Product Quality Specialist, Thoughtworks - Berlin, Germany
Finn cares about high quality software from his heart. He is an analyst. Sometimes he analyzes the client’s business needs, sometimes a team and its process and sometimes software. Finn loves being the team driver towards building a high quality product. He strongly believe in the benefits of truly agile environments to achieve this goal. In his previous life he was a physicist: Finn was analyzing how to build transistors and hard drives out of single molecules. He has been leading the QA department at Wimdu, one of the biggest start-ups in Berlin with more than 250 employees. After 3 years he started to work for ThoughtWorks where he could manage 9 different teams on 3 different projects.
About his talk
Building a High Quality Product
Over the past years, Finn has been working for ThoughtWorks as a Product Quality Specialist. He realized that in many teams, despite all changes towards more agile environments and team structures, the role of a QA is still so often viewed to be the release and test manager. This is really surprising because caring about quality is so much more than “testing”. The quality of a product can only be improved if QAs are involved early in the conception and development of the product. Many people talk about this “shift left” in the testing community. Finn argues that this is only one part of the story: we do not only need to test earlier in the software development process: we also have to apply other methods than testing to ensure the fast and robust delivery of an overall high quality product. Additionally, we need to apply those methods in the different context of our work. This includes understanding the business value as much as the system architecture of the product. Furthermore, we should increase the performance of our teams and enable them with processes that help us to craft our software. In order to achieve this, our classic QA role is stretched far beyond managing tests and releases. As there are many ways to build what we consider a “good” product (most certainly, there is not *the* one way) there are many perspectives, too. This talk shares experiences about some of the perspectives and approaches. It is about capabilities and people rather than roles and names. Finn wants to share things that he has learned over the past years in different projects, with different clients and very different teams. Finn argues that we need to embrace this change. Once we understand to view the big picture in software development teams, we can level up and focus on our core value: driving a quality culture.