Rebuilding the unit, moving to ITIL, and lots of change.

It’s been a while. Before Christmas my supervisor moved from testing to the project management world, and her responsibilities began to trickle in on me. Right now I’m doing her job, and my own, which makes me the only person doing any full time test work at the university. (For dozens of developers and multiple projects.)

I’m doing much higher level work now… filling the ‘coordinator” role, although the verdict is out on what the official job description will read. A lot of the burden of actual testing is being farmed out to vendors, and it’s a huge struggle to effectively manage them without wasting their time or mine. I’m formally tasked with advocacy and with quality methodologies… how do you apply those when all you have is some scarce money for outsourcing?

We’re getting there. I’m trying things and working on it, and there are plenty of challenges. The budget has passed and in the spring we’ll be bringing in a tester. That’s one resource… which beats what I was working with before.

Meanwhile, the department is changing and growing. Long term we’re looking at rebuilding a test unit and hiring more testers… but that’ll happen one tester at a time. We’re moving to ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library! A bunch of words that communicate nothing by themselves) and stirring things up, and I’ll need to get some training and experience in ITIL before I know how that affects me. More challenges.

What happens next? Well I’ve got a few ideas:

I want to develop better relationships with our vendors, and encourage them as best I can to use strong techniques instead of just filling out our paperwork. I think we’ve done them a disservice by demanding piles of test cases and bug reports, what we need is effective bug hunts and strong independent work.Things are interesting. Things are busy.

The unit has to grow, and it’s going to need strong, independent, clever people that can help make testing valuable here.

We’re overwhelmed in work… and each project requires a lot of “advocacy.” My hope is that we can take on less jobs, but do a really good on the testing that we do take on. Prove our worth one project at a time, instead of exhausting ourselves trying to do everything.


There we are. It’s a start.


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