As an expert, working at an agency specialised in digital experience for a number of years, I have worked on projects based on the Waterfall model (or V-model), for key client accounts near Bordeaux.
I have also had the opportunity to learn some of the basics of the agility theory through the certifications 'ISTQB© Certified Tester, Advanced Level' and 'IQBBA© Certified Foundation Level, Business Analyst'. This taster made me want to explore the subject further and experiment with new work methods and approaches in the area of testing.
After returning from a project, my prayers were answered: I was to be assigned to projects conducted in agile mode. I was first given some time to teach myself more, through online articles and internal publications on the topic. Then came the time to put my knowledge into practice.
It is important to put things into practice quickly, to really grasp the subject and develop skills through experience. In order to do this, I participated in design reviews related to User Stories and Acceptance Tests.
During this time, I attended my first Daily Meetings, discovered the project management and issue tracking software JIRA, and rapidly encountered the first practical, formative questions with a view to really developing my skills.
The guidance and assistance provided by agile experts were invaluable. Together, we collaborated with the project's developers and Proxy Product Owner (PPO). In short, we were being agile!
The great leap finally came several weeks later: full integration in an agile project from scratch, as a PPO. I was involved in the scoping sessions to identify client needs, devising the project plan, Sprint Planning and writing the first User Stories. We were able to rely on the experience of both the Project Manager and Scrum Master, as well as the Dev Team as a whole.
During this period, I also got to take part in the workshops entitled 'Agility Awareness' and 'Specifying and Planning in an Agile Way'. I will soon be attending a day dedicated to 'Specification through Example'.
Once again, this will be a chance to develop my skills in the area of agility, which, at the end of the day, aims to reduce the time between specification and approval, through the use of a precise example in order to explain the complex behaviour of an application.
During this immersion in the world of agility, I was listened to, helped and also rapidly given a chance to apply my knowledge. To learn to swim, you have to jump into the deep end eventually. But not alone, and not any old how.
Employees must be allowed to see their jobs differently, and each person's desires can be realised fairly rapidly, by providing time and resources (training and then application).
In addition to widening my perspective of the job of a tester, I have been able to experience some of what being agile is about. Agility is a collaborative way to work towards a shared goal – business value – but there is more to it than that. It is first and foremost a state of mind, which makes it possible to maximise product quality, as well as the value of a team.
Finally, immersion in the world of agility, for the testing expert that I am, was a chance to discover a hidden side of my job!
Author : Richard Liot, Testing Expert at SQLI – ISC