Introduction to Agile Methodology
Agile is a methodology that allows continuous iteration of development and testing all through the software development life cycle. Iteration is described as a small release of the software. Agile Enterprise begins at the beginning of the project with a fast combination of development and Testing.
We can describe the term “Agile” as “moving fast and easily.” In Agile Testing, the testers are continually working with the development team, and Testing is done in parallel and when a bit of code has been developed. Daily team discussions and meetings are a necessary part of agile projects. It helps to find the issues in early and work on those in like manner. Management can know the gaps in requirements or technology with the help of fast development and Testing.
Agile methods and processes could be the reason behind success if it applied correctly. It can become the appropriate approach with the quicker development, Testing and constant feedback from the user.
Agile Testing is a Team attempt. An Agile Enterprise can obtain quality and success by working as a single group of the team to complete the common objective.
Why Test Automation is failing and how to fix it
Here are the top things dragging down enterprise software testing productivity.
Weak Test Prioritization
Software development is a generally unpredictable process, hence the popularity of Agile methodologies which focus on learning as go and adapt. This is usually confused with meaning that Agile teams are unpredictable.
You should organize testing the highest value and risky stuff first. You should also not depend on an initial estimate of what the highest value and most dangerous things are. Feedback from Dev can help to focus on the right things first. Feedback from Testing can help even more. Defects will be in the cluster, so as flaws start popping up, review where the need to focus.
Poor Dependency Management
Maybe software testing is so unpredictable and often inefficient because it depends on so many dependencies. Of course, dependencies usually do not arrange and when mismanaged, resulting in unnecessary downtime. Software tests can be dependent on –
- Other tests
- Test data
- Test environments
- Development completion
- Quality of code
Productivity depends on understanding the team’s dependencies and how those dependencies are progressing and managing those dependencies. For example, Suppose a team that is planning to test a feature that is three weeks behind schedule. You additionally have a testing team that is uncovering more defects than expected.
That’s easy to say in the relatively straightforward example, but in the enterprise where multiple teams are working on various projects, it’s often not that easy. You must have a process in place for tracking teams’ dependencies and highlighting the ones that may cause an effect.
You can’t be productive in case you’re not communicating correctly. Email, calls, and meetings are ineffective types of communication. Unfortunately, meetings tend to turn into a group of status updates because people aren’t getting the data they need from different channels. An hour-long meeting is an inefficient way to get noticed.
Use a discussion platform that captures everyone’s ideas and stores them in an area. A few groups may use tools such as Slack, while others may have collaboration built into their system. The essential things are to ensure the tools your teams use to communicate are connected to the tools that planning stakeholders use.
The principle of Testing in Agile Enterprise
The principles we think are essential for an agile tester and Agile Enterprise are –
- Provide continuous feedback.
- Deliver value to the customer.
- Enable face-to-face communication.
- Have courage.
- Keep it simple.
- Practice continuous improvement.
- Respond to change.
- Focus on people.
Provide Continuous feedback
A tester is one who understands requirements, tests, results, and feedback. Keeping the group informed will always be a vital role in any successful tester. They are responsible for distributing the results of those tests and facilitating the provision of feedback from customers to developers to create a more robust product.
Deliver Value to the Customer
If the client isn’t convinced with the service or results, the project is a loss. A successful Agile tester should be aware of the big picture and work toward the ultimate goal, not just the ones on the plan of today.
Enable Face-to-Face Communication
Face-to-face communication is the most effective kind. Where teams can be distributed across geographical locations, opportunities get thinner. An excellent Agile tester should facilitate in-person meetings whenever possible, but come up with effective alternatives if they are not. The Agile tester’s job is to decrease confusion and errors by communicating directly with developers as well as allowing customers to communicate directly with developers.
Testers must communicate with the team, which means they interact with various personality types. Agile teams should be open naturally, and a good tester always asks the tough questions when needed.To meet their objective of providing value to the customer, Agile testers must fight for the fixes and changes that should be made.
