Quality is a beast best tamed by the entire team. This experience report shows the progression my team took integrating quality from downstream to upstream to “in stream”. Previously, the approach to quality was testing at the end of the development lifecycle (downstream); later, QA was brought into the requirements process (upstream); finally, when that approach proved insufficient, we moved to a model where we amped up the level of caring and accountability for quality from the team top to bottom. Quality is assured by the entire team, as the code is being built! We are all responsible for it, all the time (in stream).

Travel with me and my company through my evolution as a UI tester and my company’s transformation in how we look at quality. When I joined Marchex in 2009, it was a company with a clunky waterfall implementation. Starting in 2011, the company transitioned to Agile methodologies. Alongside the corporate methodology shift, was my personal choice to take a risk and move from UI testing to joining a backend business intelligence warehouse team. We implement a team quality approach with robust acceptance criteria, Test Driven Development (TDD), and most uniquely, pair programming with QA embedded directly into the pairs. The result is high quality, high throughput delivering customer value, and one of the most respected teams in the company.

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