Forgotten tests

Time is passing by. So are our software versions. The developers in my team are creating a lot of code. That is good. We want a good complete product that works, don’t we? The team is an agile team. The lonely tester in that team is me. Agile you say? This means that the team tests every story?

I can not answer the question with a simple yes or no. It is a little bit complicated. The team is trying to test all stories. Still some gaps are missing. I try to explain what I mean.

In the beginning of the project we were a small team with 5 developers and 1 tester. We started from nothing. That means that we created a continuous integration server. We also created a test framework. In that framework we can test our running back-end. The back-end communicates with hardware. For this out team created a simulator, to simulate the hardware. There is also a user interface that interacts via an API with that back-end. The tests in this framework are using that API. We call the tests our integration tests. The name does not matter.

Then a few months later, the team expanded. Then we where with more than 12 team members. The conclusion is simple at first. Create 2 teams out of one big team. I already saw a problem with the current situation. There is only one tester. The other team had no tester. We saw it not as a huge problem because the teams are responsible for quality and not only 1 person.

That is the theory at least. In practice it is more difficult. One of the problems we are now dealing with is the fact that some stories have impact on the other team. Our team is for the moment blocked on the other team. Not blocked on creating new code, but blocked on testing. Why are we blocked? Because we focus on stories and not on testing the complete system. It should be, but it is at this moment becoming a huge work to test all. We have to make choices and test only subsets. I think that this problem also occurs if we are in one team, so it was only a matter of time when this occurs. How should we deal with system testing? The testing of the complete system?

In waterfall that part is easy. We create releases and test on that release. Now we do have a release after each story. We just can not test everything every story. This means that we forget those “release” tests in the pile of work we have. That is our problem at the moment. We still have no real releases.

How do you deal with this problem?