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#7 Tech Talk – Zephyr for Jira insights

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Let’s talk about IT!

For some people there is nothing so very exciting about constant learning of how to use new technological tools. How much more software could you really need to perform jour job quite effectively, right? At SolDevelo though, the sky seems to be the only limit when it comes to improving one’s technological literacy. This is, in fact, the core purpose of our Tech Talks – meetings created exactly for sharing and broadening our IT knowledge within, and hopefully beyond, SolDevelo.

Well about Zephyr to be precise…

7th Tech Talk which took place just a few days ago was devoted especially to testers’ needs as we discussed the Zephyr for Jira and some of its helpful functionalities. The lecturer who decided to share his insights was Adrian Modzelewski – Tester at SolDevelo.

His presentation started right after the conference room filled with cups of hot tea or coffee and the group of highly interested participants who sat comfortably awaiting for a prepared speech regarding Zephyr – Jira’s Test Management Tool.

Ok, what is so special about it?

It goes without saying that if one wants to introduce an innovation and make a noticeable change in the way professional goals are being met, there should be explicable reasons underlying this decision. When it comes to Zephyr implementation, it is mainly the case of facilitating testing process, enhancing communication among testers and enabling more effective project management in the test domain.

„Zephyr helps us to see clear visibility of the connection between software development and its testing” as Adrian put it. With such words, further pros of Jira plugin were broadly discussed and some examples to illustrate the comfort provided by the tool, delivered.

Three particular areas to start with

Adrian focused on three areas covered by Zephyr for Jira which might be the most crucial for our SolDevelo testers, namely: test management, test execution, and test summary. It all started with a simple comparison between widely used among QA specialists method – Excel sheets and Zephyr itself.

Basically, the leverage of having it all gathered within one tool, which is furthermore compatible with Jira helps in avoiding extra time spent on clicking through various separate systems and replicating the same pieces of information over and over again.

Furthermore, all tests can be moved from for eg. simple Excel documents to Jira enabling a smooth switch to Zephyr as much as letting every party of software development stay current on the work being performed. Easy methods of editing or executing a particular test are also conveniences definitely worth mentioning.

First: test management

Test case creation in Zephyr undergoes really similar to adding a regular issue in Jira, including description or assignment part. When previewing a new test issue, the novel thing is a feature allowing to add test steps which are supposed to be executed within the given test case.

Each step can be then assessed separately on the pass-or-fail basis. Every ‘passed’ and ‘failed’ label may have a comment attached to it in order to keep the up-to-date documentation regarding progress within a test case.

Second: test execution

Once executed, tests are traceable thanks to the wide range of execution filters. Numerous search options make it easy to find a single test when needed. By using ZQL (Zephyr Query Language) on the other hand new filters can be created as well, which is a quite handy adjustment when it comes to personalization.

Furthermore, a test can be executed in accordance with a chosen software release version. Particular tests are also easily combined in larger test cycles which according to Adrian allow users to group tests for execution and help provide a real-time feedback on quality status.

This, in turn, can make the whole testing procedure even more accessible and manageable. There is also an option among Zephyr features which groups test cases so each test case can be performed repeatedly depending on the test cycle.

Also, as Adrian noticed – the errors in test cases are linked to a particular test plan providing testers with an easy way of comparison between various errors within a test case in relation to a different test plan. Such broad picture supports the efforts of getting to the best solution as fast as possible and this is certainly a goal worth pursuing.

Finally: test summary

What Adrian also emphasized during his speech, was the importance of test summary features of Zephyr for Jira, which allow creating several kinds of reports and trace the testing progress in relation to a time period or a particular tester, for example.

Moreover, the numerous reports facilitate monitoring the requirements coverage of tests executed. All these enhancements really help in maintaining effective communication among QA specialists and also increase transparency within a project.

What’s next?

Given all the above features of Zephyr – no wonder that Adrian’s presentation raised many inquisitive questions regarding particular functionalities. Judging from curious tones which could be easily heard during the ‘after-Tech-Talk’ discussion it could really be a great thing to see how this tool is becoming a standard, regularly used device helping SolDevelo’s testers in their day-to-day (always well-done) work.

After Adrian’s presentation, it really seemed like everyone had their fingers crossed for making Zephyr an integral part of our testing toolkit.

Thanks for the inspiration!

Let’s then hope for the best both in a matter of Zephyr’s successful implementation and also when it comes to maintaining the valuable habit of knowledge sharing within SolDevelo. It allows us all to flourish after all and self-development seems to be quite a persistent trend nowadays.

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