Software Testing in Distributed Teams

Distributed software development teams and distributed software testing are here to stay. In this article, Lisa Crispin asks “How do we get quality software in these situations?” and proposes some hints on how to get good results when you perform software testing with distributed teams.

The first point discussed in the article is the importance of a rapid feedback that can be achieved through automated testing and continuous integration. Then she insists on the importance of building a culture of trust across the project and software testing team. Some additional practices and techniques can help software testing in distributed teams:
* Remote pairing is a great way to promote constant communication among multiple offices and to keep people working from home “in the loop”.
* Written communication and documentation may not be as effective as audio and visual, but are still important. Wikis promote collaboration, and work well for teams with widely diverse time zones.
* Making a problem visible is a great way to start solving it. Distributed teams can find creative ways to use Big Visible Charts, even if they are virtual.

The article ends with the following conclusion: “Managers need to support distributed teams as they find the best ways to work. It is absolutely essential to let the team manage its own workload, and encourage them to budget plenty of time for learning and experimenting. An early investment will pay off in a “jelled” team who can meet future challenges quickly, and deliver valuable software to the business consistently over the long haul.”

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