Agile methodologies are crucial to building up-to- date, high quality software products. This approach bridges the gap between testers and developers, reducing the feedback loop between them, and leading to faster product delivery.
Developing software is a complex process that involves various distinct practices such as designing, programming, testing, and documenting, to name a few. Luckily, Agile methodologies bring all of these pieces together, integrating management, development and testing efforts into a perfectly orchestrated workflow. Agile is a collaborative process that requires everyone from product owners and test managers to programmers and engineers to work together in the development of high quality software products that meet users’ demands.
Read ahead to learn why implementing Agile testing practices is one of the best ways to achieve rapid product delivery and continuous improvement of your product.
But First, What Exactly Is Agile Testing?
Agile testing is a testing methodology that derives from the software development approach called Agile. Although Agile is an overarching term that involves many different practices, the common thread is that they are all rooted in the principle of iterative and incremental development. This approach divides the development process into smaller parts or cycles that allow it to constantly incorporate new features and improvements to the product.
Unlike other testing methodologies, Agile testing occurs alongside development, allowing testers to discover errors as often as possible and at every stage of the development process. Thanks to the numerous iterations that occur throughout the project, Agile projects incorporate feedback from testers, developers, and end users regularly, allowing the software to constantly evolve and adapt to customer requirements.
In essence, the Agile philosophy is all about practicing continuous integration and delivery, and promoting both cross-team collaboration and a continuous feedback culture. If you want to learn more about the core principles of Agile testing, we recommend you read one of our favorites books, Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams, written by Agile test experts Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory, which explores the main practices and values of this approach.
How Agile Testing Leads to Better Software
There are numerous reasons why implementing Agile testing in parallel to development improves the quality of a software product. Here is our selection of what we consider the most beneficial aspects of incorporating this approach into your project:
Unlike other types of testing, Agile testing is performed early in the project alongside development, allowing both the detection and resolution of errors at every stage of the process. This allows testers and developers to fix defects quickly, and makes code maintenance easier. In this way, utilizing Agile testing has a huge impact in the optimization of resources, and overall reduction of project costs.
The software market is one of the most competitive and rapidly changing markets, and so creating a flexible product that can incorporate improvements and adapt to changes easily is paramount. Agile practices allow modifications to be integrated regularly in each iteration, ensuring that end-user feedback or any update in customer requirements is assimilated into the project.
Although each project is unique and has different documentation needs, Agile testing allows teams to create simple and minimal documentation in comparison to other methodologies that require lengthy and highly specified notes. This stems from the Agile principle of prioritizing “working software over comprehensive documentation.” Agile testers reuse documentation resources on every iteration, which allows them to focus on other important aspects, such as collaboration and adaptability to change.
Rapid product delivery
Thanks to the flexible, incremental and iterative nature of the process, Agile promotes rapid releases of reliable and high quality pieces of software. While other methodologies focus on delivering products once they are fully built, Agile teams take a feature-by-feature approach, splitting projects in small operational elements that are coded and tested on each iteration. This accelerates delivery times, and ensures each feature adds value to the final product.
These are just a few of the most significant advantages of implementing Agile into your project, but there are countless more. Ultimately, the Agile philosophy bridges the gap between testers and developers, fully integrating testing into the development process and making both practices almost inseparable. It is the connection between these two worlds that makes the Agile methodology so powerful, and ensures the creation of high quality software products.
There Is More to Agile
What we described above is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the world of Agile testing. If you want to learn more about specific Agile frameworks, testing methods, or how we implement Agile at Abstracta, here are some previous articles from our blog that we would recommend to anyone, whether they are knowledgeable Agile testers or beginners on the topic!
- Q&A with Agile test expert Lisa Crispin about behavior driven development (BDD) and continuous delivery.
- Agile testing guide, and testing principles needed for thriving in an Agile environment, written by guest writer Jedi Master Yoda!
- Guest post by Agile test experts Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory, about the intersection of DevOps and Software Quality.
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