Harness the Power of YouTrack for Better Test Visibility

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At BuildEmpire we utilise the power of popular JetBrains team tool YouTrack to track tasks and maintain our sprints. As Test Analyst, part of my role is to maintain YouTrack and ensure that tasks are being accurately tracked and updated once deployed and tested. This is of benefit not only to our internal team but also to our clients who can clearly see our sprint progress in YouTrack.

Recently, one of our clients came over to our BuildEmpire offices in Didsbury for a 2-day workshop. As part of this workshop, we discussed how we were using YouTrack and possible improvements we could make to our processes. Before the changes were made we had a series of possible states that each task could be set to, these were:

BuildEmpire Pre-Workshop Process Flow

So fairly straightforward — tasks start in Open, once a developer picks them up and starts work on them they move to In Progress, once complete they move to Fixed, from here code is reviewed and once that step is complete the code is Merged in GitHub before being deployed to QA. It is at this point that I as Test Analyst would pick the task up — if the task was to pass testing it would move to Confirmed, if not it would be moved back to Open. Once the Sprint has been tested and all the relevant tasks moved to Confirmed, a deployment to the Client servers would be triggered and the code would be deployed for them to test.

This process worked okay, but from the client perspective, they felt it was difficult to gain clear visibility on when things were ready to be tested at their end as they had both QA and Staging environments, so we decided to make some changes to the process.

Post-Workshop YouTrack Process Flow

In place of QA, we added some separation adding a BuildEmpire specific QA state, as well as a Client QA state and then removed the Confirmed state. In-place of the Confirmed state, we instead decided to utilise more YouTrack functionality by adding BuildEmpire QA and Client QA fields on each task. These QA fields had simple Passed and Failed options, plus an extensive list of devices with the ability for the user to select as many as required for that specific task.

The above screenshot shows how tasks appear on our Agile Board once they’ve reached the BuildEmpire QA state and have been tested. You can clearly see that the task has Passed testing and has been tested on the Chrome browser on Mac OS. So from a testing visibility perspective, you can quickly look at the Agile Board and clearly see which tasks have been tested. It also increases visibility for the Client as they can tell the state of tasks within the sprint and have a clearer idea of when things are ready to be tested on their side. Once everything in a sprint has been tested and passed a deployment can then be triggered and the tasks can be moved into the Client QA state whereby their test teams can follow an identical process.

Utilising YouTrack Saved Searches

Another thing I’ve done for my benefit as Test Analyst is set up a YouTrack search query that allows me to quickly see when I’ve got tasks waiting for me to test on each project. I simply run the following query:

I have this query saved into YouTrack as a Saved Search and so can go onto the Issues screen, run the query at the click of a button and then flick between projects to see which tasks are yet to be tested in our QA environment.

These changes have not only streamlined our internal QA processes but also improved visibility for our clients, improved our ways of working as an overall team and allowed us to further harness the power of the tools we use internally.

Do you use YouTrack in your Agile teams as a Tester? If so, what are your top tips for getting the most out of the tool? Are there any other features we could make use of at BuildEmpire? Would love to hear your thoughts!


This article was originally published on our Medium account here, follow us on Medium for more technical articles.


To learn more about Dan and the rest of our team, take a look our staff profiles in About Us.