World Quality Report

World Quality Report Webinar Q&A

Sogeti broadcasted its first interactive video webinar on 26th January, and what better topic to kick off with than the 2016-17 World Quality Report’s Top 5 Recommendations? SVP and CEO of Sogeti UK Brain Shea hosted an impressive panel of expert testers that included Sogeti UK EVP and COO Darren Coupland; Hewlett Packard Enterprise’s Director of DevOps and ADM Toby Marsden; and Delivery, Cloud and DevOps Specialist Ian Wales, also from HPE.

~ Written By Lara Irwin

Due to the video format, viewers were invited to submit questions at the end, which were then answered privately after the video webinar. This blog is an opportunity for you to discover what your peers are most keen to know and how our thought leaders answered.

The 5 Key Recommendations

In brief the 5 areas discussed in the interactive video were:

  1. Invest in intelligent self-learning QA and Testing platforms for all areas of the application landscape
  2. Adopt a QA approach for DevOps, agile and traditional powered by enablement teams that help to truly shift quality left
  3. Invest in as-a-service solutions for test environment management, test data management, and test execution.
  4. Develop Internet of Things-specific test strategies
  5. Manage quality with simple balanced scorecards per Line of Business and per application or process.

For a deeper dive into the Report findings, you can check out our two recent blogs on the subject New Year’s Testing Resolutions and How Industry Sectors are Making Headway with the Top World Quality Report Trends, and also download your own copy of the World Quality report here.

Thought Leadership

Brian Shea posed some poignant questions in the webinar, eliciting some very interesting responses from the diverse panel of experts. Regarding the future of self-learning platforms and predictive analytics the panel advocated the importance of refocusing on what the real end-user is doing on a daily basis and creating test scenarios that are genuinely aligned to this behaviour.  They also discussed the role of Bot technology in achieving more effective automation. Darren Coupland made some particularly interesting observations about the growing importance of leveraging all the information that is now available throughout the SDLC. He said we should be gating decisions all the way to the production environment and then tracing issues back, to gain an understanding of the likely outcome of a given behaviour or situation. He spoke in detail about how to gain a more holistic view of QA in order to make better informed decisions.

Discussing the challenges of test environment provisioning, Toby Marsden explained the real meaning of shifting testing left, while looking right towards the end-user, and there was an intriguing debate on whether we are seeing a move away from traditional ITIL configuration management. Darren observed that whereas traditional test environment management was about hardware provisioning and creating a platform for code deployment, service providers now need to view it as a discipline in its own right, and approach it as part of the QA process.

Facilitating the necessary cultural change was seen by all to be one of the most critical factors for DevOps success. The best approach is realigning KPIs with those of the wider business. This means focussing on what matters to stakeholders at the front end, and customers at the back end, and making all this info as visible as possible to all teams, at every stage, to abolish silos and achieve integrated, collaborative delivery.

The discussion on why the term “Tester” is dying out and we are seeing the rise of the “QA Engineer” was also fascinating, especially as it necessitates new technical skills such as automation, understanding how to write code, release and configuration management, 1 touch testing to create automation regression packs and service virtualisation. 

Q&A Uncovered

So, that’s an overview of what you can hear in the webinar recording, and here are some highlights from the Q & A session that happened behind the scenes afterwards.

Question 1: It’s been observed that in 2015 DevOps was crawling while in 2016 it began to walk. It seems some of the key barriers to adoption lie at the infrastructure end. So, what’s your recommendation to make it run?

Expert Answer: From an infrastructure perspective, the key to effective DevOps is to ensure that there is a clearly defined pipeline that enables automated continuous integration and continuous delivery. To achieve this the infrastructure needs to be consistent and you need excellent configuration management.

Attendee Question 2: What’s the best billing model when running environments as a service and how long would it take to achieve a good return on your investment?

Expert Answer: If you're offering environments-as-a-service across your organisation then in most cases you’d do well to mirror the external commercial market and offer a flexible, scalable, pay-as-you-go model that only charges customers for what they use. ROI depends on a lot of factors. The variables that impact most are set-up and ongoing maintenance costs, asset value and forecast usage. It’s important to identify these and weight them up when calculating your probable return and the time it will take to reap the rewards.  

Attendee Question 3: Do you think that the traditional QA position will eventually be abandoned?

Expert Answer: We think that the QA role will always be there in essence but it will need to evolve at pace in order to remain relevant as technology and processes undergo rapid changes. We are seeing that customers want a wider range of solutions that are compatible with many different delivery models, so the scope of QA will need to adapt to these changing market needs and trends. You only have to consider the webinar discussion on the new skills required of a QA Engineer to get an understanding of how the QA and Test Function will need to adapt.

We hope you found this overview and Q&A insightful and helpful.  If you missed the video webinar or would like to watch it again, you can watch it here.

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