What Is Agile Testing & What Are Agile Testing Methods?

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Every work sphere in technology is evolving rapidly. The term ” Agile Methodology ” came into the limelight, that focuses on continuous improvement and sustainable economic growth. Well, it may not be new. Agile testing is a part of Agile methodology that refers to the testing process of the entire software development life cycle. This approach helps testers and developers collaborate and communicate, thereby eases the process of identifying defects as early as possible and thereby creates a valuable product. 

What is Agile in Testing:

Agile testing is an iterative and incremental process of the software development lifecycle. Unlike the traditional software testing methodologies (like the waterfall method), where testing comes only at the end of the cycle, this approach supports continuous testing and DevOps. These are very crucial to improve the quality of a product. 

Agile Testing will start even before the dev team starts the development and happens continuously as the features are added. Testers aim to write as many testcases as possible in each iteration, and these agile tests are prioritized just like the user stories. Throughout the product life cycle, regular interactions between developers, customers, managers, stakeholders, and QA/testing teams happen.

Agile Testing Methods

The following are the most crucial Agile testing methodologies that support agile processes-

1. Test-Driven Development (TDD)

In this agile testing method, coding, testing, and design go hand-in-hand. The development cycle starts with writing a unit test & then developers write a code and edit the code until the unit test passes. 

The software requirements are converted to testcases at the beginning of the SDLC before the development of software\. We can apply TDD on unit and component tests.  The tests are usually done with the help of automation testing tools. The main aim of the TDD methodology is to make sure all the features are working as they should be.

2. Acceptance Test-Driven Development (ATDD)

In this method, the development of the product happens as per the end-user requirement. ATDD is a customer-centric approach, where the developer team, the testing team, and the customers create acceptance tests from the end-user perspective. The developers then develop the code according to the Acceptance tests created.

3. Behaviour Driven Development (BDD)

Behavior-driven development is a refined & augmented approach of TDD and ATDD as the development team writes the code according to the test cases created. Unlike ATDD, this approach focuses on the identification of business needs and goals. During the testing process, testers implement behaviors that contribute directly to the business goals. As this agile testing method pays close attention to the distribution of behavior, we can save the time spent on testing.

4. Exploratory testing

Exploratory testing focuses on interacting with an already released application. It allows testers to play around with the software and use it chaotically without writing any scripts. Testers list out all the possible user behaviors, use their creativity to take actions that can break the software. Testers usually focus on areas or scenarios that pose high value for users. But there will not be any detailed documents that describe how the exploratory tests are conducted. Testers report only the defects to the clients

5. Session-based testing

The session-based testing methodology aims to ensure that the software product is tested entirely and comprehensively. It’sverysimilar to that of exploratory testing, except the tests, are conducted during Time-boxed sessions. Session-based testing combines exploratory testing, accountability, and control. This method helps testers to structure the tests and perform them during uninterrupted sessions. In this approach, testers create test charters.  This charter contains details like what to test and test reports which allow testers to document what they discover during a test. It will, in turn, help in getting rid of hidden bugs & defects in the product.

Why Agile Testing Methods are a Success

Agile in the software industry came into the picture because of its process of streamlining and improving. The approach paves an integration among developers, testers, product owners, and customers. However, the target goal for all of these teams is a quality project delivered through iterative sessions. Subsequently, agility is making its place in every new digital workplace, and even organizations now find it an excellent way to transform their project in general. To understand better, here are some of the benefits of agile methodology.

A. Build Your User Base

Agile methodology is not just valuable for the developers but also communicates the core concept to the users. With the completion of every iteration, a helpful product comes as a result. So, at any moment, you can easily decide to launch the halfway product to your customers. It helps build up your user base or test your logic and theory.2;

B. Flexible to Update

Ideally, not every development methodology is created to accommodate the mid changes. But Agile testing offers the scope of change whenever and wherever necessary. There is always a need to update software projects either with the customer needs or the market trends. And so Agile embraces the idea of change that occurs mid-project.

C. Early Risk Management

Have you ever thought about what the concept of beta releases is? Well, a product should be tested early in the process by the users and stakeholders. It will help in identifying the feature defects and issues in the production process itself. By adopting those changes, it’s easy to mark a successful project delivery.

D. Cost under Control

For most instances, clients step back regarding the features that the client had requested during the initial stages. Consequently, the product launches early, and clients have to pay less price. It is the case of fixed-budget projects. At the same time, Agile is quite flexible in this scope. With Agile methodology, the client has to pay only for what they need without any risks of uncertainty. 

E. Double-Check on Quality

We should integrate Agile Testing Methods throughout the entire development project. Delivering consistently tested products assures high-end quality and takes much less time trying the product as a whole. By Conducting frequent tests on the product, Incremental releases happen. Even after the product’s release, it’s much easier to locate flaws and improve them before the final launch.

Downsides of Agile Testing Methods

Though there are multiple advantages of using Agile testing, its demerits cannot be unseen. Let’s check a few of them.

A. Delay in Project Delivery

Undoubtedly, we cannot ignore the power of Agile Testing Methods. But, if you see, much time and effort are consumed in fixing small bugs and rolling out software releases post minor updates. It will increase regression bugs which ultimately impact the day of final project delivery.

B. Lack of Adaptability

Agile testing methods are perpetual, implying that testers have to switch to new test strategies that arelikely to change. Most of the time, good test strategies have a short life span and are just done away for the sake of Agile Project Delivery.

Let’s wrap it up

To conclude, the complexity of software products is constantly increasing and henceforth the development lifecycle. Upgrading the development strategies is not just enough to sustain the overall growth. Testing approaches also need to be evolved with the advancement in the development process. Agile Testing Methods brings a new age for testing professionals, focusing on intelligent, effortless, and high-end deliverables.

In an Agile Testing approach, developers and testers collaborate to work on the final delivery of the product. Testers must develop corrective feedback for the intermediate software product during the complete development cycle at different stages. Moreover, the Agile Testing Methods should always align with the customer requirements collected at the beginning of any software project. In a few words, we can say that Agile testing is a long and continuous goal rather than being a sequential process.

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