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Agile Testing: A Complete Beginner’s Guide for 2022

Discovering and fixing issues in software during its development is more accessible than developing the software first and then spending time fixing issues. Software development firms have understood this. Therefore, they emphasize involving testing in their software development process right from the beginning. It has led to a new trend called Agile testing.

What is Agile Testing?

Agile testing is a software testing approach based on agile software development. Unlike traditional software testing methods, it takes a continuous form in which we incorporate testing right from the beginning of the project. 

The idea is simple: Don’t wait for the issues to emerge and become prominent. Instead, detect and fix them as soon as possible.

What is an Agile Testing Plan?

An agile testing plan is a detailed document containing the test strategy, objectives, schedule, estimations, deadlines, and the resources you need for completing the project. Here’s what it typically includes:

  • The scope of testing
  • New product features we’re testing
  • Levels and Types of testing we need based on the feature complexity
  • Infrastructure Consideration 
  • Resources we need
  • Mitigation or risk plans
  • Load & performance testing
  • Milestones & deliverables

Agile Testing Strategy: 4 Stages in Agile Software Testing Process

Stage 1: Iteration 0

Iteration 0 is the initial stage of agile software testing in which we initiate the project by installing testing tools, scheduling resources, and identifying the testing team. Following are the steps we set to achieve the iteration 0:

  • Setting up a business case for the product
  • Setting up boundary conditions
  • Highlighting essential requirements and use cases
  • Identifying risks
  • Estimating costs

Stage II: Construction Iterations

A majority of testing happens in this phase. The idea is to bring the system to a stage where it is all set for pre-production testing. We set specifications, prioritize requirements, create solutions to meet them, write code, and run tests.

We conduct two types of tests in the Construction Iterations phase:

  • Confirmatory Testing: We conduct this testing to ensure the system meets the requirements and the intent of stakeholders. 
  • Investigative Testing: We conduct this testing to identify and fix the issues that skip the confirmatory testing. This testing approach deals with issues like integration testing, load/stress testing, and security testing.

Stage III: Release End Game or Transition Phase 

The end goal of this phase is to deploy your system into production successfully. Here’s what we do at this stage:

  • Offering adequate training to the operations team, support team, and end-users
  • Marketing the product release
  • Backup and restoration of the product
  • Finalizing the system and preparing user documentation

Stage IV: Production

It is the final stage of the agile testing process in which we move the product to the production stage.

Types of Agile Testing Methods

Different types of agile software testing methods exist. You can use them alternatively depending on your requirements. Here are four standard methods:

1. Behavior Driven Testing

We conduct software tests based on user behavior rather than the software’s technical functions and the behavior-driven testing approach.

2. Acceptance Test Driven Development

The acceptance test-driven development approach involves members with different perspectives who collaborate to write acceptance tests before implementing the functionality.

3. Exploratory Testing

The exploratory testing approach depends on the guidance of individual testers to uncover issues that you can otherwise miss.

4. Session-based Testing

The session-based software testing approach combines accountability and exploratory testing to detect and fix issues faster.

What Challenges Can You Face During Agile Software Testing?

  • Since there is documentation, there are higher chances of error and more pressure on the QA team.
  • The Agile software development approach quickly introduces new features. Therefore, testing teams usually have less time to detect issues and address them quickly.
  • Since test execution cycles are highly compressed in this approach, there is less time to prepare test plans.
  • Since there are frequent requirement changes and updates, keeping track of quality becomes difficult for the QA team.

In a Nutshell

Agile software testing is no longer a buzzword with the Agile software development pressure on the QA team. Instead, it has become a prominent necessity. Developers no longer play the role of gatekeepers alone, and now, they are active partners responsible for ensuring the software meets the quality standards.

Hence, we should shift our mindset and adopt the agile approach to software testing. Also, don’t forget to build a culture of communication and collaboration within your organization. Tools, techniques, and strategies are just the means to achieve your goals, and without the agile mindset, they’re of no use. 

In case there is anything you want to ask regarding agile testing and its significance in software development, feel free to ask. I will be happy to answer any questions and help you have a better understanding.

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