Secondment into Test team - Where to start?


Does anybody have experience with secondments into their Test team?

We are considering short term secondments from our development team (a few weeks max).
The main focus we are considering is around helping us as a team move away from automating at the UI layer to expanding into more integration and unit test level with their knowledge.

But, we’re also considering what they might want to get out of a secondment to the test team. Knowledge of testing methodologies or exploratory testing techniques etc…

If anybody has experience of this and any advice on what worked well or didn’t work I’d be keen to hear.



Welcome to MoT @liam.brotchie :slight_smile:

It could either be a good thing or a bad thing. Unfortunately I’ve only had bad experiences. We swapped some teams around pretty often (I had to help often in other teams a few hours/days a week) and it led to so much overhead of knowledge. I didn’t know what was going on in all the teams I was in (what was fixed, etc… ) it was actually pretty chaotic.

For me I wouldn’t want to experience it again.

Swapping for a few weeks to 1 team should be pretty “OK” to be honest, that’s something I would definitely do. Especially to learn from other teams about integration & unit tests :smiley:

Your team could see it like you are going on a holiday for a month :slight_smile:

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Hi Liam, welcome again, to the MOT.

Well, whenever someone says “Test team” I used to cringe. A very much “waterfall” size large company I worked at before used test teams, and the “throw it over the fence” thing caused so much corrosion they had to stop working that way. I learned to hate that org structure, of separate testing but it’s not all bad.

My current job has a “QA team” though, but we drive more of the downstream publishing process (OPS really), and push some of the test writing back “to the left” MoT Sfax Meetup #9: My journey Shifting My Testing Left so to speak by getting developers to write more of the tests. Even with a 1:4 test-dev ratio we were getting swamped. So yes, it does work, but half of the people on our QA and Ops team were coders in a prior life. So. The benefits in terms of secondments to our team I guess would be for the devs to teach us about those kinds of things, like the unit testing toolstacks; and the integration testing environments, which we only do a bit of in my team. Right now we are driving this quality goal by making that process change, to shift testing to the left.

Liam, you have gotten me thinking anyway though. I mean, for me, it’s less useful in our org setup, since we are not big enough to have teams swap members and not impact the business short term. And really, that’s the best kind of secondment, it needs to be at least 4 weeks or much much longer to give benefits. We have had one of the devs join our team for a stint, but that’s only because he developed some of the original E2E test framework itself. BUT It sounds like as Kris hinted, your devs are going on a “test writing holiday” where they leave their team and go into isolation to write tests for a few weeks. So I think a real commitment to progress that quality goal, needs to be bigger than “just a few weeks”. Which sounds more like a process change, than a secondment benefit.