Abby Bangser

02/16/2023, 9:28 AM
Hi platformers :blob-waver:, quick question about team structure for you all. I was a QA for about 7 years before moving into platform engineering. My entrance into platform engineering was by becoming a QA for a platform team. This gave me an opportunity to bring skill/knowledge to the team from one angle, while learning a host of new skills from them. I am curious if you all have test backgrounded people on your platform/DevOps/Infra/SRE/{insert team name} teams? If so, how do you find it and how did you decide on having them on the team? If not, is this something you think would be good/bad/indifferent? Asking for a few friends who also want to move more towards platform engineering, but are finding a bit of a brick wall coming from testing/test automation.

Hugo Pinheiro

02/16/2023, 2:34 PM
We actually just moved a couple of our QA people into our SRE/Infra team, they work on our testing automation system 🙂
Since they work on our product day in day out they provide very good view points and knowledge on it

Abby Bangser

02/16/2023, 7:46 PM
That was my experience! Though it seems more rare than I would have hoped 🤷‍♀️

Clemens Jütte

02/16/2023, 9:54 PM
From what I have observed in platform teams that I worked with, this is actually pretty rare. Only later down the road, when “platform as a product” is actually really established, or there have been outages (stop-the-world moment for all devs) that demonstrate how such a platform is “critical infrastructure”, QA becomes a thing and people coming from that background are considered for the platform team. My best guess on the reason for that is that IDPs are for developers and most developers cultivate a dislike for QA - making platform owners of not well-established platforms think that having QA personas might be a communication nightmare. I am personally thinking the opposite - someone that brings the QA perspective to the platform team is invaluable.

Thomas Grünewald

02/28/2023, 4:28 PM
Hi Abby, good, bad, indifferent? I think you have already given the answer yourself when describing the skill/knowledge sharing experience that you had 🙂. A platform works as any other software product: it is supposed to deliver value to your colleagues/customers. It does that by adhering to certain quality expectations, either functional or non-functional. Adding QA experienced staff ("Let's put the customer goggles on!") to crossfunctional platform teams will increase the likelihood of meeting those quality expectations. Period.