Makings of a Book: Agile Testing Foundations
I recently participated in authoring of a book. This book “Agile Testing Foundations” reflects the content of ISTQB Agile Tester syllabus. The book was created by a team of experts in agile testing, which was a most interesting way to author a book - the modern way to put wisdom on paper.
Agile testing is paramount in making an agile software development project work. You can’t create software without testing it. An agile project can use many of the testing practices carved out over the years in other lifecycle models, but it can also utilize many new ways of testing that have been born in agile context. Testing must be a lot closer to coding than in traditional projects, as also business expertise must be. Test automation must be raised to a different level to keep up with the daily rhythm of the agile team and support and guide the team. Testing tasks must be absorbed and responsibility carried by the whole team - there is much to test for developers, business analysts and testers alike. There are very good concepts of e.g. test automation pyramid, agile testing quadrants and Behavior Driven Development, which help to balance and create the different types of testing to take place as early as possible.
The author team was a multinational team of Rex Black, Bertrand Cornanguer, Gerry Coleman, István Forgács, Jan Sabak, Marie Walsh and myself – Kari Kakkonen. So we had nationalities of USA, France, Ireland, Hungary, Poland, Australia and Finland represented to bring different perspectives and experiences into the buffet of the book, and then the book was edited and published by BCS from United Kingdom. So along with getting different agile experiences into the book we also brought in flavors of how agile is practiced in different countries and continents.
The author team never met, not even for a teleconference. We knew each other from earlier ISTQB connections and were very familiar with the content, so it was straightforward to divide responsibilities of writing, reviewing, checking, editing etc. and help each other over email, whenever there was suitable moment to do so in our daily lives. Of course there was always the possibility of picking up the phone, Skype or Webex, but things rolled out over email, so the need never came up. Maybe we need to organize a celebratory moment together at some event where we all are anyway. Until that time we can only raise a congratulary glass virtually each in our own countries choosing our own moment to do so.
Authoring in general is very interesting – you get to be creative and precise at the same time. Say something in written format so that others in future years can make use of that in an effortless and pleasurable manner. Authoring as a team and especially as a team in different geographical locations is even more interesting – how you can make such a puzzle of tasks to work into a great outcome by common vision, good task division, frequent sync moments and constant reflection of where and how we are going. In other words we utilized agile concepts into writing a book and it worked out great!
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Similar content can also be experienced in ISTQB Agile Tester courses by myself and other Knowit trainers. Page content is in Finnish, but courses in English are also available,