Monthly Archives: October 2012

Why QA needs to change

It’s unarguable that Continuous Delivery has gone from being just a CTO friendly buzzword to a central requirement for a high performance delivery team. It’s no longer cutting edge to merely check in your code to source control and have Jenkins or other continuous integration box run the unit tests. You have to be able to get that code out into a live environment as fast as possible and that means Continuous Delivery. The ability to deliver code into production at will has a direct effect on your bottom line but to do this effectively you need two things, 1) understand the important areas of functionality that the customers really use and 2) be able to test these areas as quickly and easily as possible. The first is a business issue but the second boils down to automating your testing.

The trouble is that most of the industry holds on to a quality assurance process that is directly at odds with this. The reasons are mostly historical but companies have had varying levels of success in the drive to automate QA. The level varies on how highly the company values this ability. So what levels of QA do we commonly see?

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Conference Roundup: Velocity EU 2012 and WebPerfDays

The Velocity EU conference is over for this year and what an amazing time. It’s my third Velocity Conference and it just keeps getting better.

There were brilliant talks everywhere. Newer speakers like Andrew Brockhurst (BBC), Dave Nolan and Mark Jennings (Lonely Planet), Mike Krieger (Instagram), Brian Whitman (EchoNest) alongside veterans like Theo Schlossnagle (OmniTI), Artur Bergman (Fastly), Tim Morrow (Betfair), Steve Souders (Google), Mike Rembetsy, Patrick McDonnell and John Allspaw ( and everyone with a compelling message. Even I finally got up on stage and did a talk along with Abe (slides here) where hopefully I didn’t embarrass myself too much. It’s not a joke that hanging out in the hallway really is a fourth track. Along with the Operations and two Performance tracks, with so many smart people the clever kind of rubs off on you as you wander around in search of coffee. You are so much better just for having been there.
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