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Wilco van Esch

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    It is the best of times and the worst of times for a test specialist

    Finally!

    You've arrived in an organisation that embraces DevOps culture, Continuous Delivery in a microservices environment, agile in the truest sense, and is filled with clever and driven people. This is it. This is how you deliver software (in some contexts), this is what will make you proud of the work your team delivers and the role you as a test specialist have played in it.

    Right?

    Maybe not.

    Maybe your team has a test engineer building a large, slow, unreliable test suite of end-to-end UI-level tests. Developers are adding some unit and integration tests without collaboration with the test engineer and this is all that Shifting Left means to the team. Exploratory testing is something that is unheard of or is considered to mean manual ad hoc testing that still needs to be automated. Performance, security, resilience, and other quality concerns not explicitly covered in acceptance criteria are ignored or addressed only when an incident or enough customer complaints happen. The quality of the monitoring, alerting, and logging are afterthoughts. Standups are used to justify time spent instead of progressing work. Refinements lead to no changes to the acceptance criteria or priorities. Each team member works on their own ticket. There is no mob programming or pair programming or pair testing.

    It's the best of times for a test specialist, because lessons you've learned over time are now being promoted on a large scale. It's the worst of times for a test specialist, because they're being implemented in the worst way possible if at all.

    It's the worst of times for a test specialist, because great testers are becoming mediocre developers. It's the best of times for a test specialist, because some developers are now very open to learning better testing.

    It's the worst of times for a test specialist, because your expertise is no longer considered essential. It's the best of times for a test specialist, because you can turn all this around.