Continuous Everything - Do we need it? - Marco Achtziger, Gregor Endler 

 November 9, 2023

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"Which metrics are actually interesting? (...) Actually, only two metrics are interesting for software development: 1. how long does it take me to get a change to the customer? 2. and how often do they complain about my software?" - Marco Achtziger, Gregor Endler

For Marco and Gregor, Shift Left and Continuous Everything are more than just buzzwords - they are principles that massively improve the software development process. The focus is on the Craftsmanship program, which, however, also brings with it its challenges during implementation. Solution strategies, especially when dealing with flaky tests, play a central role here. But how do you evaluate the success of such approaches? The effects on release cycles and the quality of the software are clear indicators. Marco and Gregor have valuable tips for anyone who wants to get started with Shift Left.

Marco Achtziger works at Siemens Healthineers in Forchheim. With qualifications from iSTQB and iSQI, he is a certified Senior Software Architect at Siemens AG. Deep down, however, he is a test architect. He leads trainings for test architects within Siemens AG and Healthineers. Achtziger enjoys sharing knowledge with other companies and regularly speaks at conferences such as OOP and Agile Testing Days.

Gregor Endler received his doctorate in computer science with an outstanding dissertation on "Adaptive Data Quality Monitoring". At codemanufaktur GmbH, he focuses on machine learning and data analysis. He has published several research papers. As a recognized expert, he is a frequent speaker at academic and industry conferences. His commitment to knowledge sharing is reflected in his willingness to share experiences with other companies.

Highlights in this episode:

  • We talked about Shift Left and Continuous Everything and how to measure quality
  • Marco and Gregor told us how important it is to motivate teams and give them autonomy
  • Cultural change in companies takes time and patience
  • Value stream mapping is an important tool for recognizing where improvements are needed
  • The introduction of Trunk-Based Development has resulted in faster development processes
  • Es ist wichtig, iterativ zu arbeiten und sich Zeit zu lassen, um große Veränderungen zu implementieren

 

Contact Marco:

Contact Gregor:

More links:

  • Scryer, the AI system mentioned in the interview that can predict the outcome of software tests

 

The journey to quality and efficiency

TLDR: In this episode of our podcast, I spoke with Marco Achtziger and Gregor Endler about 'Shift Left' and 'Continuous Everything' in software development. They talked about self-responsibility, measurability of quality and the importance of autonomy in the team. They shared their experiences and insights from their projects, including the use of craftsmanship programs and the importance of a data-driven approach.

The challenges and opportunities of Continuous Everything

Marco and Gregor opened the conversation with an explanation of what Continuous Everything means - a philosophy that encompasses integration, delivery and deployment. They emphasized the importance of automation and how these practices can be integrated into the development flow. Of particular interest was Gregor's reference to his role as a 'Data Scientist by Heart', which enabled the real benefits of these methods to be made visible through data analysis.

The role of self-responsibility and craftsmanship programs

A key point of our discussion was the importance of empowerment within a team. Gregor shared his experience with craftsmanship programs that aimed to motivate team members through autonomy, mastery and purpose. These programs proved to be effective, but required time for a cultural change within the organization.

Measurable success through data analysis

One of the most fascinating topics was the ability to quantify the success of Continuous Everything. By collecting and analyzing data, Marco and Gregor were able to show how both the speed and quality of software development improved over time. This data-driven approach allowed them to provide concrete evidence of the benefits of their methods.

Autonomy as the key to success

A recurring theme during our discussion was the importance of autonomy within the teams. Both when introducing new processes and when solving specific problems, empowering team members to organize themselves proved to be crucial for success. Voluntariness and self-determination played a key role in increasing the motivation and participation of everyone involved.

A journey to improvement

To conclude our conversation, Marco and Gregor reflected on their multi-year journey to improve software quality and efficiency. They emphasized that change takes time and that it is important to continuously measure, evaluate and adapt. Their insights provide valuable guidance for all development teams striving to optimize their processes while fostering a culture of learning and shared growth.