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What is Agile Testing?


The process of software testing comprises of various testing techniques and methodologies, that simplify the testing procedure and enhances its effectiveness. Agile testing is an important software testing technique that follows the principles of agile software development. To elaborate more on the significance of agile testing, here is a detailed discussion on the same.

Defining Agile:

The term 'Agile' generally refers to something that can be carried out swiftly and easily, while in the realm of software development, it refers to any approach to project management that unites all the teams together to work and develop a software that offers great performance and functionality and that meets the evolving requirements of the client.

It is by inculcating these qualities of agile that agile testing is executed by the core-functional agile team to test the software product and its various components.

agile meaning

What is Agile Testing?

Defined as a progressive & dynamic type of testing, agile testing has a quick and easy testing process, which is carried out on a regular basis during each iteration of the software development life cycle (SDLC) by agile testers.

Moreover, agile software development and testing breaks projects into a series of regular and predictable iterations. During this process, customer satisfaction is the primary concern, which is provided by delivering the software quickly with the best of the features.

However, one cannot define agile testing without offering a glance into the concept of agile software development methodology, on the basis of which agile testing is executed.

Defining the Agile Methodology of Software Development:

Agile methodology of software development is a specific approach of software development that is carried out to develop and deliver a software product in minimal time with the least possibility of defects.

  • The agile software development was launched back in the year 2001.
  • During this process of development, the team continuously accepts client reviews and requirements, which are then implemented in the next iteration of the development life cycle.
  • Generally, these requirements are evolved through continuous collaboration of the client and teams, involved in the development.
  • This development methodology is a dynamic, repetitive & progressive process that performed by agile developers.
  • It requires one or more iteration to implement the frequently incoming & dynamic requirements after each iteration, until the final product fulfills & satisfies all the criteria/requirements provided by the client before & during the development process.

Agile Methodology

agile methodology

Features of Agile Testing:

Agile testing is an integral part of software development life cycle as it unites the development team and testing team together and enables them to evaluate the software product for its quality, effectiveness, and more. Other features that help define agile testing are:

  • Agile testing is a continuous process.
  • It can be conducted at the start of the project with continuous integration between software developers and testers.
  • Less time required as the process is based on iterations and product is to be delivered on trial basis to clients for their feedback in making necessary improvement.
  • Here, the focus is laid on iterative development and delivery.
  • Bugs & defects occurring in the software are resolved within the same iteration.
  • Works as an intermediate for continuous progress in the software development process instead of gatekeeper to validate the software before the release and to send it back to software development on founding bugs & defects resulting into loss of time & money.
  • Regular feedbacks from the clients improves the development process and thereby reduces the risk of finding bugs & defect in the end product.
  • Although, testers validates the accuracy of the software, in agile testing developer can also test their modules after each iteration.
  • Collaboration of testing team along with other teams involved in the software development process.

Agile Testing Quadrants:

Agile testing quadrants may be seen as an established procedure or guidelines or steps to carry out the end-to-end agile testing of a software application in four different phases, imparting different testing techniques for different levels and purposes.

Agile Testing Quadrants

  1. Quadrant 1 (Automated): This quadrant of agile testing validates the quality of the software’s internal code. It consists of test cases that are technology driven and are used to support the testing processes and the testing team. During this quadrant following testing are performed:
  2. Quadrant 2 (Automated & Manual): The second agile testing quadrant is focused on requirements of the client, which are provided to the team before and during testing methodologies. It consists of business driven test cases that are implemented for the support of the team. It includes various testing activities, like:
  3. Quadrant 3 (Manual): The main focus of this quadrant is to offer feedback to the previous two quadrants. It enables the team to learn as the test progresses. The test cases prepared in this quadrant can be used as the basis to perform automation testing. Quadrant 3 helps build confidence in the product. It involves:
  4. Quadrant 4 (Tools): The final quadrant of agile testing is mainly concerned with non-functional requirements of the product, such as its performance, security, stability, etc.. It enables the product owners to get a software product that delivers expected value and non-functional qualities. The various testing that are performed under this quadrant are:
  5. Agile Testing Methodologies:

