Team Guide to Software Testability
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Team Guide to Software Testability

Better software through greater testability

About the Book

Team Guide to Software Testability is the third guidebook in the new collection from Skelton Thatcher Publications.

A practical guide to how testability can help bring teams together to observe, control and understand the systems they build. Enabling them to better meet customer needs, achieve a transparent level of quality and predictability of delivery.

The ‘Team Guide’ collection is designed to help teams building and running software systems to be as effective as possible.

Guides are curated by experienced practitioners and emphasise the need for collaboration and learning, with the team at the centre.

About the Authors

Ash Winter
Ash Winter

Ash Winter is a continuously learning tester with a penchant for getting involved in all aspects of developing people, products and organisations. His career spans consultancy, veteran of various engagements encompassing testing, performance engineering and automation, being a team member delivering mobile apps and web services or a leader of teams and change. He also coaches, blogs and speaks at tech meetups, across many disciplines. Quite busy but always has time for a question, usually answered with another question.

Rob Meaney
Rob Meaney

I'm Rob Meaney a tester that loves tough testing and software delivery problems. I work with teams to help improve the quality of their software products and processes while also having fun. Although I enjoy learning about software delivery in general I'm particularly interested in Quality Engineering, Test Coaching, Testability, and Testing in Production.

Currently, I'm working as Head of Testing & Test Coach for Poppulo in Cork, Ireland. I'm an active member of the online testing community and co-founder of Ministry of Test Cork.

Previously I've has held positions as Test Manager, Automation Architect and Test Engineer with companies of varying sizes, from large multinationals like Intel, Ericsson & EMC to early-stage startups like Trustev. I've worked in diverse areas from highly regulated industries like safety automation & fraud detection to dynamic, exciting industries like gaming.

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About the Contributors

Manuel Pais
Manuel Pais

Manuel Pais is an independent DevOps and Delivery Consultant, focused on teams and flow.

With a diverse experience including development, build management, testing and QA, Manuel has helped large organizations in finance, legal, and manufacturing adopt test automation and continuous delivery, as well as understand DevOps from both technical and human perspectives.

Manuel is co-author of the Team Guide to Software Releasability book and lead editor for the remaining books in the Team Guide series.

Matthew Skelton
Matthew Skelton

Matthew Skelton is co-author of Team Topologies: organizing business and technology teams for fast flow. Head of Consulting at Conflux (, he specialises in Continuous Delivery, operability and organisation dynamics for software in manufacturing, ecommerce, and online services, including cloud, IoT, and embedded software.

Recognised by TechBeacon in 2018 as one of the top 100 people to follow in DevOps, Matthew curates the well-known DevOps team topologies patterns at and is co-author of the books Continuous Delivery with Windows and .NET (O’Reilly, 2016) and Team Guide to Software Operability (Skelton Thatcher Publications, 2016). He is also co-founder at Conflux Books which publishes books for technologists by technologists. / @matthewpskelton

Table of Contents

  • Team Guides for Software
  • Praise for Software Testability
  • Introduction
    • Why is testability important
    • What does hard to test feel like
    • What does testable feel like
    • What leads to testability being neglected
    • What is covered in this book
    • How to use this book
    • Why we wrote this book
    • Feedback and suggestions
  • 1. Use a testability inception deck to visualise options for improvements
    • 1.1 Recognising the value of testability and overcoming challenges through cross functional collaboration
    • 1.2 Identifying the needs and contributions of different roles to foster a testability mindset
    • 1.3 Overcoming common challenges to setting a testability focus in the context of pressures on teams
    • 1.4 Building an initial picture of your testability using the Team Test for Testability
    • 1.5 Creating a testability inception deck to foster a sense of purpose as a team
    • 1.6 Identifying a shared model of architectural pain for the systems that the team is responsible for
    • 1.7 Looking beyond the team to judge the impact of stakeholders and adjacent systems on testability
    • 1.8 Setting a pragmatic focus to start the testability journey among all the product priorities
    • 1.9 Summary
  • 2. Adopt testability mapping to expose hard-to-test architectures
    • 2.1 Gathering data on poor architectural testability to detect systemic problems
    • 2.2 Low testability architectures contribute to slow feedback and deficient decision making
    • 2.3 Identify the symptoms of poor architectural testability
    • 2.4 Exercise: Measure the impact of testing smells on your architectural testability
    • 2.5 Understand how testable architecture can impact your team’s testing efforts
    • 2.6 Summary
  • 3. Use historical data to fix design problems that inhibit feedback
    • 3.1 Explicitly design your architecture for testability
    • 3.2 Principles of implementing high testability architectures
    • 3.3 Understanding the role of testable architecture in increasing team collaboration
    • 3.4 Identify architectural improvements to iteratively increase testability
    • 3.5 Industry Example - moving from hard-to-test to high observability, control and shared understanding
    • 3.6 Summary
  • 4. Adopt ephemeral development environments for rapid feedback loops
    • 4.1 Common challenges with creating, using and maintaining test environments
    • 4.2 Leveraging your development environment for fast feedback
    • 4.3 Enhancing your development environment for balanced testing
    • 4.4 Summary
  • 5. Use production events and metrics to enhance your testing strategy
    • 5.1 Problems associated with a static test strategy when conditions change in production
    • 5.2 Updating your test strategy using data gathered from your production environment
    • 5.3 Using deploy and release patterns to gather feedback on large scale changes
    • 5.4 Summary
  • 6. Use team testing reviews to enable sustainable delivery
    • 6.1 Consequences of testing debt on team well being and sustainable delivery
    • 6.2 Adopting a whole team approach to risk mitigation and minimise testing debt
    • 6.3 Exercise: Evaluating the Team Testing Experience using the 10 Ps of Testability
    • 6.4 Use team incident learning reviews to improve detection, recovery and prevention
    • 6.5 Create a physical board to visualise and prioritise testing debt
    • 6.6 Summary
  • References
    • Chapter 1 - Testability Inception
    • Chapter 2 - Testability Mapping
    • Chapter 3 - Historical Data
    • Chapter 4 - Ephemeral Development Environments
    • Chapter 5 - Use Production to Enhance Test Strategy
    • Chapter 6 - Team Testing Reviews
  • Terminology
  • Notes on 10 P’s of Testability
    • People
    • Philosophy
    • Product
    • Process
    • Problem
    • Project
    • Pipeline
    • Productivity
    • Production Issues
    • Proactivity
  • About the authors
  • Conflux Books

About the Publisher

This book is published on Leanpub by Skelton Thatcher Publications

Developing and running modern software systems requires teams of motivated and well-trained people. The Team Guide series from Skelton Thatcher Publications takes a team-first approach to software systems with the aim of empowering whole teams to build and operate software systems more effectively. Part of Conflux Books.

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