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What Is Agile Testing

Testing is a critical aspect of any product development. Without the proper tests, a product may as well not be released because testing is an opportunity to fix and improve the code and the product. History is proof that products launched without proper testing not only spell doom on the business but also result in irreparable loss to the reputation of the organization.Whether it's traditional or agile project management, testing is an integral part of product development. In this blog, we attempt to look at Agile Testing and the advantages it offers to the whole process of Agile development.What is Agile Testing?A part of the success of the Agile process lies in the fact that the various processes that go into creation of a product are conducted simultaneously. Traditional project management, on the other hand, starts with the analysis, then moves into design, development and finishes with testing. The activities are carried out just once. Rolling back, if there are any issues, would be very expensive and time-consuming.  Agile on the other hand, embodies speed and equips organizations to become flexible and adaptable. Organizations want teams that are high performing and predictable, churning out products that meet customer expectations and timelines.But speed does not mean that quality can be compromised with. Quality has been an integral part of the development process in all eras. The need for speed reinforces the need for quality. Agile testing ensures that products that are developed using the Agile methodology are fully tested and ready for release.Agile testing is the software testing practice that follows the principles of agile software development. Testing in Agile means quick testing that is within the scope of Agile principles and offers quick feedback for faster development of the project. In fact, testing comes first in agile, irrespective of while Agile methodology is used. The project is broken into user stories and a set of acceptance criteria is created, against which the story is tested. Only when the user story meets the acceptance criteria is it said to meet the definition of done and is released. Agile Testing Methodology TypesIn Agile, testing is done as early as possible in the development cycle and requires a high degree of involvement of the client. A high degree of collaboration and communication is also needed between team members to ensure that testing in Agile is successful. The Agile Methodology encompasses several types of testing procedures: 1. Test Driven Development (TDD):“Test-driven development” refers to a style of programming in which three activities are tightly interwoven: coding, testing (in the form of writing unit tests) and design (in the form of refactoring)”—Agile Alliance  TDD follows the concept of writing the simplest possible code for the test. Each feature or aspect of the program should have one single test written for it and it should be written such that it passes the simplicity criteria. TDD also requires that unit tests not be accumulated over time and ensures that quality is given priority. The advantages of TDD are as follows: TDD has been shown to reduce defect rates The code becomes modular and is easier to maintain Code becomes more manageable The overall costs associated with testing and consequently the project goes down and ROI increases The amount of time spent debugging gets significantly reduced 2. Behaviour Driven Development (BDD)Behavior Driven Development (BDD) is a synthesis and refinement of practices stemming from Test Driven Development (TDD) and Acceptance Test Driven Development (ATDD)—Agile Alliance  BDD follows the concept of implementing only those behaviors that help to minimize waste and directly impact product or business outcomes. The tests are written in plain language which is one of BDD’s biggest advantages. Like TDD each scenario focuses on one thing and is unambiguous.  The advantages of BDD are as follows: BDD is inclusive and collaborative  It speeds up the development process Makes it easier to automate Code can be re-used 3. Acceptance Test Driven Development (ATDD)Analogous to test-driven development, Acceptance Test Driven Development (ATDD) involves team members with different perspectives (customer, development, testing) collaborating to write acceptance tests in advance of implementing the corresponding functionality—Agile Alliance  ATDD like BDD is also an off shot of TDD and ensures the highest quality by making acceptance tests the basis for development. The development is carried out by keeping these acceptance criteria as a reference.  The advantages of ATDD are as follows: Focus is on the customer needs The requirements are better understood and there is better collaboration with stakeholders Issues are resolved better Development and testing are better managed 4. Exploratory testingExploratory testing focuses on discovery and relies on the guidance of the individual tester to uncover defects that are not easily covered in the scope of other tests--Atlassian Exploratory testing is a testing that follows all the values of Agile and is a precursor to automation. This testing is perfect for mission critical projects and ensures that no test cases have been missed out that could lead to potential failures of the project.  The advantages of Exploratory Testing include the following: Ensures that no aspect of the product misses testing Involves the entire team and stakeholders Ensures greater collaboration Is best for critical projects Agile Testing: Principles and Best practicesThere are ten principles to Agile testing as mentioned in the book, Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams, by Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory. These are now widely accepted as the standard principles or best practices on which Agile testing is based.  