What is Agile Testing?

I have heard the term “agile testing” thrown around many times in my classes and other conversations about software development, but I’ve never really known about what it means. When I was writing my blog post about the Scrum process (post found here: https://kathleenmlaw.com/2018/12/03/scrum-isnt-an-acronym-but-what-does-it-mean/), the term came up as well. Obviously, it’s pretty clear that agile testing is very important to software development. I did some reading about what agile testing entails, and found a couple of links which helped me understand more about its significance: https://www.tutorialspoint.com/software_testing_dictionary/agile_testing.htm and https://reqtest.com/testing-blog/agile-testing-principles-methods-advantages/.

Essentially, agile testing is an iterative process of collaborating between end users, the development team, and the testing team. Project development is based on the needs of the customer or the testers. Agile testing is a continuous process which begins at the start of a project or project sprint and remains throughout the course of project development, rather than just happening once as a “testing phase.” This makes the agile testing process more unstructured. Because testing occurs throughout the entire project, rather than just at the end, any errors that come up during development can be fixed at any time.

The amount of communication between all parties is also very high, with testers and developers working closely together to come up with project solutions that fit not only customer specifications, but also testing requirements. Because all parties (including the developers and end users) test the product along with the testers, there is decreased time waiting for feedback and ongoing discussions about how the project is going. Most importantly, every member is on the same page with each step of development.

There are several methods of agile testing that can be utilized during the agile development process: Behavior Driven Development (BDD), where development and testing is based on desired behavior of the program; Test Driven Development (TDD), where the tests to be passed drive the development process, and exploratory testing, where testers explore the program to be tested and then write tests based on what they find.

Here is more information on BDD and TDD, respectively: https://kathleenmlaw.com/2018/10/05/what-is-behavior-driven-development/ and https://kathleenmlaw.com/2018/10/12/more-about-test-driven-development/.

Some of the many advantages of implementing an agile testing environment include the incorporation of all members in the development process, the regular and consistent feedback received from all parties, and the flexibility that comes with continuous, synchronous work on development and testing.

I definitely feel more in-the-know now that I have done more reading about what agile development and testing entail. Now that I’m almost done with my undergraduate career, I’m excited to put these new skills to action in the workplace.

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