Galloping on my horse proclaiming we must get testers involved from the start.
In the testing world we often talk about “shifting left” and I get the feeling that it’s often thought to be an inspection of the requirements. This perhaps was my perception and experience before this current project. What if we could get involved *even* earlier than that? What does that even look like? Both of those are great questions. However, to tell the story more, I want to share my experience of hearing “testers mainly get involved in the build stage”. A part of me felt defensive, pulling out my armour and sword preparing for battle.
“Noo” I cry. “This is simply not the case. We can get involved earlier than that”.
The person looking puzzled at this new animated me. While I continue to jump on my horse, galloping around proclaiming “We must get testers involved from the beginning”.
Watching a video of this in my mind later my thoughts are, you are insane, what on earth are you doing?
A matter of fact is that a huge amount of our testing energy is used up at the build stage. It is a fact and there is no need to be defensive about it. What I could do is explain how we get involved. We ended up creating a RACI — a matrix of roles, accountable, consulted and informed. This helped others understand how we get involved. e.g. we want to be informed of the business needs/goals.
Also I found some better words to explain the rationale
“If you get quality engineers involved earlier, then you will have less bugs later linking back to requirements. Thus saving time and money”.
It seems so obvious saying it now. At the time finding those words did not come so fluently. A lesson that I learnt.
To round up this blog post, my thoughts are —
- Be able to explain *why* you need to shift left. I have shared one example of less bugs linking back to requirements. However, there are others, such as having the context/rationale behind decisions being made. Saving you time on having to get up to speed later.
- Avoid getting defensive — team members have a perception of testing that may be somewhat correct in their lense. Try and see it from their point of you.
- If you want to advocate for shifting left, then you better show how you go about doing that. My approach has been to ask lots of questions, raise risks/issues and be proactive/engaged in the project.