Philip Lew explains his 7 Habits of Highly Effective Agile Testing

Philip Lew delivers a keynote address in Istanbul on his agile software testing process.

Will Turkey be the next wellspring of quality assurance innovation? Istanbul is home to TestIstanbul, an international tech conference that focuses on quality assurance and testing. TestInstanbul attracts entrepreneurs and engineers from around the world to share what they have learned about agile software testing practices.

Philip Lew, XBOSoft founder and CEO, delivered the closing keynote presentation for the 2017 conference. A packed audience heard Lew’s signature speech: “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Agile Testing.” Lew has been influenced in his career and life by Stephen Covey’s landmark nonfiction work, “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People,” and has modeled his remarks on Covey’s work.

The agile software testing process Lew has developed is specifically adapted to the agile development process. Agile offers many advantages to developers. Its quick iterations lead to shorter feedback loops and a more team-oriented process. It also reduces work in progress and therefore speeds higher-quality products out the door faster. The downside is that in the development team’s haste to push out product, testing software before shipping it can become an afterthought jammed into the final hours. The result is bug-filled software that doesn’t perform up to customer expectations.

His “7 Habits of Highly Effective Agile Testing” — habits XBOSoft testers all must master — are as follows:

  1. Focus on Efficiency and Effectiveness
  2. Treat the User as King or Queen
  3. Maintain an Improvement State of Mind
  4. Be Agile, Then Do Agile
  5. Think Tasks, Not Roles
  6. Focus on the Customer
  7. Think Long Term

“These seven habits have evolved over the years as we’ve worked with clients who have difficulties maintaining a high level of quality and think that using an agile development will solve all their problems,” Lew told his TestIstanbul audience. “Well, it can solve some problems, but if poorly implemented, it can cause many others. I’ve been able to boil it down to these seven habits as a way to continually ‘sharpen the saw’ and root out problems one by one.”

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