Interview with Gwen Diagram

Interview with Gwen Diagram

Q. Could you briefly introduce yourself?

My name is Gwen Diagram, I’m a Principal Test Engineer at Sky in Leeds, UK.  I’m one of the co-organisers of the Leeds Testing Atelier, a free, twice yearly punk rock testing conference.  I’ve spoken all over Europe and I absolutely adore going to new conferences and meeting new people to talk about Agile with.  I spend a lot of my time working on the Test Atelier, writing talks or helping with other meet ups such as Agile Yorkshire.  I’m currently working on changing the culture in my workplace by holding workshops on testing, pairing and generally trying to get people talking to each other.  I believe with engaged teams you build quality software – and so I’m trying to engage the teams!

Q: What will your talk be about, exactly? Why this topic?
I’m speaking about how one of my old teams in Leeds inherited a project with fragmented, abandoned automation around it.  The automation used so many different frameworks that people couldn’t really run it – and it wasn’t running on any build servers.  From this, we built an automation framework covering multiple testing layers to improve confidence in releasing (and saved us a bunch of time!)

We also had to convince the higher ups this was a good thing so I speak about how to sell your ideas to hard to please people.

Q: What do you think could be the main gain for participants in your session?

Ideas on how to build an automation framework that will get the entire team involved – not just testers.  How to get management on board with investing in automation.

Q: Can you give some advice to teams/organisations that are transitioning to agile?

Think about the tests! You cannot go faster without investing in quality.  Ensure that quality is thought of before speed – people will use a quality product, not a product that is constantly shipped that doesn’t work as required! However, if you are building a product for the first time, forget that and ship it to get feedback as quickly as possible.  Getting it in front of people for the first time > perfect.

Q: How do you see the evolution of agile in the future?

Some people have already achieved it – but getting finance to be more Agile.  I believe a large chunk of companies are stuck in the waterfall way until work hits technology.  Spreading agile to other departments can really change the world by making everyone’s lives easier and more rewarding.

Q: You have given many interviews/presentations about agile. Is there a question you wish to have been asked but no one ever asked you?


What changed your mind from the old ways of software development to believing in agile?

Nikos Batsios