Keep It Simple
Agile teams should deliver the most straightforward solutions possible to the customer. For Testing, that indicates performing only those tests that are necessary, and all the required tests. For the product, that means delivering the most straightforward possible product that provides the potential value.
Practice Continuous Improvement
The nature of Testing is to discover new – and better – approaches to solve problems. The entire team should think this way, but the tester should have the mindset on the lookout for tools, skills or practices that add more value. Agile testers are sharp learners; they are never done learning how to do their job better.
Respond to Change
Agile testers love to check things off the plan for the day. But if unexpected circumstances call for changes, an Agile tester must be flexible enough to roll with it and revisit. Agile testers are adaptable and flexible, keeping up with changes in the product and the marketplace.
When an Agile team faces a significant issue, it’s everyone’s problem. For a tester, having an organizational system set up will enable the organization to begin into action more quickly to facilitate a solution. Instead of waiting at an assigned seat on the assembly line, Agile testers spring into action at every point in the process. They actively seek out problems and bring people together to solve them.
Focus on People
Agile values and principles were made with the point of enabling individual and team success. So include people, keep them informed and set them up for success by allowing them to do their best work. Agile testers are collaborative, preferring human interaction to technology. Their focus on people enables them to deliver a product that both has utility and is usable.
Agile testers have a different set of skills that include collaboration and communication. Agile development can compensate for the tester’s passion for this collaborative work. No one is as successful at meeting their goal as when they enjoy what they are doing. Agile testers who appreciate the work can deliver the highest possible value to the customer.
Challenges in Adopting Agile in Automated Testing
There are number of problems while adopting agile in Testing for Agile Enterprise –
Inadequate Test Coverage
In agile projects, requirements change over time, and hence, the source code also changes. Changes to conditions and continuous integration lead to missing out on critical test cases. To decrease that, testers should make sure that the newly added codes are tested daily. Source code analysis can be done to identify modules that were changed to ensure that the modified system is tested.
Frequent Code Breakage
Since the code is developed, changed and compiled daily, there are possibilities for code breakage during the build or after the build. To prevent code breakage, testing teams can write automated test scripts around functional and integration test suites, which can be run against every build and the code can be checked continually. Automation is beneficial in this case as the manual process consumes time and requires a lot of dedicated resources.
Deferring or skipping essential tests
Since sprints are rolled-out in short time intervals, testers tend to defer few non-functional testing methods such as performance and Stress Testing, API Testing, and compatibility testing due to the complexity and time constraints. These may trigger bugs that are highly difficult to fix towards the delivery. The comprehensive test plan needs to be systematically updated after every sprint to gain maximum traceability and mitigate issues.
If developers have built the code just by following business requirements without the understanding of end-users’ environment, device constraints, infrastructure limitations, concurrency, and network related issues, an application will not be able to perform to its desired expectations. Also, as the software matures, more lines of code increase performance issues. Implementing DevOps brings in IT Operations teams early in the cycle to effectively pair up with developers in optimizing code for maximum performance. Appropriate usage of automated testing tools like JMeter, Blazemeter, WebLOAD, LoadView, etc. also boosts identification of performance bottlenecks.
How Automated Testing can help in Agile Enterprise
Test Automation has become a necessary option for modern software testing methodologies such as DevOps and Agile methodologies. Testing experts and businesses are assembled to build a comprehensive Enterprise Test Automation strategy that can help develop faster and better applications.
Test Automation requires risk specific to training resources and tools, so it is essential to get the most from the consideration. It is similarly necessary to measure the actual benefits that should arrive by taking Automation of tests over Manual Testing.
It is critical to set the parameters before the process begins so that it becomes easier to achieve the success rate. Some key target areas are –
- Enhanced Test coverage can be fulfilled by making the test suite comprehensive by including every aspect of the application for Testing.
- It makes the testing cycle quicker and repeatable with the test framework, where the application can be tested for performance and stability.
- The test scripts that are redesigned during each testing cycle can be reused for other projects as well. This makes the process cost-effective.
