- Whole team ownership of and commitment to quality and testing. Leverage everyone’s strengths.
- Pair programmers with testers for both unit and acceptance tests. My commentary: do this regularly even if you don’t do it full time.
- Use a framework that allows non-programmers to write test cases (like fitnesse)
- Use a programming language for tests (or your automated test framework) that the programmers know well
- Use continuous integration for fast feedback
- Run periodic “engineering sprints” when team can do whatever they want (e.g. to reduce debt or upgrade tools)
- Make it a team responsibility to automate all regression tests. Require everyone to run manual regression tests to motive them to automate.
- Stop the line to fix failing tests. My commentary: this requires commitment to quality from management and discipline by the development team.
- Continually refactor test code, just like production code. Test code deserves same respect as production code.
- Under-commit. Plan less than you think you can do so you have time for unexpected things and test automation. My commentary: I don’t like to use the term “under commit” because it’s likely to get managers and stakeholders to push back. What it really comes down to is working at a sustainable pace, with a commitment to quality and discipline.
- Expect some time to ”get over the hump” before the investment in test automation pays off with reduced testing effort.
There were a few items Lisa didn’t explicitly list as secrets but were implied:
- passionate people
- strong teamwork and collaboration
Others in the audience shared some interesting ideas of their own. Here are a few:
- Programmers write some happy path automated tests first and then testers can expand on them.
- Periodically set aside a day as testing day for the whole team. (Suggested by Mark Waite)
- Use Test-driven bug fixing. Require and automated test for every bug fix. This can also be a way to get the team to “dip their toes in the water” of TDD.
- Budget some amount of team capacity every sprint for debt reduction.