate the parameters of our customer implementations, we have had to use innovative approaches to ensure that scalability and performance targets are tested within the constraints of each sprint. I will present some approaches that we have adopted to test the product quickly and effectively. I’ll discuss the importance of a strong tester-developer relationship in our understanding of each new feature, allowing us to apply tactical scaling at the appropriate interfaces of the application to gain confidence in much larger systems. I’ll also examine some of the testability features that this relationship has allowed us to implement into the system and contrast these with some examples of when testability was not considered and the impact that this had on the testing operation. As we look at our successes and failures I hope that the audience gains an insight into the issues that the agile approach presents when operating in the emerging Big Data market.
Adam Knight is currently Director of QA and Support at UK Big Data storage vendor RainStor. He has been successfully working in an agile organisation for 6 years and his work at RainStor was used as a case study for successful agile acceptance testing and automation in Gojko Adzic’s award winning 2011 book “Specification by Example”. As a passionate tester and member of the UK testing community Adam maintains an active blog and has spoken at various testing events including UKTMF, BCS and STC Meetups, TestBash and EUROstar.
"What could you do with 10 years of Continuous Improvement" - Tom Howlett (Me!)
More than half of my team has been working together for more than 10 years . Whilst you might think this is a recipe for stagnation, through continuous improvement and Kanban the team is more alive and effective today than it's ever been. The talk charts the progress we've made from command and control to a collaborative, self organising team using kanban to search for the next improvement.
We moved from features that grinded on for months to lead times for stories of less than 10 days and bugs less than 2 days. We moved from the business planing releases months ahead to daily changes of priorities. We've gone from rarely talking to continuously sharing and learning from each other. In 10 years we've built a happy and effective team.
The talk discusses some of the big decisions we took over the years and some of the behaviours that emerged naturally. I'll discuss my thoughts on how to build teams that stay together and refuse to stand still.