The Long and Winding Road of two Test Data Practitioners

Speaker: Ola Løvholm

Time: 16:45, Tuesday


Ola and Martin work as cross-team experts on testing in one of the largest contemporary IT projects in Norway: the Parental Benefit project at the Norwegian Labour and Welfare Administration (NAV). In this project, our partnership is creating a new software solution to help new parents and case officers process large amounts of applications for parental leave benefits. The project aims to automate large parts of the process using data from several sources.

With over a dozen integrations to registries that hold the information required to make automated decisions, and at the same time navigating complex laws and strict requirements for using synthetic test data, the testability of the project has been a large hurdle to overcome. Where should we begin? We both replied: je ne sais pas.

In this talk we'll take you on a journey from distributed Excel spreadsheets to a web-based platform for retrieving, enriching and generating synthetic test data. Through building an online platform for test data and testability, we have made test data management and testing more enjoyable and readily available for both testers and developers.

The process has been iterative, and full of both pitfalls and successes. We have made several discoveries that have helped us make test data discovery, control and alteration possible. Through our journey we have created methods for handling test data in complex environments, as well as ways of operationalising testing in a complex value chain. The tool we've made has become the hub for testing in the project TestHub. In TestHub, we facilitate functionality to find test data, send input data to target systems, enrich and populate synthetic test data in interface systems and more.

In this presentation, we will share our experience about the problems and solutions we have encountered. We will present how we facilitate high autonomy for the testers through TestHub, how we tried to identify the big time thiefs related to test data and testing, and how we worked to reduce complexity and at the same time let the tester test complexity when needed.

In addition to the concrete experiences from our project, we will present broader rules of thumb that we have developed from our experience on how to approach test data management and testability when you too may say to yourself: je ne sais pas.

About Ola Løvholm

Company Name: Sopra Steria

Country: Norway

Company Role: Technical tester and software developer

Twitter Handle: @olovholm