Automation Testing for Agile Methodology

What is Agile Methodology :

In the present day scenario of software development, the requirements of people are constantly changing. The software industry has evolutionised over the past few decades. Clients demand 'state of the art' software end product, hence the requirements have to be fairly organised so as to couple it with the feasibility of development of the product. With the advent of such a trend in the IT industry, the term 'Agile' has gained importance.

Agile means dynamic. The ever changing needs of the clients, availability of a wide range of technologies, it becomes really important to be a good planner. Planning plays a very important role, carefully drafting the pertinent facts relevant to the project plan is very important in the environment of dynamic change. Hence, the term 'Agile Methodology'.

Now, we look into a more detailed study of agile methodology with the help of a diagram.

agile automation methology

Agile model provides flexibility to the entire development process. The pictorial depiction is an approximation of the model, wherein there is a scope for continuous improvement through planning, review, discussion and reaching a conclusion. This model can be thought of as an incremental model . Tasks are divided into smaller parts and an iterative approach is adopted. With the accomplishment of one task, one can move on to the next and can see to the proper integration of features.

What is Automation Testing :

The term 'Automation' has a similar meaning with the word automatic. There are so many tools available to perform test on a software product. So in simple terms, automation testing is the method of testing a software application using an automated system.

Idea behind Automation in Agile :

To use automation testing approach in an agile environment, is a matter of choice. When automation testing method is adopted in agile methodology , there are few aspects one needs to take into their consideration.

Following are some of them :

  • The team needs to stay abreast of the requirement changes by the clients. There needs to be a quick help from the testers as well as the developers need to form a team to assess the needs.
  • A demo working software can act as a rescuer at the time of interaction with the clients.
  • A continuous interaction needs to be carried out in order to make sure that there aren't any loopholes remaining in the requirement specifications.
  • And last but not the least a continuous and well-organised plan for quick responses and continuous development.

Challenges in Agile Methodology :

Most testing tools are quite old and cannot keep pace with the agile environment. Here are some key challenges that needs to be dealt with.

  • Choice of the right tools - selecting the right kind of tool makes the life easy for testers. They have to have least burden on their shoulders regarding execution of test scripts in an agile development environment.
  • Managing resources - in an agile set up it becomes a cumbersome task to prepare test cases because the scenario keeps changing. Hence it becomes really challenging for testing team to cater to such needs. Hence an expert is required to gather and plan the requirement changes appropriately.
  • Good Communication - it is imperative that proper communication must exist between the developers and the testers.
  • Release phase - agile method demands quick delivery of the product. The challenge here lies in the integration and performance testing.

We can deal with the issues involved in the process of automation in agile methodology if we can set few parameters :

  • Maintain a test automation report : the ability to foresee is always a blessing in disguise. Hence it should be marked as important to maintain a backup plan for a project that needs constant change and improvement.
  • Do not rely on tools only : automation tools does its own work but at times it requires one to delve deeper into the project and have plans for test case execution independent of the generic test plans.
  • Create meaningful test plans : the major focus should be on implementing test plans that are relevant and not only relying on the test script of a testing framework.

Summary :

Concluding this topic , I would like to throw light on the fact that change is inevitable and planning becomes the core around which the whole process of agility works on. Effective change implementation with a continuous development process is the right approach to move ahead in the right direction for delivering the right end product.