As the intricacy of the software development process continues to increase, software testing methods as a part of mandatory QA services must also grow to stay up. Agile testing is a modern strategy that emphasizes on testing smartly as opposed to investing a lot of time yet still producing high-quality solutions.
The Agile Testing approach requires a greater level of communication between analysts and engineers. Throughout the software development lifecycle, analysts must give correct input to the development team. The current era is characterized by the growing convergence of testing and development methodologies.
This article focuses on providing thorough knowledge of different Agile methodologies in testing.
2. What is Agile Testing?
Agile testing is a key part of agile software development. Earlier quality assurance used to be carried out separately after the development step but in Agile testing it is opposite. The testing in Agile approach is carried out at the beginning of the development cycle. The only purpose is that it provides a constant way to give feedback to the development phase because the testing runs simultaneously.
Agile testing has grown to the point where experts are no longer a separate organizational unit; they are now also part of an agile development team. In several agile enterprises, there aren’t any specific positions for analysts or quality assurance experts, so everyone on the team is equally responsible for testing. In other situations, there are test professionals, but they work directly with the software developers throughout the software development life cycle.
3. What Does an Agile Tester Do?
In Agile, QA is everybody’s duty. Therefore, Agile engineers and developers must collaborate closely. Communication and cooperation are essential.
In agile software development, tests are frequently the driving force. To create the test first, engineers employ Agile techniques like TDD (test-driven development). Next, they compose the program that will be tested. And Agile devs and analysts should communicate prior to defining user stories (i.e., objectives).
The concept of “done” in Agile projects is a common, uniform awareness amongst the development team that a certain development module has been finished. The prerequisites inside a user narrative will assist in determining the meaning of done. If the user narrative meets the acceptance requirements, it is deemed done. This involves evaluating or confirming the qualifying criteria. Therefore, a test confirms that the user narrative has been completed.
Agile engineers and developers must be aware of what’s been evaluated and what faults need to be fixed.
4. Impacts of Agile Methodology in Testing
Agile methodologies incorporate tests into the production process. Software engineers are taught to create tests both before and concurrently with coding. Each component of a program is encased within a series of unit tests to check that it continues to function as intended. This facilitates the identification and isolation of issues as the product changes over time. Considering that software product development may be reactive and that a variety of variables might affect efficiency and susceptibility, this is an essential testing skill.
When part of the development team, engineers are positioned to conduct tests as minor developments of features are finished. Good cooperation and quicker feedback loops enable issues to be addressed faster, hence reducing the accumulation of more issues. This makes it easier for developers to resolve issues, as their work is much more front of mind.
Agile businesses frequently provide testers with more instruction and exposure to improved tools, enabling them to create and perform automated tests across the user interface and software interfaces.
Both automated tests and the unit tests stated previously are crucial to the agility of teams over a long period of time. In the absence of them, Agile techniques can give an early burst of energy but ultimately grind to a standstill when the burden of manual testing finds it difficult to deploy software in quick, incremental increments.
As per Frost & Sullivan’s study, a rising proportion of firms are implementing the Agile approach as part of continual engagement in software development.
Frost & Sullivan reports that the Agile methodology’s influence in the software testing industry is gradually growing. “In the Agile approach, programmers and analysts cooperate in the initial phases of a product’s lifetime and remain to do so continuously,” the company explains.
The strategy is strongly related to another rapidly expanding trend, the utilization of DevOps. The DevOps approach is at the vanguard of the software testing business. Agile is a type of constant integration environment in software testing, whereas DevOps is more of an iterative development environment, according to the definition.
Companies are implementing this aspect of Agile culture, which merges Agile testing strategies or architecture with development and operational cooperation across the software development lifecycle. Frost & Sullivan predicts that DevOps will partner with Agile to increase the likelihood of producing high-quality and error-free software products since Agile is replacing waterfall.
As Agile and DevOps are the rising corporate approaches to software testing, automation will be accountable for their successful application in testing. The company adds that the quality assurance concepts that Agile and DevOps emphasize cannot be accomplished as readily by manual tests. Screening software in accordance with Agile methodologies is a constant procedure, and test automation is an evolving technique that may assure the process’s effectiveness and efficacy.
