QA and Devs Working Together

Added to Technology

In our latest experience report, Tearing Down the Walls, Stephanie Savoia asks us to,

“Imagine a wall. Now imagine a developer creating code and throwing it over…[where] it lands on the heads of the Quality Assurance (QA) or Test team. This is where the code is tested in various ways. If the development team does unit testing, then many of the tests QA are creating/executing are duplicative. If there are no unit tests, QA are left to test as much of the affected code as they can.”

Now imagine a more efficient world where QA and Devs work together much more closely. That’s where Stephanie is today. This report recounts her journey from being a member of a separate QA group, to being a valued member of a unified XP team that includes both Developers and QA. Pairing on her team is not only Dev/Dev but also QA/Dev. It happens daily. And the whole team takes responsibility for code quality.

Stephanie Savoia has been working in quality assurance for 12 years. Currently, she is a Technical Lead in QA at Marchex, Inc. Prior to that she worked at LexisNexis. Before that, she created the quality control process for deliverables at Applied Discovery, a legal software company, and verified the data that would be sent to opposing counsel and government entities such as the Securities & Exchange Commission and the Department of Justice.

The Agile Manifesto says,

“We are uncovering better ways of developing
software by doing it and helping others do it.”

If you have a story of how you’ve uncovered better ways to do software, we’d love to help you tell it. The Agile Experience Report program is dedicated to helping people write and share their agile experiences. Maybe you’ve found new ways to focus on software quality or to integrate people with varied skillsets into your team. We want to help you tell your story.

To learn more about writing an experience report, check out our author guidelines, read more about the Experience Report Program, or contact me, the program director, Rebecca Wirfs-Brock at experiences at agilealliance dot org.


About the Author

Rebecca is President of Wirfs-Brock Associates and former Director of the Agile Experience Report Initiative. She helps organizations and individuals hone their design and architecture skills, improve system quality and manage technical debt. In addition to coaching and mentoring she conducts workshops on agile architecture, design heuristics, and pragmatic software design. She invented the set of design practices known as Responsibility-Driven Design (RDD) and by accident started the x-DD meme.

Rebecca is also a shepherd for the XP 2023 Experience Report Track. She is on the Board of the Hillside Group and writes patterns and essays about sustainable architecture, agile QA, and design heuristics. If you want to share experiences or wisdom in pattern form, Rebecca can help you turn your itch for writing into the written word.
Read her blog at and find articles and patterns and essays on her resources page,

This is an Agile Alliance community blog post. Opinions represented are personal and belong solely to the author. They do not represent opinion or policy of Agile Alliance.

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