    While implementing agile testing the team uses various agile methodologies that assist them in getting accurate outputs. These agile testing methodologies are:

    1. Scrum: One of the most sort after methodology under agile testing happens to be the scrum framework. It is a well structured approach that encourages cross-functional team effort, regular communication and a dedicated focus towards common goals.
    2. Crystal Methodologies: In this methodology of agile testing, the focus is laid on charting, cyclic delivery and wrap up, which is ensured through various analyses.
    3. Feature Driven Development (FDD): This agile methodology involves designing and building features. It offers insight into various specific phases that need to accomplished by the team.
    4. Dynamic Software Development Method (DSDM): A Rapid Application Development (RAD) approach, DSDM offers a delivery framework to the agile project. It is performed by users as well as development & testing teams.
    5. Lean Software Development: Here, the focus of the team is on eliminating the discrepancies from the product and delivering a quality product to the customer.
    6. Extreme Programming (XP): Another important agile methodology, XP is helpful when there is a constant change of user requirements. It is a customer centric methodology that helps in delivering a quality product that meets the requirements of the client/customer, which are made clear during the process of development & testing.

    What are the Advantages of Agile Testing?

    Since years, agile software testing has been a vital part in IT field. This success of the scenario accounts to the benefits that it provides. Here are some of the finest advantages that it incurs.

    • Greater Productivity: Since the workload is divided into chunks in agile software development, it restricts programmers to go off the track. It results in less discrepancies and higher productivity.
    • Higher Quality: Agile software testing accounts to a better end product that is easier to test and validate along the way. This definitely leads to decrease in errors and an increase in productivity.
    • Predictable Costs: Since cost estimates are required in the beginning itself, estimation of costs becomes more transparent.
    • User's Feedback and Reviews: Engagement of customers or end-users in the agile methodology of development & testing helps in improving the quality and features of the software product in a very easy manner as feedbacks and reviews are getting received directly from the end-users.

    Disadvantages of Agile Testing:

    Each and everything have some or more both advantages and disadvantages. Agile testing is a productive approach of testing the software application but still some of the key-elements or points as stated below reflect the disadvantages of using agile testing.

    • Less or no documentation results into unambiguous requirements and specifications which makes difficult to predict expected outcomes.
    • Efforts required in testing the application become unpredictable for the QA/ testing team.
    • As bug fixes and corrections as well as releases happen frequently in agile testing, which leads to the introduction of new bugs in the system.

    Challenges faced during Agile Testing:

    Some of the agile testing challenges, a testing team usually encounters with are:

    Agile Testing Challenges

    • Lack of documentation.
    • Last minute changes.
    • Frequent changes in the code.
    • Tools selection.
    • Limited test coverage.
    • Communication.

    Agile Testing Best Practices:

    As agile model involves less or no documentation, it creates difficulties for the testing team to predict the expected results and to decide direction and path of the testing to be carried out. These difficulties can become a hurdle in testing and can be overcome by adopting the following best practices:

    Tools for Agile Testing:

    Apart from being performed manually the process of agile testing can also be performed with the assistance of various new and advanced tools available in the market that strive to simplify the testing process and make it cost and time effective.

    Therefore, provided here is a list of best agile testing tools:

    1. Zephyr.
    2. JIRA.
    3. PractiTest.
    4. Testrail.
    5. SoapUI.
    6. Apache JMeter.
    7. Selenium WebDriver.
    8. Appium.
    9. qTest Scenario.
    10. Pivotal Tracker.

    In nutshell, it may be stated that agile approach is very much different to waterfall or traditional development. Unlike waterfall model where testing activities are carried out post development of the software application, agile testing delivers a dynamic and productive approach in today's unpredictable and dynamic environment to perform testing frequently on regular basis throughout the development process. You may also check few ways, why agile testing is different from Traditional Testing?