Software Quality and Test Automation
KMS’s Vice President of testing services, Mush Honda was recently a guest speaker on Test Talks. The podcast is hosted by automation expert Joe Colantonio and covers all things software quality and automation.
Testing Evolves with the Industry
In this episode, Mush talks about how testing is evolving in tandem with the industry.
Faster release cycles and DevOps have created a need for constant innovation. Mush explains that to keep up, testers are turning to continuous testing.
And the industry agrees. Earlier this year, KMS released the results of our continuous testing survey. In the survey, we found that 58% of companies implemented continuous testing for faster feedback and 43% for shorter release cycles.
Bottom line? Companies want to eliminate the testing bottleneck and strike a balance between speed and quality.
Check out the continuous testing ebook to see what else we learned and read the perspectives of top industry experts at CareerBuilder, SalesLoft, and Kobiton.
Mush’s development background and nearly 20 years of testing experience give him a unique perspective on the evolution of software quality. It has led him to be a staunch advocate for the adoption of continuous testing and test automation.
In his Test Talks episode, Mush covered everything from building confidence in test automation, helping your team adopt an automation-first mindset, how to plan for automation, and more.
To give you a sneak peek, we have shared a couple of the questions and answers below. Be sure to check out the entire podcast for all of Joe and Mush’s automation awesomeness!
What Withstanding Opinions on Software Quality have You Seen Begin to Change Over the Last 5 Years?
“People thought testing was easy. But it’s not.” Mush said. He went on to explain how speed to market and beating the competition has been a growing focus over the last 5 years. From a business perspective, this makes a lot of sense.
But how has this ‘need for speed’ affected testing? It has caused a mindset shift amongst software quality teams. “[A] Key change I have seen in testing is the change in the mindset of I (testers) don’t own quality. I am more of a light bearer, a torchbearer…I am not the keeper of quality, I am the one who delivers on the confidence factor of the software.”
Quality assurance (QA) teams offer insight. These teams tell companies how confident they should be in the quality of the product they are delivering to customers.
And this shift in focus has trickled into automation as well.
“When automation tools were becoming popular and gained momentum, most traditional testers…were feeling threatened.” Mush explained, “over the course of the last 5 years, people have realized that automation is more of a tool that really enables a tester to get more efficient with taking mundane, repetitive tasks off the plate…once automated, it opens up their capacity to…do more of the real testing.”
What is a Whole Team Approach to Test Automation?
At KMS, Mush works with a variety of clients to weave automation into their testing initiative.
“Part of my tasks is to actually go in with an automate-first mindset.” Mush explains, “There are certain ways to overcome the initial hurdles that most team members have.” He continues to describe the initial instinct to manually test first and automate later.
But tacking automation onto the end of QA poses a problem. “The risk that us testers face is that as we keep pushing the automation piece on our backlog…you may not be able to get to a solid-state where you [can] go back and then add automation as an afterthought.”
Instead, Mush challenges testers to automate like a developer would…first. Automate now, and incorporate automated testing into the delivery cycles.
How to ensure success in implement automation as part of software quality?
“The most important thing…that makes the success of a test automation initiative is the culture of the organization. And how well the team adopts that culture,” Mush says. “By culture, I mean the level of collaboration that must exist.” Any automation project should be a driving outcome for the overall team.
Make Automation a Priority
“As a tester, you have to make sure that you communicating to the other teams that automation is a software development project. Don’t make it as a side project, don’t just do it when you have the chance. Put it front and center.”
Build Team Confidence in Automation
“The third component of all of this is…building confidence in the automation that you actually apply. Teams that don’t share their frameworks [or] their scripts with development tend to…be left in the silo.” Mush explains.
There should be open communication and welcomed feedback from developers. “[The development team] will actually become your end-user for the product you are creating, your test automation framework.”
Incorporating their feedback will give each team ownership over the initiative. This makes automation and software quality a uniting goal.
Experts in Automation and Software Quality
Looking for more? Be sure to check out the entire podcast and our other resources on testing.
If you have a question for Mush or want to implement automation into your software quality strategy, let us know!