- The credibility of the tests is high, as the test scripts are automated and can perform the same activity thoroughly.
- Enterprises need talented and specialized teams to work towards building a vast and practical test automation strategy that is lined up with the objectives of the project and the organization.
Agile Testing Quadrants
Agile Test Quadrants try to understand the relationship between the various forms of tests using four different quadrants –
Agile quadrant I comprise of test cases that are technology driven and are performed to help –
This quadrant concern mainly on internal code quality. The unit testing done in the quadrant helps the developer get the story right. By implementing the tests in this quadrant, instant feedback about the product can be obtained.
The types of tests in Q1 are –
- Unit Tests
- Component Tests
Agile Quadrant II comprises of test cases that are business driven –
Developers can code until the test cases give the expected outcomes. The test cases are business facing, so development is driven keeping the business objectives in mind. This quadrant aims to obtain enough requirements so that coding can commence without any hiccups.
Q2 is related to Automated & Manual Testing and covers tests such as Functional Testing, Story Tests, Prototypes, and Simulations. BDD tools and frameworks as Cucumber, and UI testing tools/libraries/frameworks such as Selenium, QTP, Robot Framework, etc. also serve as excellent tools of use.
Agile Quadrant III comprises of business test cases –
The main focus in the quadrant is to provide feedback to quadrants one and two. This quadrant enables one to learn as the test progresses. The product can be evaluated since the practical use of the product is kept in mind in this quadrant. The process can be changed as needed. The many numbers of iteration reviews in this quadrant builds confidence in the product and ensures the presence of a quick feedback loop.Q3 is related with Manual Testing and covers tests example Scenario-based Testing, Exploratory Testing, User Acceptance Testing, Alpha/Beta testing, and Usability Testing. Q3 is tied with evaluating the product and its use through demos, feedback, checking the actual user experience, etc. The demo can be given even on the unfinished code to pick up knowledge into the working of the product. The types of tests in this quadrant are –
- Exploratory Testing
- Usability Testing
- User Acceptance Testing
- Collaborative Testing
Agile Quadrant IV consists of technology-driven test cases that critique the product –
This quadrant focuses on non-functional requirements such as performance, security, stability, etc. This quadrant is responsible for delivering the final finished product. Q4 tests are performed based on priorities – they may begin early in the SDLC phase, or be introduced later on. Some typical examples of tools used in Q4 are jConsole, jProfiler, LoadRunner, JMeter, jUnitPerf, etc.
The application is made to deliver the expected value and non-functional qualities with the help of this quadrant. Kind of tests in this quadrant –
- Non-functional tests such as stress and Performance Testing
- Security testing concerning hacking and authentication
- Infrastructure testing
- Data migration testing
- Scalability testing
- Load testing
Agile Test Methodology
Scrum is an Agile method, where we can distribute our projects into small components to be developed and then be tested in specific time-period called a sprint (short periods). Each element or feature should get designed and tested in a planned small time-period.
DSDM (Dynamic System Development Method)
DSDM depends on continuous development and Frequent Delivery. The goal of DSDM is to deliver working software quickly, with more functionality which can be provided at frequent intervals. As the users are effectively involved in the development of the system, they are bound to accept the framework. Development results are directly shown to the customer. So, there is an early sign of whether the project will work or not. There is no possibility of a surprise at the end of development. Because of regular feedback from the customer, the developed system is more likely to meet the needed requirements. The order is being delivered on time and budget.
Agile Testing Methods
There are various agile testing methods as follows for building Agile Enterprise –
- Behavior Driven Development (BDD)
- Acceptance Test Driven Development (ATDD)
- Exploratory Testing
Behavior Driven Development (BDD)
BDD begins with a functional specification using the Gherkin Given/When/Then syntax. This specification guides developers, testers and product owners who move across features. As they do, they utilize automated test functions to determine completeness, refining code until it passes the test. To assure the test passes (and it typically requires multiple tries), the developer should only refactor code, not add any new functionality.
