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Agile Software Testing | 8 Differences Of Agile Software Tests

Author: Nayan Chauhan
by Nayan Chauhan
Posted: Jan 02, 2018

The agile methodologies of software development entail important differences in the agile software tests with respect to the predictive approach.

Under a cascade software development methodology, the Testing team is focused on a single phase of the project, that of software testing. It does not begin to contribute to the development of a module or functionality is integrated. In most cases, the Testing equipment does not start from the initial phase.

The agile software tests imply important changes regarding these working methods, such as that the Testing team is integrated with the development team, it is a single team, the tests are carried out in parallel with the development, the Testers collaborate with the Owner of the product in the lifting of requirements/user stories.

Likewise, the Testers in an agile environment need to know in depth the internal functioning of the software and are indispensable tools for the automation of tests.

We present the 8 aspects in which the agile software tests differ.

1. - Integration of software developers and testers in a single multifunctional team

Traditionally, the software quality and testing function are completely separate from software development, in this regard :

  • There is a clearly differentiated development team and test team.
  • The most frequent interactions between both occur when reporting errors and delivering corrections.
  • Many times the interactions are by email or software test management tools.

Unlike, in the agile software tests, the work teams are multifunctional and self-managed:

  • The Testing team is integrated with the development team. It is a single team.
  • All are responsible for the delivery of functionality and product quality.
  • The role of the Tester focused on identifying errors and of developers to correct them is modified; all are equally responsible for delivering on time and with quality.

2. - The Testing is permanent, in early stages of the project and frequent

In the software development predictive methodologies, especially in the cascade model, the software tests are a phase of the project, which begins once development ends its phase and delivery the product.

Frequently, no type of Testing has been carried out until then, not even the unit tests that should be part of the project, even under predictive approaches.

In contrast, in the agile software tests:

  • They run in fast iterations. The product delivered at the end must be able to be deployed in the production environment.
  • This means that the Testing must be permanent, even when the developers have not finished integrating the product.
  • For this, the Testing must be done at the unit level (Unit tests).

3. - Testing is done in parallel with software development.

Agile methodologies work with fast iterations, and the only way to achieve the delivery of products is to perform software tests in parallel with the development, this means:

  • Test the source code as soon as it is developed.
  • As the product is not integrated, the tests focus on the unit level. User stories are tested as soon as they are completed.
  • This avoids the overload of work in Testing at the end of the iteration, as if it occurs when working with predictive software development methodologies.
  • It reduces the risk of surprises, the problems are identified and corrected while the product is being built, which is a best practice in quality management.

4. - The Testers assist in the interactions with the business area

Under a predictive work approach, the Testing team and the Business Analysts (Functional Analysts) are completely separated. Interactions with the business area are handled by Business Analysts and Project Managers.

When there are discrepancies between the expectations of the client and the product prepared by the team, often the reference frame is usually the specification of requirements, regardless of whether the user's actual needs are different.

In the agile methodologies of development and testing of software, the role of Testing is expanded to assist the product owner in the management of requirements, in aspects such as:

  • Assist in the development of user stories. (The most widespread way of documenting software requirements in agile methodologies). Identifying errors and aspects omitted in their definition.
  • Assist in the identification of all acceptance criteria associated with user stories, based on their knowledge of the business and product rules.
  • Through constant interaction with the business area, we work to meet your expectations. Conversation and interaction are favoured instead of sticking to requirements specifications.

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5. - Testers are involved in all project activities

In traditional approaches, Testers are active during the software testing phase only, in fact, in most cases they do not start with the project from the planning stage, but they are integrated weeks or days before the beginning of the software tests.

Unlike in agile software tests, the tester needs to be integrated from the first iteration. Throughout iteration the Tester plays different roles, namely:

  • Support the product owner in the elicitation of user stories.
  • It is integrated into the meetings to analyze the product stack (Product Backlog).
  • In the iteration planning sessions, he collaborates in the development of estimates identifying functionality and cases not considered by the developers.
  • Collaborates in the planning of the iteration (Sprint Planning) ensuring that workloads and estimates of software testing work are properly considered.
  • On a day-to-day basis, it interacts with developers, business analysts and the product owner, clarifying requirements, identifying design problems and executing unit tests.

6. - The Tester needs to know in depth the internal functioning of the software.

Under cascade software development methodologies, most of the Testing that is carried out is a black box, in which one does not need to have an internal knowledge of how it works. The application.

In contrast, in agile software tests, parallel work and the speed of tests are necessary; therefore it is also essential to perform white box tests.

On a typical day, the Tester not only tests the application from its workstation but must perform peer reviews with the developers, inspecting the code and identifying problems early.

For this, the Testers need to have an internal knowledge of the operation of the application, in terms of involved technologies and programming language.

7. - It depends to a large extent on the automation of software tests.

Agile methodologies work with fast iterations; this involves carrying out complex tests frequently and with speed. Doing this manually is impossible in practice, which is why software testing automation tools are indispensable.

  • When developing the stories, the programming of the unit tests that validate it must also be done.
  • Automated integration tests should also be developed.
  • Frequent code integrations require the repeated execution of regression tests.
  • The use of Mocks (non-real programs that simulate responses) should be avoided, as long as it is not indispensable.
  • There are many tools to perform automated tests, such as Selenium, HP Quick Test and many others.

8. - There must be a balance between the tests of new functionality and the regression tests

  • In agile software testing, quality management must strike a balance between testing new functionality and regression testing.
  • When the user stories are completed by the developers, the focus is on testing new functionality, confirming that the acceptance tests work.
  • At other times, the focus is on regression tests, for example when code integrations are made to the central source.
  • Manual regression tests should be performed in border cases or behavioural tests that are difficult to automate. The other regression tests should be automated as much as possible.
  • The regression tests must be executed at the time of each compilation of the central source.

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About the Author

KostCare is a Quality Assurance and Software Testing Services company. We serve clients worldwide to ensure that they have predictability as to the quality and performance of their software

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Author: Nayan Chauhan

Nayan Chauhan

Member since: Nov 28, 2017
Published articles: 2

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