In the past decade the software development paradigm has shifted to “deliver fast” -- with concomitant frameworks and methodologies to support that emphasis – but without proper consideration of quality. So most teams end up failing fast and hard when development continues beyond a shaky foundation. To bring about positive change, we must improve both our knowledge base and our processes to achieve quality delivery without disturbing the bookkeeper’s project delivery timelines. Lessons learned from a career in research science can be applied to QA, with parallels to industry product quality models. Testing techniques and product delivery processes from research science will aid not just testers but the entire team in delivering quality software. More than just day-to-day team activities and testing tools, the science of testing is about the pursuit of knowledge and understanding for its own sake. Testers should foster their skills in the community with professional development activities. Those in attendance will learn about the successes and failures of applying a scientist’s approach to testing software, from the “publish-or-perish” mindset of science to “deliver fast” in IT.
Thomas is presently serving as a Test Automation Architect. He leads a team of testers, ops engineers, and production support analysts in the adoption of DevOps practices. Previously, he led the enterprise automation support of 73 applications at Huntington National Bank that encompassed testing, metrics & reporting, and data management. Thomas has a background in Physics & Biophysics, with over a decade spent in research science studying fluorescence spectroscopy and microscopy before joining IT.