Spring Lecture: An Agile Evolution

12/03/2013 - 18:30
12/03/2013 - 21:00

Main Speaker: Adam Knight

Venue: City of Bristol College

Booking is required. Please see Main Article for how to book.

My colleagues and I have spent the last six years developing a data storage and analysis system using an agile approach. With a very small development team and limited budget we have successfully delivered software running at massive scale to blue chip organisations.

In this talk I will examine some of the techniques that we have adopted in that time to help us to maintain a focus on quality in the face of daunting requirements and demanding customers. I will highlight how the key benefits of agile are obtained not through the application of a template set of pre-defined techniques. Instead it is in the ability to use fast feedback cycles to evolve and refine a process over time that best supports your product and market that the true benefits of an agile approach are seen.

Raising the importance of quality and the status of testing both within the development team and the organisation as a whole allows the challenges facing the team to be recognised and respected. I'll examine how adopting the principles of an acceptance test driven approach can help the whole team to gain consensus on acceptance criteria and help the testers in particular to flush out assumptions, identify risks and target the qualities that are most valuable to the customer.

I'll discuss how use of test automation can underpin the testing efforts in an agile approach. I'll look at and how adopting an approach of automation as a continuous development activity allows us to adapt to the many changes in product and market that can arise, such as our growth into multi-server operations and cloud based execution. I'll also highlight some of the dangers of relying on automation too heavily and the need for the respective conscious assessment when extending into new product scenarios.

Adam Knight is currently Director of QA and Support at UK Big Data storage vendor RainStor. He has been successfully working in an agile organisation for 6 years and his work at RainStor was used as a case study for successful agile acceptance testing and automation in Gojko Adzic's award winning 2011 book "Specification by Example". As a passionate tester and member of the UK testing community Adam maintains an active blog at www.a-sisyphean-task.com and has spoken at various testing events including UKTMF, BCS and STC Meetups, TestBash and EUROstar.

Evening 3 Slides

Adam Knight has kindly provided a us with the slides from his talk An Agile Evolution. And we also have the slides from the case study by Anna Baik of Brightperl, Quality under Agile