STARWEST 2024 Concurrent Session : Quality Is More Than Testing—How to Build a Test Team with a Customer-Centric Mindset


Wednesday, September 25, 2024 - 2:45pm to 3:45pm

Quality Is More Than Testing—How to Build a Test Team with a Customer-Centric Mindset

Testers are not part of the process; they don’t have sufficient knowledge of the client’s business to understand the big picture. This failure to understand leads to unsatisfactory outcomes that leave the client with unanswered questions. For a client to feel testing is of value, the software must work seamlessly and exceed their expectations. The solution is to shift testing left towards discovery and include testers early in the process so they have a stake in end-to-end results. Testers must understand the subject matter, ask questions, and be a valued part of the core team. Testing is the way we protect our software. Quality is a vital part of the software development lifecycle, beginning with envisioning and documenting features through production validation. Teams need to operate with the mindset of building a quality software organization over simply being a software organization that does testing. Often, testing (moving forward, we now understand and refer to as quality) is presented as the tool that solves all problems. However, tools are only a piece of the equation. The ultimate solution requires integrating a mindset across your organization that installs quality from the start and throughout the development lifecycle rather than merely testing before release.

Shawn Burke

Shawn J Burke has been developing software since he was eight years old. He is passionate about software delivery like football fans are passionate about the Super Bowl—he has worked every facet of the software stack. Starting as a developer when specifications still came on the back of napkins, Mr. Burke supported the technology stack in business analysis and DevOps and now serves as Chief Software Development Officer and Quality Specialist. Determined to change how quality is valued, Mr. Burke has dedicated the second half of his career to instilling quality as the most essential part of the SDLC.