Best practices for following a BDD methodology include –
- Proper documentation to keep the whole process lean
- Business analysts have learned the Gherkin syntax and write test cases directly
- Using a test framework like Cucumber
- Preparing automated tests in a way that make them easy to reuse
- Embracing a model where the product owner, developer, and tester form a team
Acceptance Test Driven Development (ATDD)
The idea behind ATDD is that user view of the product is as important as functionality, so this perception should drive product performance to help increase selection. To bring this idea, ATDD collects input from customers, uses that input to develop acceptance criteria, translates that standards into manual or automated acceptance tests a
Exploratory Testing gives testers ownership over the code to test it systematically. Testers are not following test steps, but instead using the software in standard or smart ways to try to break it. Testers will document defects as usual, but detailed documentation of what and how the application was tested is not always provided.
Exploratory Testing is not scripted. Instead, it is about developing the best tests based on each unique piece of software. Because of its unscripted approach, exploratory Testing often mimics how users will interact with the software in real life.
Benefits of Software Testing in Agile Enterprise
The Whole Team is Responsible for Quality
In waterfall software development, Testing is done after development is finished. In agile, the entire team is responsible for the quality of the product.
Agile Enterprise mix disciplines so that one tester cooperating with a couple of developers. The developers write unit tests as they add more features and then use these tests to test the application continuously as they continue adding features.
The tester will write test cases and after that build and test the new code as it is being finished catching bugs and giving developers feedback almost immediately.
As the tester and developers are working on the same team, they can more easily communicate with each other.Additionally, daily scrum sessions help catch issues in advance and help keep vital problems in the spotlight.
Defects are Easy to Fix
As the tester is working with the developers on the same team, they can give immediate feedback which provides the developer with fix the bug while the code is still fresh.
In a waterfall environment, a significant bug can set the whole project back months as bug fixes will interact with other code in somehow or requiring falling changes through the code base.
Because bugs are found earlier, there is nearly the same number of cascading dependencies in agile development compared with waterfall.
Fewer Changes Between Fixes
In waterfall development, the code base can change considerably between when a bug is identified and when a developer is assigned the work of fixing it. This can result in added time attempting to check out how to reproduce a bug.
In Agile Enterprise, as the time between coding and Testing is close, the developer won’t have enough time to add new code that will make finding the bug more difficult.
Flexibly Incorporate New Requirements
Waterfall functions best when business needs are all planned and outlined at the start of the project. Anyone who has worked on even the most straightforward application understands that business requirements are far from permanent. Agile methodologies are designed to complete work while incorporating change requests and enhancements. Agile Enterprise locks the teams into short sprints giving each team a chance on completing a small set of features.
Centralizing software testing tools and resources for the process of software testing in an agile environment improves resource usage and further reduces the cost of in software set-up and maintenance. The method of bug fixing in every stage of development helps in reducing the total cost of the project and ensure the timely release of the product or application.
Agile Testing gives identifiable results in shorter cycles and provides visibility on the level of project quality. This helps the team to take corrective measures at the right time to enhance product quality. It also prevents an application from developing critical defects and allows companies to optimize application quality and performance.
Role of Agile Testers in Test Automation
Agile Testers should have the ability to learn new things and Be Adaptive to changes. We can extend our skill set like understanding of Business or domain learning and increase technical skills while working in an agile team. We should have much experience in Exploratory Testing. We can help the development team or customers by looking at the features from various perspectives and make them aware of issues that might occur. Rather than making vast test documentation, we can make some checklists lists which can be reused in the Project life cycle.
As an Agile Enterprise, we should think our testing effort in some specific areas where there are chances to get more defects. This is the best rule to achieve proper testing coverage within a limited period, resources and budget.
Agile Enterprise Approach
Agile Testing can begin at the start of the project with continuous integration between development and testing which helps to save time and money as issues can be handled early.To facilitate Agile Methodology as an approach we advice taking the subsequent steps –