What is agile testing? How to do it right? Why is it becoming more and more valuable?
In the software development environment, Agile has already won the race for mainstream adoption. Agile is actually all about uniting teams to achieve ultimate flexibility, transparency, simplicity, and prompt reactions to feedback throughout the whole process of development. Hence, quality assurance is definitely vital for enabling Agile-driven development. We are going to explain the difference that agile testing brings into the project and provide a number of techniques on how to apply it in a team.
Good reasons to switch to agile testing
Applying agile practices in order to assure product quality reduces a lot of friction and complexities. With a continuous emphasis on flexibility and the end result, the teams are reshaping their company standards to work more effectively. Here a few ways how agile testing can make a positive difference:
Bugs get easier to fix
Testers can now give immediate feedback to the developers who can fix the code while it's fresh. It makes the whole process faster and the developer does not have to fix the bugs of one project while already working on another.
All team members are responsible for quality
In agile teams, developers often have to think like testers and check their own code for bugs. Testers at the same time often have to think like developers and get involved in the creative process themselves. They all have a single goal and thus have to cooperate closely together regardless of their roles.
An agile environment enables everyone involved in the process to communicate more easily without having to wait until the development stage is over to start the testing stage. In the same way, if a bug report lacks details, the developer can ask the tester about that at any time and get an immediate response.
New requirements enhance product quality
As testing is so flexible in an agile environment, it gives birth to new enhancements and a higher quality final result. It allows for the adding of unplanned features and the existing ones can easily be modified.
Testing is an inevitable part of the process
In other methodologies it was sometimes common to avoid testing in order to meet deadlines. In Agile, testing is performed throughout the whole process and thus cannot be cut in any way.
How to bring agile project testing to life?
- Pair Testing - Complex testing problems are usually easier to solve with another tester or developer. Divide your team in a way they could work more productively.
- Test Driven Development - Unlike traditional testing that is performed upon project implementation, agile testing is carried out while the project implementation is still running.
- Limited Number of Tests - It's important to focus on the most critical aspects of testing and eliminate the highest risks first.
- QA - Dev Cooperation - Encourage testers and developers to work in pairs. Developers can help testers with technical solutions while testers can be helpful in finding specific cases. It is said that one hour of fruitful cooperation between two people is often like several hours of individual work.
- Preparation in Advance - Before the developer starts coding, it's helpful to show him how the product will be tested. It will help with eliminating a number of design and structure mistakes. Additionally, a tester can prepare a list of tasks for the developer to test himself.
- Clear Definition of Done - The whole team should respect the criteria of a ready product and agree on it in advance.
- Test Automation - If some tests take too much time, it's worth trying to automate them. Generate test cases out of testing needs as soon as possible. Make sure your test cases illustrate real business needs. Use various automation tools to ease the process significantly.
- Separate Stages - Divide user stories into different testing needs and ensure their completion. Use special systems to analyse user stories and prioritize the requirements.
Agile testing seems to bring significant advantages into the process of agile development. Many misunderstandings can be taken care of in advance. To be competitive, companies should train staff and apply strategies that will allow tests to be performed as fast as developers can fix the code.
All in all, testers should ideally have a holistic approach towards understanding application design and development. Even traditional development challenges are easier to fix with agile testing methodologies and this leads to closer cooperation between testers and developers. It saves the time and effort of the entire team and helps to understand business needs better. It can all be achieved through implementing agile testing principles and better practices.
It's worth remembering that testing is not a phase in agile environment. It is the continuous process that is performed until the final goal is achieved. It gives feedback on the ongoing basis and thus moves the project forward. Having difficulty implementing agile testing methodologies in your company? Join the discussion in the comments and we'll get back to you with a prompt response.