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The State of Agile QA: The Times Are a Changin'

Mark Balbes, Director with the WWT Application Services group, authored a blog for ADTMag discussing the state of agile QA.

Mark Balbes, Director with the WWT Application Services group, authored a blog for ADTMag discussing the current state of agile QA and how it has changed in recent years.

Posted by ADTmag on April 13, 2018:

My friend and colleague at Asynchrony, Zach Becker, has been through a terrifying ordeal. He was diagnosed with kidney failure, specifically IGA Nephropathy, in April, 2015. He spent a year on and off dialysis waiting for a new kidney from a generous donor. While many of his friends were tested to see if they were a match, ultimately it was through the generosity of his own mother that gave Zach a new lease on life. Through it all, he actually changed his view of QA.

Peritoneal dialysis is the process by which toxins are removed from the patient's blood while they are sleeping at home. For many, this is preferable to treatment at a dialysis center during the day, three days per week. Peritoneal dialysis means that the patient can continue working and have something of a normal life while they wait for a kidney transplant. But it is no picnic, to say the least.

Zach was one of those patients that suffered from "drain pain." During the night, a solution was pumped into his body, then back out taking with it the toxins that were killing him. Some patients suffer "drain pain" caused by the loss of fluid because of this process.

Since Zach works in QA with software, he wondered whether he could make changes to the system that would lessen his pain. Using the scientific method, tracking his changes and controlling variables, he began changing the physical setup of the dialysis equipment. What he found was that by raising the bag of fluid higher, he could reduce his "drain pain" significantly.

What does this have to do with modern QA? We'll come back to Zach later. First let's look at some of the driving forces changing how we think about software quality assurance.

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