Provide continuous feedback: Agile testers do not simply test constantly. They are also responsible for distributing the results of those tests and facilitating the provision of feedback from customers to developers to create a more robust product. Deliver value to the customer: While this is the second principle, it is the paramount principle. The end goal of every action taken by an Agile tester is to create the best product possible for the customer. Enable face-to-face communication: The Agile tester's role is to reduce confusion and errors by communicating directly with developers, as well as enabling customers to communicate directly with developers. Have courage: Developers can be defensive about their work. To meet their goal of providing value to the customer, Agile testers must fight for the changes and fixes that need to be made. Keep it simple: Agile testers act on the aphorism that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. For testing, that means performing only those tests that are necessary, and all tests that are necessary. For the product, that means delivering the simplest possible product that delivers the most possible value. Practice continuous improvement: Agile testers are keen learners; they are never done learning how to do their job better. Respond to change: Agile testers are adaptable and flexible, keeping up feedback from user stories, as well as changes in the product and the marketplace. Self-organize: Instead of waiting at an assigned seat on the assembly line, Agile testers spring into action at every point in the process. They actively seek out problems and bring people together to solve them. Focus on people: Agile testers are collaborative, preferring human interaction to technology. Their focus on people enables them to deliver a product that prioritizes usability and utility. Enjoy: No one is as successful at meeting their goal as when they enjoy what they are doing. Agile testers who enjoy the work can deliver the greatest possible value to the customer. Agile Test PlanSource: Agile Test plan Everything in Agile is planned, and so is Agile testing. An Agile test plan is a specific and structured document that includes business requirements, estimated QA (Quality Assurance) tasks and acceptance criteria. Having it as a document makes it highly visible and accessible to anyone involved in the project. The Agile test plan has the following sections: An introduction that gives a brief description of the project and general information on the testing process in the current sprint. This part also defines the document scope and how new features will be tested. The document also contains detailed user stories that define features.  The third part of the document lists the QA environment which defines the manual or testing tools needed to conduct the tests. The test plan should also include the testing scope. This is a list of all the QA tickets or tasks that must be verified for a particular sprint. The testing scope must be written in collaboration with the developers, product owner and project manager. The next part is the testing process and states what kind of testing—whether manual or automatic, will be performed during the sprint. An important aspect to be taken care of before the test process is started is to investigate any blockers or dependencies for failed tests. A thorough review of previous builds and potential risks must be done before the next sprint development begins. The test plan should also mention the estimates or time taken to complete sprints and release the feature. This helps in overall estimation of the project. Advantages of Agile TestingWhile there are several benefits and advantages to testing, the most important is that it ensures quality products and satisfied customers.  Let us look at some other advantages that Agile testing provides: Allows for early testing: Early testing helps to satisfy the fail-first fail-safe motto of agile. Agile testing is carried out simultaneously with development. Early testing helps find issues early on and consequently fixing them before proceeding. Rolling back becomes less time consuming and more efficient. This is as opposed to traditional testing, which is usually performed after the development process is completed, where defects or issues discovered at a later stage can result in costly and time-consuming roll backs. Testers are involved in the beginning: Just like testing is carried out early on, testers too are involved in the entire process of development right from the initial stages. This transparency keeps everyone in the loop and helps the tester better understand the test cases that need to be designed for the sprint. Defects are fewer: As testing takes place at the same time or close to the development, defects are identified and fixed sooner. This not only helps in avoiding scope creep but also reduces the number of bugs that may come due to late testing. Save time and money: Agile testing avoids costly roll backs. Roll backs at a later stage are both time consuming and costly. Agile testing avoids this as bugs can be fixed in the same iteration and time saved. Conclusion Statistics show that on average, a developer creates 70 bugs per 1000 lines of code and debugging takes close to 75 percent of a developer’s time, which amounts to 1500 hours a year. This seems like a staggering waste of time when time is precious, and things need to move at a staggering pace. Agile testing helps developers channel their energy more constructively and reduce not just time but also ensure more robust testing, lesser costs, and better-costs, Ty products. Agile testing, like Agile development, can make not just your team and your organization more productive but can ensure a happier team and a more motivated workforce who can deliver value and quality.
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What Is Agile Testing

