What is Agile Testing?
Agile Testing is a type of testing methodology that is based on the rules and principles of Agile Software Development. The process of Agile Testing is in alignment with the iterative Development Methodology, which focuses on dealing with requirements as and when the customers or the testing teams come up with them. Unlike the Waterfall method, Agile Testing can be performed right from the beginning of the project. The simultaneous testing of the codes helps in building the end product in a much quicker time.
What are the principles of Agile Testing?
- Continuous testing – In Agile Testing, the testing never stops as it is the fastest way to reach the end goal.
- Continuous and quick feedback – Since all the feedback is in an ongoing basis, meeting the business goals is easy. The involvement of the business team in each of the iteration in the testing phase shortens the feedback response time.
- The whole team performs the tests – Unlike the regular software development cycle where only the testing team performs the tests, in Agile Testing, even the developers and the business analysts get involved in the testing phase.
- Simplified and clean codes – If and when defects arise, the changes are made in the initial iteration, thus making for a system with simple and clean codes.
- Less documentation – Agile Testing focuses more on the testing part rather than incidental details. As a result, it uses a reusable checklist, which leads to less documentation.
- Test-driven throughout – The testing phase starts at the initial implementation phase itself and does not wait until the whole implementation process is completed unlike in other software development cycles.
Agile Testing Methods
There are several testing methods that you can practice while performing Agile Testing. Here we take you through the four most common methods that will help you get started.
Behaviour Driven Development (BDD)
BDD focuses on forming a system where there is constant communication between the stakeholders and the team of testers and developers. The idea is to create “scenarios” using the example-driven communication that takes place.
These “scenarios” contain information on how a particular feature is to behave as per the requirements of the client. All the test cases are built around them and then the specifications in the development cycle can be changed when required.
You need to make sure that all the tests are documented to ensure efficiency. You should encourage the process where the testers, developers and the product owner take part in creating “scenarios”. Furthermore, you should create automated tests and reuse them across all the “scenarios”.
In this method, the test cycle goes like – Describe Behaviour → Write Step Definition → Run + Fail →Write code to make the step pass → Run + Pass
Acceptance Test Driven Development (ATDD)
In the ATDD methodology, the “Three Amigos” meetings are held where the customer, developer and tester give their inputs based on the characteristics and needs of the project. While the customer focuses on the problem, the developer focuses on the solution and the tester finds what could go wrong in the system and test for the same.
Everything is based on the user’s perspective in this methodology. Just like in BDD, the idea is to create a test case that may initially fail and then build the software and make changes around it, until it passes the test.
Note that all the acceptance criteria are created with the customer’s expectations in mind. A lot of test cases are automated in this methodology. You should always ask yourself questions like how to ensure that the system performs a function the way the customer wants and will the customers actually benefit from this function or not. Only when you get the right answers to these questions, will you be successful in your testing and developmental cycle.
In this method, the test cycle goes like – Writing a failing Acceptance Test → Write a failing Unit Test → Make the test pass → Refactor
This methodology lets the testers “play around” with the software. Since nothing is scripted beforehand, testers can mimic any kind of user-behaviour scenarios and take the software to the limits. The test execution and the test design go hand-in-hand in this methodology. Also, there is no real need of any documentation regarding how the testing was conducted unless you find a defect.
You always need to focus on areas of the software that can be under risks and the ones that have high value for the users. Yes, there is no need of documentation unless there is a defect, but it is important that you create a spreadsheet where you mention the areas that you have not tested.
In this method, the test cycle goes like – Learn → Test Design → Test Execution →Analysis
This kind of Agile Testing methodology is the advanced version of Exploratory Testing, as it is much more orderly and every single element of the system is tested. It involves test charters and test reports. While the former tells the testers what to test, the latter is used to document everything that is found during the tests. Furthermore, every test is conducted in time-boxed sessions.
Once a test session is completed, the testers, developers and the scrum masters discuss the developments in the testing phase. They particularly go through these five points-
- What was performed in the test?
- What did the tester discover or achieve?
- What were the obstacles faced in the test?
- What are the remaining areas to be tested?
- How does the tester feel about the areas of the product that were tested?
You need to document everything in the whole process – the test cases, activities, defects, takeaways and much more. You should always define a goal to ensure that the testers know the priorities of the test case. Also, make sure that you run uninterrupted testing sessions that have a fixed length.
The biggest benefit of performing Agile Testing is that it detects the defects a lot earlier in the development process, unlike in other developmental cycles, and hence reduces the cost of the fixing these defects. Moreover, the products created are customer-centric since the product is built around their ideas right from the start.
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