Holistic Testing with Janet Gregory & Lisa Crispin.
Last updated: 17.06.22
Welcome to the first nice to-know post!
I am Isabel, I’m a social media marketeer and I have little idea about agile software testing. However, I am super curious and eager to dive deep into these new terminologies and concepts.
In this short blog post series, we will go through a learning journey together.
I will ask questions to experts in this field to find out more about the different topics regarding agile software testing.
To start on the right foot, I have decided to explore the new name of the course that the incredible and well-known Janet Gregory and Lisa Crispin developed.
To give you some context: In 2018, Janet and Lisa started the Agile Testing Fellowship. In the same year, they started getting other instructors to deliver their "Agile Testing for the Whole Team" training. The course aims to orient software delivery teams who are transitioning to agile and want to figure out all the different types of testing they need to do and how to fit them into frequent delivery cycles.
Janet and Lisa recently announced that they changed their course name to Holistic Testing.
But why? - Let's find out together!
What were the reasons for changing the name of the course?
Lisa: Most organizations these days call themselves agile, whether or not they really are. The term means many things to many people. Our testing approach is really for any software team that wants good product and process quality, whatever label they give their approach. Janet had the idea to adapt Dan Ashby’s “continuous testing” infinite loop into a new model, but “continuous testing” is now used by many people to mean automated regression tests running in continuous integration. Janet came up with the idea to call it “holistic testing”, which embraces both the whole-team approach, and the idea that testing activities are needed throughout the software development life cycle.
What does Holistic Testing mean?
Janet: A few years back we collaborated with people from the software community to put together our definition of agile testing:
Collaborative testing practices that occur continuously, from inception to delivery and beyond, supporting frequent delivery of value for our customers. Testing activities focus on building quality into the product, using fast feedback loops to validate our understanding. The practices strengthen and support the idea of whole team responsibility for quality.
This definition still works for “holistic testing”.
Is the course different now that the name changed?
Lisa: The course is basically the same, but with less emphasis on the agile since most people now know what that is. Of course, we still talk about it to make sure we all have the same understanding. The emphasis has shifted slightly to be more on a holistic approach to creating a test strategy for testing activities that agile teams perform. This doesn’t mean writing big documents, but how the whole team can work together to think about testing from the very beginning until delivery.
We are working on a new course that addresses the right-hand side of the loop looking at the deployment pipeline in more detail and activities like observability.
When you mentioned the whole team approach, does it mean the entire team in a company or a software development team? (if A: optional: Why should I, a marketeer, learn about holistic testing?)
Janet: Everyone involved in creating and delivering something that solves customer problems is part of the whole team approach. Over the years, we have worked closely with marketing specialists. They understand customer desires and pain points. They know what data is needed to understand how customers are using the product in production. Today we have so many ways to instrument our code and send huge amounts of data to amazing analytics tools. The software team needs to work together with the marketing experts to build in the right telemetry as they are building new features. This way we can find out if our changes are successful in production, we can see if customers are finding value, and what we need to add or change to enhance different quality attributes important to the customer and the business. It helps when the marketing folks know why we ask these questions so they can contribute with more confidence.
What are the benefits of taking the training for the teams?
Lisa: We both love seeing the “aha” moments when a team is doing an exercise together in the course and realizes how powerful it is to work together and use effective collaboration techniques. They start to understand the mindset shift - work together to deliver value, prevent bugs, and continually learn and improve.
Thanks for clarifying my uncertainties about the new name of your training!
If you would like to learn more about Janet Gregory and Lisa Crispin’s course, or are thinking about attending now, you can find more information and more dates on our dedicated training website: https://bit.ly/3xCk3dE