Susan May
Blog
28th Sep, 2021
What Is Agile Testing

Testing is a critical aspect of any product development. Without the proper tests, a product may as well not be released because testing is an opportunity to fix and improve the code and the product. History is proof that products launched without proper testing not only spell doom on the business but also result in irreparable loss to the reputation of the organization.

Whether it's traditional or agile project management, testing is an integral part of product development. In this blog, we attempt to look at Agile Testing and the advantages it offers to the whole process of Agile development.

What is Agile Testing?

A part of the success of the Agile process lies in the fact that the various processes that go into creation of a product are conducted simultaneously. Traditional project management, on the other hand, starts with the analysis, then moves into design, development and finishes with testing. The activities are carried out just once. Rolling back, if there are any issues, would be very expensive and time-consuming.  

Agile on the other hand, embodies speed and equips organizations to become flexible and adaptable. Organizations want teams that are high performing and predictable, churning out products that meet customer expectations and timelines.

But speed does not mean that quality can be compromised with. Quality has been an integral part of the development process in all eras. The need for speed reinforces the need for quality. Agile testing ensures that products that are developed using the Agile methodology are fully tested and ready for release.

Agile testing is the software testing practice that follows the principles of agile software development. Testing in Agile means quick testing that is within the scope of Agile principles and offers quick feedback for faster development of the project. In fact, testing comes first in agile, irrespective of while Agile methodology is used. The project is broken into user stories and a set of acceptance criteria is created, against which the story is tested. Only when the user story meets the acceptance criteria is it said to meet the definition of done and is released. 

Agile Testing Methodology Types

In Agile, testing is done as early as possible in the development cycle and requires a high degree of involvement of the client. A high degree of collaboration and communication is also needed between team members to ensure that testing in Agile is successful. 

The Agile Methodology encompasses several types of testing procedures: 

1. Test Driven Development (TDD):

“Test-driven development” refers to a style of programming in which three activities are tightly interwoven: coding, testing (in the form of writing unit tests) and design (in the form of refactoring)”—Agile Alliance  


TDD follows the concept of writing the simplest possible code for the test. Each feature or aspect of the program should have one single test written for it and it should be written such that it passes the simplicity criteria. TDD also requires that unit tests not be accumulated over time and ensures that quality is given priority. 

The advantages of TDD are as follows: 

  • TDD has been shown to reduce defect rates 
  • The code becomes modular and is easier to maintain 
  • Code becomes more manageable 
  • The overall costs associated with testing and consequently the project goes down and ROI increases 
  • The amount of time spent debugging gets significantly reduced 

2. Behaviour Driven Development (BDD)

Behavior Driven Development (BDD) is a synthesis and refinement of practices stemming from Test Driven Development (TDD) and Acceptance Test Driven Development (ATDD)—Agile Alliance  

BDD follows the concept of implementing only those behaviors that help to minimize waste and directly impact product or business outcomes. The tests are written in plain language which is one of BDD’s biggest advantages. Like TDD each scenario focuses on one thing and is unambiguous.  

The advantages of BDD are as follows: 

  • BDD is inclusive and collaborative  
  • It speeds up the development process 
  • Makes it easier to automate 
  • Code can be re-used 

3. Acceptance Test Driven Development (ATDD)

Analogous to test-driven development, Acceptance Test Driven Development (ATDD) involves team members with different perspectives (customer, development, testing) collaborating to write acceptance tests in advance of implementing the corresponding functionality—Agile Alliance  

ATDD like BDD is also an off shot of TDD and ensures the highest quality by making acceptance tests the basis for development. The development is carried out by keeping these acceptance criteria as a reference.  

The advantages of ATDD are as follows: 

  • Focus is on the customer needs 
  • The requirements are better understood and there is better collaboration with stakeholders 
  • Issues are resolved better 
  • Development and testing are better managed 

4. Exploratory testing

Exploratory testing focuses on discovery and relies on the guidance of the individual tester to uncover defects that are not easily covered in the scope of other tests--Atlassian 

Exploratory testing is a testing that follows all the values of Agile and is a precursor to automation. This testing is perfect for mission critical projects and ensures that no test cases have been missed out that could lead to potential failures of the project.  

The advantages of Exploratory Testing include the following: 

  • Ensures that no aspect of the product misses testing 
  • Involves the entire team and stakeholders 
  • Ensures greater collaboration 
  • Is best for critical projects 

Agile Testing: Principles and Best practices

There are ten principles to Agile testing as mentioned in the book,Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teamsby Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory. These are now widely accepted as the standard principles or best practices on which Agile testing is based.  

