Thursday, May 17, 2018

What does it mean to be an Agile tester? | Supreme Agile

In the recent years, the software industry has made a massive transition towards more advanced software development techniques. These are replacing the traditional SDLC methodologies that are now much less attractive for organizations. This is especially true for those that need to deliver their products faster in the consistently increasing competitive software industry.

If you are part of this world, you are probably aware that agile software development is the number one alternative method used by the organization. There are many reasons for this. The main reasons are that it embraces team collaboration, increases transparency, lower costs, increases ROI for the customer and has the ability to deliver product faster and within shorter timeframes.

However, this article is about testing. Therefore, it is more important to understand the new role of an 'Agile' tester in this “new world” 

The testing processes

In traditional testing, testers would start their tests (Dynamic tests, Static tests can start earlier) only after the coding phase was completed. The basic process was the test team receives a build that meets the testing 'Entry' criteria from their development team. Once received, the testers would run their preliminary written tests based on traditional test documentation such as STP/D. they would try their best knowledge effort and skills to uncover defects.

In an agile project, testers are involved in the project from the beginning. This includes many activities such as requirements (PBI's) gathering, working simultaneity with developers and the actual testing per iteration. This means the demand from testers has increased. The testers would need to have both the technical and personal skills to contribute to the team so they are able to deliver high-quality products.

What's An Agile Tester is all about?

An Agile tester should be a professional tester who has the knowledge and experience in the quality assurance (Tools, Advanced test methods Etc.) field. This would allow him to support and assist the team (That usually contains more developers) to meet the quality challenges the team may encounter throughout the project.

The Agile tester must be capable to work in a continually changed environment. Thus making the test effort more difficult and challenging than in traditional SLDCs (There is no time to prepare test cases with an unrealistic number of steps or even write an in-depth test plan).

The Agile tester must be a quick learner to understand the customer needs. This is in order to assist the PO and the team to understand the real customer software requirements. This would also allow him to facilitate testing for a particular sprint (Remember DoD of a user story will not approve without the necessary tests).

The Agile tester must have the correct attitude.  This is crucial to their ability to succeed as an agile team member. The correct attitude will allow the team to see another view of the product from a client perspective. It will assist the team to gain a better understanding of what the customer really needs.

The Agile tester must possess great communication skills. This is because there is no separation between the different departments any longer. As a team member, the tester will have to work closely with other team members, especially the developers. Therefore the tester must have the skills to drive testing in his team in order to increase quality, reduce technical debt and automated all tests that can be automated. 

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