🍾 HYN Quality Coach Newsletter 22

Tester or Quality Coach?

The provocative title of this month's post is "Should my company ditch testers and use Quality Coaches instead?" It's that unspoken question that CEOs and testers want to ask. After all, if a CEO can get quality at half the cost, why wouldn't they explore the model? And of course, testers want to keep ahead of the curveball and be ready should their CEO choose to go down this path.

It's not binary

It's a false equivalence, though. A title that attempts to provoke more than inform. Classic polarisation technique.

Because it doesn't have to be binary, we can mix and match different operating models. In fact, depending on a team's experience and skill set and depending on the risk profile of the software under development, I can see a company using both quality coaches and testers. For instance, for high-risk work a team can choose to have a tester embedded in a team either on secondment or for full time. Or, the adverse may be true. A team with high agency and experience in testing may decide a quality coach is a better model for them.

It's the journey

A quality coach doesn't replace a tester role, it evolves from it. As a team and company mature in practice and quality activities become a team's collective tacit knowledge, it may make sense to adopt a quality coach model. That's how I first experienced quality coaching when working with a scaleup in a fintech environment.

A fairytale in tech

So, with a nod to Shane McGowan, I penned my own fairy tale, complete with godmother. It tells the story of how quality coaching came about. It's my first time allowing my writing to venture into quasi-fiction. I'm not sure what you're going to think! Let me know!

Should my company ditch testers and use Quality Coaches instead?
TL;DR: Quality coaching is a model you grow into, not adopt. That’s because testing is an acquired skill, and teams must learn how to test. Pairing is an optimal way to learn about testing. As teams learn about risks, test design, and exploratory testing, they can preempt risk and

The transient nature of work

I co-authored a piece with Artem Yakimenko on the transience of tech and how expecting people to remain in one company for five years + is becoming more of an outlier than the norm.

👩‍💼 Manager hour - the new dynamic world of work 👨‍💼
Will you really be in this job 5 years from now? Likely, neither will your people.

Articles from the Community

So much great content being written. In particular, I'm noticing articles re-exploring the value of testers in companies. I find these articles fascinating to read, particularly if the broader engineering community has written them because they reflect what the testing community has been saying for years! 😆

You are never taught how to build quality software
Learning how to build quality software is not part of computer science education. How do we learn it?
Maybe Getting Rid of Your QA Team was Bad, Actually.
If you have a QA team, please read this and give them a large raise.

(nod to Artem Yakimenko for sharing these with me!)

Is Testing Bouncing
Get rid of testers, then start hiring testers
Reviewing Pull Requests
This is the second post in a series about asynchronous collaboration. By asynchronous, I mean that people don’t work at the same time. It’s common on distributed teams, especially acros…

And, great to see Arlene Andrew's post in dev community

Bitten By Async
(Thank you to the skilled James Jordan for the cover image -…

And finally, another awesome post by Maaret Pyhäjärvi, this time on model-based testing

Model-Based Testing in Python
Ideas and experiences on software testing, software development, conference speaking and organizing.

cheerio! 🥂