Agile testing: building quality in from the start
Today’s businesses are all about project management. Project management is a process that helps businesses improve their productivity and reduce costs. Agile testing is an integral part of software development project management.
It’s not just about writing out tasks and assigning them to people — it’s about ensuring your team members know what they need to do, how long it will take, and when they should deliver.
Agile is one of the most popular methods for project management. It’s prominence is growing exponentially, as people everywhere discover that it is impossible to cope with today’s turbulent customer-driven marketplace without becoming Agile. Agile permits firms to flourish in a world that is increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous. In this article we will focus on Agile in development and testing. So What is Agile?
Agile is an iterative methodology where the development and testing of a product occur concurrently. This way, developers build the product to specifications, and eliminate bugs early resulting in a quality end product. Further, continuous integration increases productivity and reduces time, effort and cost.
It is a team-based methodology that allows collaboration between stakeholders. Agile is vital as it ensures that all relevant perspectives are considered and integrated into the project plan.
One can apply the methodology to all software development projects, regardless of size or complexity. It allows applying the best approach to each situation.
What is Agile Testing?
Agile testing is a software testing practice that follows the principles of agile software development. It involves all project team members, with particular expertise contributed by testers. Testers simultaneously take part in each phase with other development team members. The processes include requirements, design and coding, and test case generation. As a result, they can better contribute towards building the software according to customer requirements with better design and code.
The overall approach to agile testing is iterative. That is, each phase of development is repeated until the product meets customer requirements. This contrasts with waterfall-based systems, where each stage has only one chance of success before moving on to the next step.
What Does an Agile Tester Do?
Everyone’s responsible for quality in Agile. So, it would be best if you worked closely together. Communication and collaboration are essential. Because tests drive development, developers use Agile testing methods like TDD (test-driven development) to write the test first and then write the code that makes it pass. Then they write the code that the test will verify. And it would be best if you collaborated before setting user stories (e.g. requirements).
Once a project gets off the ground, communication remains key. One should be testing as developers write code, and your developers will probably do some testing.
Agile teams have a shared understanding of what it means for a user story to be complete. The acceptance criteria in a user story drive that definition of done. The team can consider it done after meeting acceptance criteria. That includes testing to verify that the acceptance criteria have been met.
As a result, testing and development become synchronized. Both developers and testers know which defects have been resolved.
What Is Agile QA Testing?
Agile testing is a software practice that marries the speed of agile development with the objective of quality assurance. Its goal is to help align QA with the cadence of releases and also help align QA speed with the development goals.
5 Types of Agile Test Methodology
Testing is front and center in Agile development. When you create a user story, you need to write down how you can validate it. This drives testing and makes sure the user story works as expected. Although many Agile development methodologies exist — Scrum, XP, and Kanban — the following are typical for Agile .
Test-Driven Development (TDD)
Test-driven development (TDD) begins with tests. A good way to start this type of development is by discussing what you want to test, then creating a user story. So, you start by writing a unit test. Then you write the user story. Finally, you write the code until the unit test passes and the feature is working as it should be.
Acceptance Test-Driven Development (ATDD)
ATDDis similar but starts with customer input on functionality. Acceptance testing typically involves verifying that the product functions as its users would expect. One writes a user acceptance test (UAT) and then writes the code until it passes the test.
Behavior-Driven Development (BDD)
Behavior-driven development is very close to test-driven development (TDD) and acceptance of test-driven development (ATDD). In behavior-driven development, it’s vital to tie development’s purpose to a business outcome. So, you’ll have a user story—but the story needs to answer why we need to develop the feature (in terms of money or other resources). User stories are sometimes referred to as scenarios or specifications. Behavior-driven development is also used for acceptance testing. It verifies that the product functions are necessary for the desired business outcome.
Exploratory testing is a method of finding bugs by making up tests as you go. It’s typically a manual process; you record what you’re doing and save it as a test. And while you figure out what exactly it is that you’re testing as you go, you figure out what exactly it is that you’re testing while you go. Exploratory testing is typically for finding bugs that functional tests would miss. These are bugs in the product that are not visible to the naked eye.
Session-based testing has some similarities to exploratory testing. But there’s a little more structure in session-based testing. Instead of figuring out what you’re testing as you go, you figure out the mission before you begin. Session-based testing is also for finding bugs that aren’t visible from the surface.
Agile Testing Vs. Waterfall Testing
In contrast to Agile Testing, in a Waterfall Development methodology, each phase in the Development Life Cycle completes before moving on to the next. Thus, testing comes only after completing development. Hence, there is never any need to wait for the final product when you can test something early on.
In Waterfall methodology, testers are often marginalized by developers. Testers do not take part in requirements gathering, and acceptance testing is often delayed until the end of the project, which is a severe risk. Regression testing is done only after development is complete. It means that existing bugs may be overlooked or reintroduced unnecessarily.
On the other hand, in Agile Methodology, testing is not a separate phase—it’s an integral part of the development process. Testers and developers work together throughout an application’s lifecycle, with testers involved in writing requirements, mapping those requirements to test cases, and defining acceptance criteria. They also collaborate with developers during development. It ensures that we wright the code correctly. Acceptance testing occurs at the end of each iteration. This allows for regression testing as developers add new features or functionality to the system.
Agile testing helps you to find errors faster. You can lower the risk of finding a bug at the end of testing — and missing a deadline. So, you’ll make customers happy by delivering regular releases. And you’ll manage the scope of each release. That helps you focus on features for each iteration and deliver the most important ones first.
The Agile Manifesto, published in 2001 by a team of software developers, highlighted the importance of the development team and customer involvement in accommodating changing requirements. It is the constitution, even the bible for many developers these days.
While implementing an Agile development approach in your team, don’t forget to make a CI/CD set-up. Read here more about this approach: What is CI CD, and How Does It Work?
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