  1. Provide continuous feedback: Agile testers do not simply test constantly. They are also responsible for distributing the results of those tests and facilitating the provision of feedback from customers to developers to create a more robust product. 
  2. Deliver value to the customer: While this is the second principle, it is the paramount principle. The end goal of every action taken by an Agile tester is to create the best product possible for the customer. 
  3. Enable face-to-face communication: The Agile tester's role is to reduce confusion and errors by communicating directly with developers, as well as enabling customers to communicate directly with developers. 
  4. Have courage: Developers can be defensive about their work. To meet their goal of providing value to the customer, Agile testers must fight for the changes and fixes that need to be made. 
  5. Keep it simple: Agile testers act on the aphorism that simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. For testing, that means performing only those tests that are necessary, and all tests that are necessary. For the product, that means delivering the simplest possible product that delivers the most possible value. 
  6. Practice continuous improvement: Agile testers are keen learners; they are never done learning how to do their job better. 
  7. Respond to change: Agile testers are adaptable and flexible, keeping up feedback from user stories, as well as changes in the product and the marketplace. 
  8. Self-organize: Instead of waiting at an assigned seat on the assembly line, Agile testers spring into action at every point in the process. They actively seek out problems and bring people together to solve them. 
  9. Focus on people: Agile testers are collaborative, preferring human interaction to technology. Their focus on people enables them to deliver a product that prioritizes usability and utility. 
  10. Enjoy: No one is as successful at meeting their goal as when they enjoy what they are doing. Agile testers who enjoy the work can deliver the greatest possible value to the customer. 

Agile Test Plan

Source: Agile Test plan 

Everything in Agile is planned, and so is Agile testing. An Agile test plan is a specific and structured document that includes business requirements, estimated QA (Quality Assurance) tasks and acceptance criteria. Having it as a document makes it highly visible and accessible to anyone involved in the project. The Agile test plan has the following sections: 

  • An introduction that gives a brief description of the project and general information on the testing process in the current sprint. This part also defines the document scope and how new features will be tested. 
  • The document also contains detailed user stories that define features.  
  • The third part of the document lists the QA environment which defines the manual or testing tools needed to conduct the tests. 
  • The test plan should also include the testing scope. This is a list of all the QA tickets or tasks that must be verified for a particular sprint. The testing scope must be written in collaboration with the developers, product owner and project manager. 
  • The next part is the testing process and states what kind of testing—whether manual or automatic, will be performed during the sprint. An important aspect to be taken care of before the test process is started is to investigate any blockers or dependencies for failed tests. A thorough review of previous builds and potential risks must be done before the next sprint development begins. 
  • The test plan should also mention the estimates or time taken to complete sprints and release the feature. This helps in overall estimation of the project. 

Advantages of Agile Testing

While there are several benefits and advantages to testing, the most important is that it ensures quality products and satisfied customers.  

Let us look at some other advantages that Agile testing provides: 

  • Allows for early testing: Early testing helps to satisfy the fail-first fail-safe motto of agile. Agile testing is carried out simultaneously with development. Early testing helps find issues early on and consequently fixing them before proceeding. Rolling back becomes less time consuming and more efficient. This is as opposed to traditional testing, which is usually performed after the development process is completed, where defects or issues discovered at a later stage can result in costly and time-consuming roll backs. 
  • Testers are involved in the beginning: Just like testing is carried out early on, testers too are involved in the entire process of development right from the initial stages. This transparency keeps everyone in the loop and helps the tester better understand the test cases that need to be designed for the sprint. 
  • Defects are fewer: As testing takes place at the same time or close to the development, defects are identified and fixed sooner. This not only helps in avoiding scope creep but also reduces the number of bugs that may come due to late testing. 
  • Save time and money: Agile testing avoids costly roll backs. Roll backs at a later stage are both time consuming and costly. Agile testing avoids this as bugs can be fixed in the same iteration and time saved. 

Conclusion 

Statistics show that on averagea developer creates 70 bugs per 1000 lines of code and debugging takes close to 75 percent of a developer’s time, which amounts to 1500 hours a year. This seems like a staggering waste of time when time is precious, and things need to move at a staggering pace. Agile testing helps developers channel their energy more constructively and reduce not just time but also ensure more robust testing, lesser costs, and better-costs, Ty products. Agile testing, like Agile development, can make not just your team and your organization more productive but can ensure a happier team and a more motivated workforce who can deliver value and quality.

Susan

Susan May

Writer, Developer, Explorer

Susan is a gamer, internet scholar and an entrepreneur, specialising in Big Data, Hadoop, Web Development and many other technologies. She is the author of several articles published on Zeolearn and KnowledgeHut blogs. She has gained a lot of experience by working as a freelancer and is now working as a trainer. As a developer, she has spoken at various international tech conferences around the globe about Big Data.


Website : https://www.zeolearn.com

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