Software development has been borrowing tips from the agile methodology, and for all the right reasons. However, testing automation is easier said than done. The modern developer of today believes that agile testing has many benefits – it makes software development more efficient and increases coverage. As more companies move towards agile development, they depend on automated testing to save time required for testing and improve their development process.
Agile testing includes participation by many members of different IT teams, with special expertise contributed by testers. The overall goal is to ensure the quality of the product, while keeping pace with rapid development and releases.
Before you learn more about agile software testing, let’s look at the agile testing automation pyramid. Mike Cohn is the originator of the pyramid and he has developed levels in which a software development life cycle should incorporate testing on agile principles:
Unit testing forms the base of the testing process. It should be a well-crafted part of a solid testing strategy. Automated tests on the unit level provide accurate data to the development team about any bugs and errors which arise and the exact location of these errors. Unit tests are written in the same programming language as the test, so it is easier to run them and collect results in real-time when an error arises. The development team can be alerted to make necessary changes and not make the same mistake again.
Service level testing, according to Cohn, is the strong foundation of a good software. Cohn suggests finding a way to run these tests outside the interface level to save time and money. You can test the service of an app without worrying about disrupting the steady user interface functions.
There are no risks associated with running various scripts and smoothing out the code to fit into the user interface level. This testing phase fills the gap between unit level testing and user interface testing. The teams oversee picking the kind of test they need and the time when they need to run it.
The user interface testing level is the most expensive for a development team, according to Cohn. He says that user interface testing is time consuming and may halt other processes. It works well, but it is not the ideal way to automate your testing cycle. Each case will have to test the code to display results and this is a lengthy procedure. Therefore, Cohn advises to minimize this kind of testing as much as possible.
Pick the right Agile tool
There are many automation tools in the market right now. It’s your job to pick one that suits your needs. Identifying the requirements to pick a tool is the first step. Here are some things you must keep in mind when picking the right agile testing tool:
- The tool must be aligned with your choice of operating system and must allow you to test multiple operating systems if need be.
- The interface of the tool must be aligned with your system requirements, supporting a language your development team is comfortable with. Other than the testing team, other people should also be able to deal with the tool and be able to learn it without much complication. There are many tools that run on a code-less basis and are very easy to learn. Your testing tool should fit the budget and not cross it. It is very important to choose a tool that saves time as well as cost.
- The tool must be built in a way that it automates reports and generates quick results. Since you are dealing with various teams, it is essential to create quick reports that can be sent to the relevant team at the desired time.
In agile software testing, the changes that arise rapidly often put the working team under pressure and it becomes difficult to cope up with the fast pace. During this chaos, employees often overlook minute details. That’s why, it is important to start automating along with the development process to minimize time wastage. The quality of the entire process is kept intact during each phase of development.
Carefully develop scripts
Regression testing concepts must be kept in mind when creating automated test scripts. Automated test scripts must be maintained carefully, with the right version, be accurate, portable and built with integrity. The time taken to run the tests is minimized this way and the tests are more accurate, efficient and improve overall performance.
Customize development environment
Many software testing professionals believe that agile testing is a process which revolves around the program and any changes have to be made to the program to meet the demands of the app. What they need to understand is that developing a software requires a collaborative approach that is only possible with the cooperation of various networks, back-end, database and external factors.
When there are bugs and errors in the development process, developers don’t get to know where they exist and end up wasting time looking for their exact location. Hence, it is essential to impart knowledge about the development process to the team so they know which sections to automate and how.
In the traditional model of SDLC, development and QA teams operate in silos and have less communication between them thereby leading to delay in the delivery of product, not to mention glitches that remain in the final product. However, in Agile application testing methodology both development and QA work as a unit wherein one complements the other. The emphasis is more on communication and coordination as opposed to the silo driven ‘I know the best’ kind of thinking.
The complicated nature of the development process can’t afford any glitches or wastage of time in doing things which can otherwise be automated.
Last word – Agile Tools
Agile software testing is the requirement of a modern software development team. Choosing agile testing tools is not an option anymore, it’s a necessity. If you want the end product to be effective, speedy and sustainable simultaneously, you must go with a tool which provides agile testing solutions under a feasible budget.
You can rest assured that the product will be error-free and efficient. The software you create is going to be user-centric, cause customer satisfaction on many levels and not just be another generic software anyone can build from open source libraries. Your potential customers can have a trial run of the software from your website and see for themselves the difference between your creation and any other off-the-shelf software.
Alycia Gordan is a freelance writer who loves to read and write articles on healthcare technology, fitness and lifestyle. She is a tech junkie and divides her time between travel and writing. You can find her on Twitter: @meetalycia