Qualivangalism & the modern testing nightmare

Qualivangalism & the modern testing nightmare

It has been a hard year career-wise. I have been hiding how hard. Despite the cliff face of a learning curve, I reached what I thought was the summit only to find the view was disjointed and the vision impaired.

If you give a team a tester, they will have testing for a sprint. But if you teach a team to test, they will never test hungry? No that’s not right.

You can lead a dev to their code but you can’t make them test it?

You can have quality as a value but you can’t make people care about it.

I need to caveat this with: I work with an amazing team. I burrowed myself into a beautiful, brilliant, bold team who don’t need to me bully them to test or remind them about quality and why it is important. They get it, they own it. So I defend them where I can and be there, ever present. I am proactive against the tide of tedium that besets them each and every sprint without fail.

Even with the limited time and way over-stretched humans, the spinning plate marked quality is still spun and weaved into every change.

Beyond the borders of this web, the defences may vary. Some are paper thin plastered over cracks a mile wide and others automate their plates so they never fall.

The modern testing dream became a waking nightmare and the apathy that beguiles my brethren I feel seeping into my own bones.

So I escape, pack in the quest, bid the Xceptional adieu and embark on a new journey.

I make this choice not without sorrow, regret and I fear the sadness will consume me.

I found a make-shift home in the warmth of the constant inferno and I have fought alongside such wonderful people.

People matter. A value I carried from the wreckage of one family and it is people that keep you places. People who make you, break you and trust you, put faith in you, value you even if I can’t quantify why.

The tester’s burden is always why, what is the risk of value, the diminishment of trust, the fallacy of faith? What is the quest without its valiant party, what is the party without its war-torn tester?

Quality is a standard bearer, brazen with its banner, burning brightly at the front, forming and holding the line.

Or it should be. Shifting left and consulting from refinement to main branch helps us know more but we are still missing the why. We are disconnected from both the questions and the suitable answers. The requirements ricochet off each other to create an unbuildable list and when everything is high priority how can we prioritise worth?

Amidst all this urgency it gets harder and harder to care. When you move from crisis to fire to cataclysm it is impossible to gather the strength to think beyond the baseline and the basic. How do you tell if you are exhaustive testing if you started exhausted?

Risk mitigated, regressions reduced, rolls for initiative passed. Cross fingers, touch wood and whisper prayers this one goes through and it is what someone wanted. Creating in the dark in with constantly shifting scope, achieving a deadline offers little solace.

There is no offered solution for any of this and no amount of side quests will make the main path any easier when the landscape is twisting rapidly without warning or reason.

I learnt a tremendous amount in a short space of time and I’ve never felt more part of a team. I hope to maintain the connections I’ve made, claw back some of the sanity I’ve lost and discard the despair drenching my demeanour.



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