amigo sessions and automated testing



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In practicing Whole Team Quality, the notion that only testers are responsible for the quality of a product goes out the window.

There are as many strategies for ensuring that the team is aligned on what “done” looks like as there are colors in the rainbow - but one that we use is Amigo Sessions.

Amigo sessions are ways to get the whole team, product, development, and testing, on the same page before development proceeds.

The term was originally popularized by George Dinwiddie in a 2009 blog post, If You don’t automate acceptance tests?. The post is absolutely worth a read as Dinwiddie makes a compelling case for automated testing.

Specifically, Dinwiddie argues that automated acceptance tests:

  1. Help us express our expectations
  2. Express the growth of functionality in our application
  3. Express our confidence that the system continues to work

They do all of this without increasing the manual regression testing and therefore slowing down the development cycles of an application.

That’s the key part to me: amigo sessions lead to acceptance tests, written up front, which means the whole team understands what is expected - there’s no fuzziness with acceptance criteria. Sure, the development may unearth unforeseen and/or unanticipated issues that need to be considered, but these sessions set the team up for success without a potentially crippling burden in the long run for ensuring the continued functionality (with the requisite automated acceptance tests).

Further Reading

  1. If you don’t automate acceptance tests?
  2. How To Run A Successful 3 Amigos Session
  3. The Three Amigos Strategy of Developing User Stories

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