Test from theTop


I want to talk about the most important meetings for software testing.


At the absolute peak of critical meetings is the interview with a new engineer, project manager or people manager.

Do they understand the value of testing? 

Hiring the right people is critical.  Hiring the wrong person is incredibly expensive.  It can take months or even years to correct that mistake.  In the meantime your testing will not be given proper priority and the direct effect of that is both increased development time and lower product quality.

So, the hiring meetings are by far the most important.  And not just the interviews, I'm also talking about communicating with your existing team to set hiring criteria, and including testing in that.  It needs to be your priority and as a leader you need to pass that priority down to your team.


Second in importance is the meeting or meetings to plan out a project.  This ideally is part of your regular development cycle, where a new product idea or request comes in, and all the stakeholders estimate the schedule and effort required.

When testing is left out of that discussion, time estimates are highly inaccurate.  Testing will always need to be done, so if you don't add that time to the estimate, you're going to get burned at the end of the development cycle.

There's an excellent, tried and true strategy for these meetings, where behavior of the new work on your software is defined through specifications.  Click here to learn more.


Right before a product release, you might have a meeting to discuss what testing has already been performed, and what the risk of major defects/regressions could be.

Now, this is obviously a crucial moment and is extremely important to your business.  Why do I put it third on the list?  Don't get me wrong, it's extremely important.  This is where all that work you've done to build a test-aware team and all the automated testing code you've worked hard to produce can shine.

But none of that works if you've missed your hiring targets.  Once you have testers on your team, they must work with other stakeholders to plan testing goals.

Without a test aware team and the software development process to enable them, everyone will be waiting on the release day for catastrophic failures, they will be almost expected and that becomes a dysfunctional part of your team's culture during release: panic.

It all begins with hiring the right people.