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How to Become a Resourceful Agile Tester?

May 21, 2013

Simply put, software testing is about making sure that the end product is worth the client’s money and meets the requirements. This usually holds good in a traditional project where the requirements are constant and decided at the beginning of a project. However in an agile environment, where requirements are constantly changing and refactored, testing gets complicated

Traditional Tester

Agile Tester

Traditional testers get a specification document detailing the expectation from the product.

Agile testers use their probing and communication skills to understand the requirements.

Traditional testers begin testing only after the development cycle is completed.

Agile testers need to do testing side by side with the development team and give quick feedbacks.

Traditional testers get adequate time and resources to write detailed test cases/scripts.

Test cases/scripts take a back seat as testing starts early in the product lifecycle.

Traditional testers focus on validating and verifying the end product.

Agile testers also identify faults with design documents, test cases etc.

Challenges for Agile Testers

  • Disregarding the traditional testing techniques.
  • Lack of proper, detailed and solid documents.
  • Short deadlines and demand for quick feedback.
  • Effective communication and collaboration with other team members and teams.
  • Test coverage may sometimes be overlooked.
  • Domain and technical competency cannot be compromised.

Traits of Good Agile Testers

  • Good agile testers don't rely on documents, but use their questioning skills to understand a feature.
  • It is important and crucial to have adequate domain knowledge of the product under test.
  • Some technical competency can help communicate better with the developers.
  • Agile testers are expected to evaluate the quality of the product throughout its Lifecycle.
  • Testers must have a result-oriented goals, rather than individual ones.
  • Testers give importance to customer value and satisfaction.
  • They cooperate with developers in delivering a high-quality product, rather than viewing them as opposition.
  • It is crucial to learn new tools, methodologies and techniques that can be implemented in the testing.
  • Since time is an important factor, agile testers need to have good time management skills.
  • Understand the importance of automating regression tests, functional tests and integration tests. Manual testing is more suitable for usability tests and user acceptance tests.
  • Agile testers make use of exploratory testing to discover hidden and elusive bugs.
  • Agile testers do not just test, but they also question, gather information and make suggestions.


Agile testers become better with experience and practice. However, analytical skills and eagerness to learn are two important qualities that all agile testers must possess in order to succeed. Any traditional tester with an attitude to learn, question, suggest and contribute can become a good agile tester.

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