In recent times I had the pleasure of working with a particularly driven woman whose goal was to transition from scripter to ‘code-compent’ engineer. Together we structured a sprint so that she was accountable for delivering the automated functional tests for a story. Lo and behold the product feature was delivered to estimate with high quality, replete with functional BDD tests and Java bindings.
I was gobsmacked. Given the individual, I guess I shouldn’t have been all that shocked. She confided to me:
“I’ve been sneaking around looking at the developers’ code“
This wonderful engineer was the second I have witnessed who ‘crossed the quality chasm‘.
In a completely unexpected way, I recently witnessed a similar quality chasm crossing. Well designed code landed in my chat window for a project which uses BDD driven functional tests (using Selenium) with Java bindings. The project was written of course – soup to nuts – by a quality engineer looking to expand his scope into engineering and product.
Not only did this exemplary leader teach his quality team Java through Stanford online courses, he put the quality team, engineering and product in the same boat. He crossed the quality chasm and led the entire team to fully automated functional testing. He identified the collaboration and quality ‘true north’ and positioned his team to execute.
I’ve witnessed this halo effect multiple times. When you put your quality team in the code you create a conduit for mutual respect and collaboration between quality, engineering and product. You create a force multiplier for quality and ultimately product feature velocity.