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.
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.
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:
“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:
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:
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:
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:
There 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.
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:
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:
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.