From Testing in Waterfall to Testing in Scrum: The Hard Route

For a QA specialist working in the Waterfall environment, making a switch to Scrum might seem as a difficult task. As a survivor of the process who made it “to the other side”, I want to share some insights that were gathered in the transition.

1. The beginning is a pain in the neck

In my previous job, I had worked with a separate QA team for over 3 years. And let me say, I was well within my comfort zone. The team was there to “back you up” and if there was a serious issue, the team lead was always there to solve it. You got your bunch of tasks that you could “ace” together as a team, and were the good ol’ QAs who did what it takes.

And that was good. Until one day I felt like I was stuck with my professional development. Ever heard the famous saying? There’s no staying in one point. You always move, and it’s either forward or backward. So, I brought myself together and made the move to what initially seemed to be my “small personal hell”. However, as the time went by, I started truly enjoying my new role.

2. A QA’s life in a Scrum team

In a Scrum team, there’s much more responsibility on the shoulders of a dedicated QA specialist. Working as part of the Scrum team gives you more visibility into product development and this way you are able to affect functionality and prevent some bugs even before coding begins. At the same time, it demands working closely with developers. Unlike working in waterfall teams, here you don’t have unlimited time to tackle an issue as your work is expected to be complete within the timeframe of a sprint. This definitely affects productivity and makes you a better decision-maker, as you’re not “sovereign” any more, you’re part of a team with a given commitment. That fact helps you to better understand people and solve problems in the best way through communication.

3. Scrum Specifics

As a QA in a Scrum team, you have to work very closely with developers and POs. You can test each feature from idea to coded realisation. You avoid discussing each problem in many chains which are sometimes unpredictable. And as the time goes by, you realize that each sprint is “mini waterfall”. Instead of a QA team there is only one person, instead of development teams there is a small group of developers and instead of heavy product management there is just one dedicated PO. It all makes perfect sense as you dive deeper and fit into the Scrum ecosystem.

The Takeaways

Now I’m helping people to develop software which can make other people’s lives easier and happier every day. With each feature released the world becomes a better place to live. Of course it is hard work but with each sprint you learn something new and become more professional. Also you clearly understand what and why you are doing which, clearly, is one of the main advantages of Scrum.

So, maybe it’s time for you to make a move?

Let’s talk!

About this author

Mushegh Petrosyan is a Senor QA Engineer who enjoys hard rock, reading and making new friends.

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