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Power of Orthogonal Pairing in Devops Quality

One of the changes between testing in a DevOps environment compared to testing in a more classical agile, or even waterfall is the ability to test and learn about the product in all phases. We don't so much follow the development and test sequentially but instead learn and analyze simultaneously from many angles. This provides a whole range of new opportunities to increase value provided, but also presents a lot of new mind sets and perspectives to assimilate. We realize that we provide, or limit, quality and value for all kind of users and crew. Do we know how to test deployment pipelines, monitoring tools and server fallback routines? One of the ways to get up running fast is to sit together, and collaborate.

Some but not all have been pairing like this for a long time within the team. We pair with other testers to share knowledge, we pair with developers on testing and coding to learn about the code and share testing mindsets.

Now we also get the opportunity to pair with so many others! Management, operations, marketing or IT-infrastructure teams and any other departments you have. Sharing knowledge is a goal, but pairing and tight collaboration also helps to build bridges. Closer and more personal relations and a shared language reduce friction and increase the momentum for change and improvement. They say that to know someone you should walk a mile in their shoes, so let’s do that. And also let them try on yours. Spend an hour and do what they do, and you will both see new ideas. For instance: Pairing with management and product owners made it easier for them to express their needs and see possibilities, but also taught me the importance of translating and express ideas, wishes and problems into dollars and cents. Pairing with customer support resulted in the design of a tool for express change requests, reducing their queue-times for unexpected problems and allowing the development team an new insight into day to day problems. Also, when invited into a bug bash they reported a new record of found bugs, clearly showing that our channels for internal communications where too much of an hassle for them to report through before.

Key takeaways:

  • Tips on how to get effective pairing sessions with other professions.
  • How to become a better tester by learning other jobs.
  • Why bouncing ideas in orthogonal directions generates value.
  • Pairing and learning is fun! Let's do more of it.