How to improve quality as an influencer of people you do not manage?
Quality Assurance and Quality Engineering seek to improve quality.
They know that testing does not improve quality in and of itself. It indicates potential issues with quality. For example, tests do not improve application code unless application code is then changed from the feedback from tests.
There are also several barriers to the role's advice given that Quality Engineering (QE) is more frequently Quality Assurance (QA). It is often subject to many biases against 'manual testers' as failed computer programmers.
So the question is, given these factors (and regardless of our agreement/disagreement or opinions on them):
What can a QA architect do to influence quality indirectly?
It is a difficult challenge!
- Leading my example
- Group refactoring mob sessions
- Sharing best practices and relevant real world examples
- Having quality topics as frequent topics of formal and informal conversations
- Encouraging BDD as a standard practice fully integrated with product development
- Encouraging TDD as a standard practice fully integrated with code development
- Ensuring that Quality Assurance and testing has a strong presence at initial high discussions
- Include Agile Testing Pyramid and Agile Testing Quadrants with other product and development members in the development team
- Lunch and Learns
- Good code practices
- Good test practices
- Promoting and demonstrating quality Pairing and Mobbing practices
- Working with the business to obtain good tools and materials for pairing and mobbing
- Being present in the development team and for ad-hoc '3 amigos' conversations
- Supported fully by the business and both quality and development managers
- Decent food
- Quality Presentations
- Showing technical depth and the ability to talk code with application developers.
- How long term goals (customer service, revenue, growth, etc) relate to short term metrics
- Tight relationships with Engineering Management and their support in your efforts.
- Discussions of what to test where (Unit, Integrated, UI, Explore, Load, etc.)
- Relating business objectives and technology implementations
- Measurements and tools that rate and grade code quality for example Code Climate
- Sharing knowledge, rationale and best practices for a well-formed test pyramid
Huge Credit to Freddy Vega who inspired this question!
Also to James Krawczyski for more thinking about it !
- Leading my example