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What is Agile Testing?

January 17, 2012

What is Agile Testing?

To understand what is Agile testing, it is imperative to understand the basics of Agile development methodology which is about welcoming changes in requirements, even in the later development phases.

When agile development methodology is adapted, the key is delivering a product with minimal functionalities to the client at an earliest. Then, with every delivery, more features, capabilities and functionalities are added to the product. This method of developing and delivering application results in higher customer satisfaction.

When a testing team tests using Agile methodology, testing is not done during one phase, but testing is done iteratively with every release. This way of testing early and often ensures minimal damage and risk in the end application. In short, the speed and volume of change is huge in Agile testing, demanding the testers to embrace changing requirements.

Advantages of Agile testing

  • The application with minimal functionalities is ready quickly thus pleasing the end customer. Testing is a continuous process thus ensuring that the product actually meets the requirements in each iteration as the development progresses.
  • Testing is done by everybody in the team; not merely by testers.
  • Bug fixing is instantaneous since testing is done in each sprint consequently keeping the code clean of bugs.
  • Lightweight documentation and checklists suffices instead of comprehensive test documentation.
  • Agile teams (including developers and testers) consider an application “complete” only after it is implemented and tested, contrary to other teams in which developers call the application is “complete” after coding is over.

Disadvantages of Agile testing

  • As bug fixes and releases happen more often, more number of regression bugs may be introduced.
  • The test team need to turn around quickly thus robbing them of time to work on detailed documents such as test plans and test strategies.
  • Test team may not work on developing a consistent and powerful test system that can be maintained for years to come because of immediate test results that is expected from them.

To sum up, agile testing methodology poses certain challenges. Testers must possess full functional and in-depth knowledge of the application under test. The right kind of test automation need to be selected in order for it to be instrumental in the overall agile testing methodology. Test teams and development teams need to work closely and communicate with each other quite often. Testers must be proactive, innovative and creative and they must be able to cope up with the speed of developers and frequent releases.

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