The world of software development is drastically changing. In order to get customers what they truly need and want, the Agile methodology is driving how rapid software development is done. Most of my development counterparts believe top notch developers are needed to run strong Agile teams. I naturally respectfully disagree. While many companies have strong developers, is harder to find (and retain) strong Quality Engineers. With the numerous examples of failed software development implementations, C-Level executives are demanding better quality from their IT organizations.
Quality Assurance is no longer reserved for those “people who couldn’t program”. It has evolved into Quality Engineering with resources who can program, perform deep technical analysis, and routinely challenge their development peers. With the increased attention on the Quality Engineering organizations, C-Level executives are willing to spend what is needed to ensure high-quality applications are delivered into production.
Quality Engineers are automation experts. They leverage multiple toolsets and programming language to drive quality within the Agile process. Smoke tests, automated regression tests, automated frameworks, automated code deployments, and performance tests are just a few of the elements that are often required of the Quality Engineer. In addition to their technical skills, Quality Engineers have to be effective communicators and work closely with the Scrum Master, developers, and Product Owner in helping to build a high-quality application.
A few great Quality Engineers can really accelerate the speed of code deployments and can significantly move your organization forward. Without them, your organization will struggle and have difficulty with Agile.