5. Agile Testing Life Cycle
As we all know, the Waterfall methodology is sequential but similar to Agile Testing is not sequential or it is not implemented after the coding phase but is continuous. Continuous Testing is one of the few continuous activities that take place simultaneously on most agile projects, including
- Continuous Build
- Continuous Integration (CI)
- Continuous Delivery (CD)
- Continuous Deployment
Now let us discuss the agile testing life cycle which includes the following 5 phases:
- Impact assessment
- Agile Testing Planning
- Release Readiness
- Daily Scrums
- Test Agility Review
Have a look at the picture for more understanding:
6. Agile Testing Strategy
One can easily overcome the pitfalls with dedication and by experiencing the three powerful benefits. The initial step towards successful Agile testing is to determine when Agile testing is not viable and cannot be used. Blindly adopting the Agile testing strategy can result in a poor, crash-prone product.
So here are several best guidelines for cases in which Agile may not be the best way to test:
- When your team members lack the deep, broad skills required to perform Agile testing
- When the scope of project is crystal clear and very unlikely to change
- When the customer demands on utilizing a traditional waterfall strategy to testing
- When the project is governed by a single product owner with minimal requirements
Once you get to know that Agile testing will benefit your customers, your team, and your product, you should invest more time and effort in the testing process as required and choose the right methodology to create a testing process using the four-quadrant model.
Software testers can open doors for themselves by giving helpful feedback based on interactions with both customers and developers. In short, they should make themselves essential to programmers to be able to perform their job well.
7. Agile Testing Methods
Here are five agile testing methods that are used in agile testing methodology,
7.1 Test-Driven Development (TDD)
The foundation of test-driven development (TDD) is testing. This form of development starts with a discussion of what is to be tested, followed by the creation of a user narrative. Therefore, you begin by creating a unit test. Next, you must compose the timeline. Eventually, code is written till unit tests pass.
Generally, TDD is applied to component and unit tests that may be executed using automated testing tools. TDD ensures that the functionalities work as expected.
7.2 Acceptance Test-Driven Development (ATDD)
Acceptance test-driven development (ATDD) is comparable to that used for acceptance tests. However, ATDD begins with user feedback regarding functionality. This method of development begins with a discussion of the product’s intended application. Therefore, you compose a user acceptability test (UAT). Next, the code is written till it succeeds in the test.
ATDD is commonly applied to acceptance tests. It confirms that the product performs as expected by users.
7.3 Behavior-Driven Development (BDD)
BDD is a combination and precision of TDD and ATDD methods. BDD boosts TDD and ATDD with the following strategies:
- Using the “Five Whys” methodology to each suggested user narrative in order to establish its objective in relation to commercial results.
- Practicing just those habits that significantly contribute to such business results in reducing waste.
- Improving communication by expressing actions in a single syntax that is readily approachable to domain specialists, analysts, and engineers.
- Using these strategies to the software’s lower degree of complexity.
7.4 Exploratory Testing
Exploratory testing promotes the tester’s independence, competence, and inventiveness, much like other Agile methods do for developers. It promotes doing different test-related tasks, like test design and production, during a project instead of in a predetermined order and during a certain “stage” of the operation. In exploratory testing, working software is prioritized over comprehensive documentation. The method also highlights the mutually supporting nature of various procedures, as well as the requirement for a variety of testing strategies as opposed to a formal test strategy.
7.5 Session-Based Testing
Session-based testing is not much different than exploratory testing. Session-based testing is nonetheless somewhat more structured. Instead of determining what to test as you go along, you begin with an objective in sight.
Session-based testing can also be used to uncover flaws that are concealed behind a project.
8. Benefits of Agile Test Methodology
The main advantages of the agile testing methodology:
- It cuts cost and effort
- Agile testing lowers paperwork
- It is adaptive and responsive to changes
- It offers a method for collecting consistent input from end users
- Better problem resolution with regular meetings
Test automation based on the Agile Approach of software development offers clear benefits to firms seeking to improve their product development, irrespective of the test procedure chosen.
Customers and corporate users will not accept ineffective software, and poor performance has a direct influence on a company’s reputation. Moreover, given the heightened focus on cyber defense, any program released to the industry with significant risks is very guaranteed to failure.
The Agile Method has revolutionized the software development process. More firms are undergoing digitalization to improve data management and the delivery of digital solutions to corporate clients and external consumers. Agile will undoubtedly play a big role as businesses pursue these transformation initiatives.