Is the “Buddy system” the key to having better quality with Agile?

It is an interesting analogy. I scuba dive. And in diving, we believe in the buddy system, i.e. you never dive alone. You always dive with a buddy who can watch your back, and vice-versa. The system was built to ensure that if one person overlooks something as basic as say monitoring your air level, then the other person can be there for them. Yes, I know – running out of air? Who would be stupid enough to do that? But yes, my husband actually ran out of air once. And no, he didn’t have a buddy. Thankfully he had a spare air thing…

 

But anyway, getting back to the point – I heard a couple of customers talk about the buddy system. And no, this is not the buddy coding system of 2 developers teaming up. In this case, they talked about having a functional tester and a performance tester allocated to a group of developers throughout the development cycle. And the job of these testers is to test pieces of the application as they were getting built. They worked very closely with the developers, and when their test results were found unsatisfactory, the developers would go back and fix it then and there. So basically, these people are doing unit testing and unit performance testing as the developers are coding. By working as a team, they were able to produce high quality application components, which could quickly be tested once the entire application was ready, and hence, quickly be released.

 

I found this very interesting. Yes, it sounds like it implies adding more testers, but I guess you could play around with the numbers to find the perfect ratio. But this method really highlights the use of collaboration, and testing earlier in the lifecycle, to turn agile development into agile deployment. Going back to my previous blog, http://h30499.www3.hp.com/t5/HP-LoadRunner-and-Performance/DevOps-and-Quality/ba-p/5677557, this is an excellent use case that demonstrates how dev and test can collaborate better to get better quality.

 

Are there other interesting ways that you deal with the problem of testing earlier in the lifecycle? I'd like to find out more...

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