Agile testing helps software developers easily adapt and respond to rapid and unexpected change. It differs from conventional testing in that responsibilities are shared by each team member equally--no single person is solely responsible for the quality and outcome of a final product.
Below, we have outlined some practices that help ensure success during Agile testing.
1.Use the Whole Team Approach
2.Adopt an Agile Testing Mindset
3.Automate Regression Testing
4.Provide and Obtain Feedback
5.Look at the Big Picture
6.Collaborate with Customers
1. Use the Whole Team Approach
When an entire development team takes responsibility for software testing and quality, a large variety of skill sets and experience levels can be applied to combat whatever complex issues may arise. Establishing testers as part of the development team means giving them the support and training they need to adapt to the fast pace of Agile development: they have time to acquire new skills and collaborate closely with members of both the development and customer teams.
2. Adopt an Agile Testing Mindset
Remember that agile development is people-centric, so make sure to follow principles and values that guide you toward collaboration and open you to constructive criticism. An important component of the agile testing mindset is the drive to continually seek out better, more efficient methods. A successful agile tester is an active listener that constantly reads good books, blogs, and articles to gain new ideas and skills, attends local user group meetings and participates in mailing list discussions to receive feedback. If your company won’t pay for you to attend a good conference, put what you’ve learned into an experience report in exchange for a free conference registration. Giving back to your testing and agile development communities will help them, too.
3. Automate Regression Testing
Can an agile team succeed with no test automation? Anything is possible, but automated regression tests reduce the risk of failure. As we’ve mentioned above, if you’re spending all your time doing manual regression testing, you’ll never have time for exploratory testing that will ferret out the damaging behaviors lurking in the code.
4. Provide and Obtain Feedback
Feedback is at the core of agile testing. The short iterations of agile are designed to provide constant feedback in order to keep the team on track. Testers are in a unique position to help provide feedback in the form of automated and exploratory test results, as well as observations of actual users of the system. One of the most valuable skills you can learn is how to ask for programmer and customer feedback of your own work. Ask your programmers if they have enough information to understand requirements and whether that information guides their coding. Ask customers if the quality of your product can be improved. Take time in both the iteration planning meetings and retrospectives to talk about these issues and suggest ways to improve.
5. Look at the Big Picture
Yes, it’s a generalization, but we’ve found it’s easy for programmers to forget this important step. It is the responsibility of the tester to consider the following: What is the programmer trying to achieve? Why? What could he or she do better? A clear and concise communication is necessary at the onset of projects for this step to be successful.
6. Collaborate with Customers
If customers are scattered around the campus, the country, or the globe, use every tool you can find to enhance communication and collaboration. Teleconferences, instant messages, and wikis aren’t an ideal replacement for face-to-face conversation, but they sure beat sending emails or not talking at all.