Monday, April 16, 2012

Why would we improve the way we work?

I had a short, but inspiring discussion at work today with some of my team's developers. Since it's apparent someone for some reason wants things to improve, they were asking for set goals and better understanding of where (and why) we're heading. Apparent for the reason that they just recruited me, but still not so clear since while they may now invest a little on "tester", they still haven't invested visibly into fixing.

I gave a short answer as I see it: there's a tradeoff in the way they develop. When we deliver "more short-term business value", we take "quality/technical debt". We're approaching a point where the debt and the interest of the debt are threatening our ability to deliver features, and we are unwilling to scale the team size but look for other solutions. Our challenge is not about us wanting to do things in ways that make sense, but about the effort and timeframe we need to invest to get where we want to be.

Another one of the developers who wasn't part of the discussion as it started, suggested from his cubicle that this could actually be what we'll clarify and discuss with the product management team. Didn't test that yet - will soon. This is a very simple and basic approach, but today reminded me how many times it has been effective. And most likely, I will learn more layers on what we actually find relevant for our product to become a better tester for it when talking about this.
 

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