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Agile Testing October 6, 2009

Posted by yvettefrancino in Uncategorized.

When I started my career at IBM in 1982, we followed the waterfall approach to software development. Back in 1982, I don’t know if there were any other formally defined methodologies.  Today, Agile seems to be the big trend. I’ve been doing a lot of research on Agile methodologies (Scrum, XP, DSDM, etc.)  There are differences in terminology and certain specifics, but in 2001, a bunch of Agile pundits got together and created the Agile Manifesto:

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan

I contend that these principals can be followed even with the waterfall approach to software development as long as there is some flexibility and adaptability allowed.  However, I also believe some groups use the “Agile” buzz word as an excuse not to document, so I’m cautious about advising the  mix of Waterfall and Agile.

However, my intention here is not to argue Agile vs. Waterfall — I have no huge preference in methodology.  My big thing is team relationships and this seems to be stressed more with Agile so I tend to lean more towards that camp, but I think it’s equally possible to have strong team collaboration with a waterfall methodology.

What I really meant to blog about was testing in an agile environment. I did a little searching and found a free whitepaper at uTest: Testing for Agile.  The paper states:

Many of the tips we’ll discuss in this whitepaper are based in Agile concepts, but are relevant to both types of development processes. So, if your organization uses traditional waterfall methodologies, you can still benefit from Agile concepts to improve quality.

I’ll state the heading for the 10 tips below. For a full text explanation, again, the whitepaper is free at uTest.

1. Choose a realistic goal that is aligned with the company strategy

2. Unify SRS and test plans

3. Review your test plans

4. Define your testing coverage matrix

5. Tell a story – not a use case

6. Capture valuable data

7. Self-measurement

8. No broken windows allowed

9. Testing is your feedback loop

10. Timing is everything

What tips do you have for testing in an agile environment?



1. Rosh Cherian - October 15, 2009


I’ve just landed back straight from the airport to my desk from “Agile Testing Days 09” conference in Berlin. http://www.agiletestingdays.com/index.html It was 2 days of talks, discussions and great fun. The main takeaway really syncs well with what you wrote in your blog. It all boils down to Individuals and Interactions. Agile also focuses on having quality built in, rather than inspecting (by testing). But still, early days for Agile testing, but it seems the future of testing.

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