Ali Hill

ECS Digital | United Kingdom

BIO: Ali is a Test Consultant based in Edinburgh, currently working for ECS Digital. With just over five years testing experience, he has a passion for learning new technologies and understanding and improving processes within software teams. Recently, Ali has been interested in learning how software testing can flourish in the world of DevOps and Continuous Delivery. Ali can be found talking about testing on Twitter, blogging or co-organising the Edinburgh Ministry of Testing Meetup.

TALK: Coaching Your Team to Test

Session level: beginner

As the sole tester on a team that’s moving towards continuous delivery and building a DevOps culture, how can your team release frequently, and with confidence? Within my Agile team, the testing activity had become the bottleneck. The testing To Do cards on the team’s Kanban board were piling up. As the sole test specialist within my team I felt as if I was preventing us from being able to deploy code to our live environment. Frustrated, we got together as a team to discuss how we could fix this problem.

Our solution? We decided to share my exploratory and automated testing knowledge with the team. My role as the test specialist evolved into a coaching role, which made me feel both excited and nervous. We found ways to test throughout the development process. We learned to design test plans and discuss technical challenges together. We collaborated on the testing effort.

In this talk I’m going to share how my team removed the testing bottleneck, built in quality to our product and started to become true cross-functional team members by increasing collaboration. If you face similar challenges with your own team, you can try similar experiments.


  • How sharing your testing knowledge can lead to quality being built into your product, thus reducing waste
  • How to encourage non-test specialists to get involved in the testing effort
  • How collaborating on testing activities built closer relationships across the team.