We recently sat down with Wolfgang Platz to chat about his new book, Enterprise Continuous Testing: Transforming Testing for Agile and DevOps. Here are some highlights from the conversation.
Why did you decide to write a book on Enterprise Continuous Testing?
I’ve been in this industry for more than 25 years and software testing is such a rich domain. I thought eventually it’s time to consolidate all the knowledge that I’ve gathered in a book. So this book is now out there, and internally we call it “The Continuous Testing Bible.”
What it talks about is the broad array of different topics that you have to address when you do Continuous Testing. It is more like a journey than a task. And a lot of people who want to optimize their testing are looking mainly at automating stuff. However, automation is not enough. You’ve got to do more than that.
You’ve got to make sure that you have the right test cases before you automate them. You want to make sure that you can maintain these test cases. You make sure that you have the right test data at hand. You want to benefit from service virtualization. You want to make sure that this whole entire thing is integrated into the right organization. So all these things together make up a great book, and I would love to see you and check out what it is about.
Why is a risk-based approach to testing so critical?
Continuous Testing talks not just about bringing testing into your daily routine. It also talks about making your tests as powerful as possible. What you’ve got to be aware of is that most of the software testing reports that we see today are just reflecting on the numbers of test cases, the numbers that have been executed, the numbers that have passed that criteria, and the numbers that failed. So it is actually counting test cases that has been the dominant way of reporting our test results–and the “currency” of software testing has always been test cases. We need to change that.
Imagine you have a huge number of test cases and a few of them fail. What is it going to tell you? How relevant are these test cases? It could be that they are not really relevant then well, you can go live. But if they are crucial and critical test cases, you better not.
We need to change the entire perspective from counting test cases, from test cases as a currency, to a different currency. And this different currency is really the business risk that is covered by the test. So the projection of test results onto this business risk is really what lets you sleep better when you go in production.
What is the most important thing for Continuous Testing success?
People talk a lot about progression testing: testing the new things they have implemented. Of course, progression testing is absolutely crucial. However, what you must not forget about is regression testing. Meaning, make sure that the capabilities that have been tested once and have been provided to users still work when you come up with a new version of your software.
As a matter of fact, this is a bit like going to the gym. Everybody knows it’s good for you, but as you may know, a lot of people tend to not go to the gym anymore after a few weeks. So, make sure you don’t run to this, make sure that you keep doing the tests, make sure that you run your tests and you make your testing part of your daily routine. That is what works when you go to the gym, as you may know, make it part of a daily routine. That is how it needs to be set up for testing also, and that’s why we talk about Continuous Testing as the end game that everybody should go after.
Why did you choose to donate book profits to Specialisterne?
A great thing about this book is that we’ve been thinking about what could we do with the profits that we gained from it. Of course, it’s not going to be huge. It’s not going to make any of us rich. However, there’s going to be some income associated with the book, and we thought we would want to donate this income to a great project, which is out there. It’s called Specialisterne.
Specialisterne is about increasing opportunities for people who suffer from Asperger’s syndrome. These people do have a constraint in interaction, but they tend to be extremely reliable, extremely precise, and great support when it comes to software testing. So, software testing is a domain where people with Asperger’s syndrome can really contribute productively. We want to acknowledge this project by contributing to it with the donation of the income of this book.
How does Tricentis support the strategies introduced in the book?
When you go for Continuous Testing, you’re going to find out that this is a real change agenda. It is more of a journey than a task. And we from Tricentis are not only providing this book, but we want to provide you with the appropriate tooling that is required, and also the appropriate services. This is a transformation journey that you’re going on and this transformation is something where we can help you with.
We’re going to provide you with the appropriate different skill levels that help you apply these different ideas, and we’re also going to help you operationalize and help you implement to the extent you need. So whenever there is a need for us, we are going to be here and make you successful with our Continuous Testing strategy.
Read Enterprise Continuous Testing
There are a few different ways you can access the book:
Buy a print copy from Amazon.com, Amazon.de, or your local Amazon marketplace. All proceeds go to Specialisterne, an organization dedicated to increasing employment opportunities for people with autism spectrum conditions (more on Specialisterne below).
Get the Kindle version from the same Amazon sites.
Download the PDF version for free from the Tricentis Enterprise Continuous Testing site.