Think back to the time when we used to go in to an office to work. In the office, my day would consist of some desk time, going to meetings (in actual meeting rooms and wrestling with the AV), wandering down to the coffee machines, discussions (and chatting!) with my colleagues, being called over to a team to help them out. All quite physical things.

Today, as we mostly work from home, the need for doing those things has not diminished, but the methods by which they happen has changed significantly. …


Background

Learning and personal development has been a fundamental part of life at Redgate since it’s inception over 20 years ago. Our internal L&D brand, Level Up, has helped to bring the many learning activities and resources together under the one umbrella to aid collaboration and coordination.

At the start of 2020, we decided to experiment with issuing digital badges to recognise achievements. This was as a result of some recurring feedback that people don’t know how to best spend their personal development time, don’t know what training is available or don’t know what to learn.

Why Badges?


For quite a few years now, Redgate has had the pleasure of taking a group of software engineering interns to work directly within our product development teams during the summer months. These interns are usually 2nd year undergraduates in computer science or similar discipline.

The other quality coaches and I provide support to our development teams, and this year we decided to provide some training sessions for interns to help them learn about software quality.

These sessions were really successful and received well by the interns. Following this, Jeff Foster (Head of Engineering) approached us and said Anglia Ruskin University…


The Problem

Being able to quickly build and release any of our products to gather feedback is the cornerstone of our product division and the way we do software development.

In 2014, the build status of all Redgate products could only be determined by trawling through our build server, Teamcity and inspecting each product. With well over 30 products and shared components, this was somewhat laborious, and therefore never happened! This led to the creation of the Lightboard.


Photo by Tim Gouw on Unsplash

Before you stop reading thinking this is just another article extolling the virtues of using the term ‘Checking’ for test automation, I urge you to persevere…

This is an article about a ‘check’ we’ve recently come across in one of our test automation suites that has been intermittently causing builds to fail for some time now, and how we should identify other such ‘checks’ and eradicate them from our test automation pipelines.

The Check

Written in 2014, the ‘check’ consisted of an NUnit test that compares the latest Azure version with the version we are expected, and if the versions are different…


Quality is not synonymous with testing. Automated testing in a CI environment is necessary, and is often seen as the primary measure of quality, but in fact does very little to produce a ‘quality’ product.

There are those who proclaim “automation is not real testing” and those who insist “manual testing is just a waste of time, automate all the things”. Both groups are right, yet wrong. You need automation and you need manual testing, but you need much more to create a product that is of shippable quality.

I use the term “shippable quality” deliberately (and probably controversially) because…


Quality coaching is nearing two years old at Redgate, and the role looks somewhat different now than when it started. Originally, the expectations were that the quality coach role would be a pull-service, i.e. one that teams would request to help the team through a problem or determine an approach to a testing issue. The Quality Coaches would be ‘on standby’ waiting for the call, then swoop in — impart their wisdom, flex their testing muscles (wrong?), and fly back out again having saved the day.

This didn’t happen.

The cries for help didn’t come.

The development teams didn’t (for…


Sending 80 people to a conference… any company would be totally bonkers to do that; to take 80 engineers away from their projects for a day, not to mention the expense bill! But that’s just what Redgate did on the 6th March 2018, but with a slight difference.

The conference wasn’t a big international established event with world-renowned keynote speakers in the middle of London or Disneyworld Florida (although we missed a trick there I think!). No, it was our own conference, a Redgate conference, conceived by the people, for the people and put together with the people. …

Chris George

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