Leading a Test Project, for me is like conducting an orchestra! I love this metaphor as an overlay to the best practices of setting up, developing test phases, cycles, tests, executing the test environment and ultimately launching a product.
Sections of woodwinds, strings, horns, percussion, pianos, harps – can be likened to systems with many lines of functionality, processes and stages of preparation before the final Live Performance. Each system requires it’s own notation, dynamics and coordination with all the other systems to deliver the Theme.
System Integrations (Section Rehearsals) must be completed before the End To End (Full Rehearsal) can be fully performed, and Dress Rehearsals are the UAT when the last minute updates to the Score (Test Cases, and Process Flows) get penciled in.
It is the art of planning, coordination, testing the same components again and again until the kinks are worked out with developers, and seeing all the working parts come together as a final product that brings a deep sense of satisfaction to all the teams participating in the launch.
The art and science of Testing is very much like the Art and Science of composing and playing music. Having studied Composition and Theory in College, and years of professional performance, I never dreamed I would one day be conceiving Test Strategies and Test Plans, leading Technical Testing projects – some lasting several years. I believe learning to conceive and produce a musical piece from beginning to end – has allowed my approach in understanding and alignment of systems, dynamics, specific ranges of capabilities for each component – come together into a symphony of functional processes that deliver a final outcome desired by the Client.
Even IBM has done studies on the compatibilities between music and IT, and has noted that many formally trained musicians gravitate and succeed in the complex technical world of development and testing. I feel this approach, while creative, is also formed by the formal training and experiences in Quality Assurance and Testing best practices. In any event, Music and Quality Assurance are disciplines that require years of study, practice and dedication to fully mature into a well rounded and competent delivery process.
I wouldn’t have it any other way!