Track Talk

7 Smart Steps to IMPROVE your Tests

Jihad Ghandour

10:30-11:00 CEST Thursday 30th September

I was five years old that Tuesday afternoon. I was playing in the backyard, came rushing home for a gulp of cold water. I will never forget the sadness I saw in my parents’ eyes that day. They had just finished cleaning the house, and I had mud up to my knees. Cleaning is satisfying but seeing what you cleaned getting dirty again is the sad part.

Several years later, I joined Murex, a company of 2000+ employees with several million lines of code. The code and the test standards kept evolving, although part of the legacy automated test suite was not catching up on that evolution. With time, the few existing test flaws infected newly written tests. This quickly turned into an outbreak that we assessed to need 10000+ professional days to contain. Fixing one test while many flawed others are getting added daily, is that Tuesday noon all over again! That is when I knew we needed a scalable, efficient method to tackle these flaws, so I came up with what I called the 7 IMPROVE steps:

– I: Identify one flaw. The simplest I could find.
– M: Mark its spread. I Found where it occurs.
– P: Pause the spread. I Blocked new occurrences.
– R: Reduce the spread. I Eliminated existing occurrences.
– O: Observe. I Made sure the flaw didn’t re-emerge in the future.
– V: Vortex! Repeat while attacking deeper flaws on every cycle.
– E: Engage. Both Humans and Bots! My colleagues were eager to help when they saw the value, and automation helped me tackle tedious parts!

Following the IMPROVE steps, we were able to inspect, correct, validate, and maintain our full test battery in less than 50 professional days!

During this presentation, I will share the failures and successes of my journey, how I went through each step; and as you can imagine, each has its intricacy, especially Identifying flaws and engaging Humans and Bots. My main aim is to guide you to try the same steps on your own to reach similar results.