Written by on 23 March 2015

Agility through Continuous Delivery

On March 19, I spoke at the Agile Testing Day Netherlands 2015 conference. It seemed a little strange at first, speaking at a conference targeted at “test managers, test analysts, […], heads of quality assurance”. At Coolblue, we have no formal QA process. Nobody on our development teams has the job title “Tester”. But then again, it’s not like we don’t do any testing. We do. And a lot of it.

Our testing however, goes beyond quality. We test for value. After all, the most well built piece of software nobody wants, is still just waste. In fact, the very first principle of the Agile Manifesto states:

Our highest priority is to satisfy the customer through early and continuous delivery of valuable software.

And with development capacity being such a scarce resource, this makes a lot of sense. Whatever it is you build, it has to add value. And the only way to really find out, is by putting it in the user’s hands. By getting things live – to production. There we determine through analytics, A/B testing and the wonders of data science whether a change has added value.

That doesn’t mean we don’t focus on quality though. After all, broken software doesn’t add value, just frustration. The difference is, we don’t have to enforce it. We have a strong engineering culture, with people who care about delivering work they can be proud of. They want to build high quality software.

Instead of creating procedures and checklists to make sure no mistakes were made, we help to prevent them from being made in the first place. We’ve built an environment in which they can succeed, by providing a feedback-rich workflow and a well integrated toolset that allows them to build rock solid software. Collaboration and automation are the key ingredients. To find out more, check out my slides on Speaker Deck:

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