Sunday, 31 March 2013

Explaining testing: agile testing

Pete Walen asked this question: For software testing professionals/craftspeople, what is it that differentiates Agile Testing from any other testing?
 
My reply: - I have wondered the same myself. And as with most things, it seems like it is contextual. It depends on what you're working on, who you are working with, what is available to you, who is available to you, etc.

It also depends on your mindset and behaviours. I think it's a openness and a willingness to learn and working together closely, perhaps closer than people from some environments are used to. You need awareness of yourself, and whether or not it is a place for you, things move quicker and you can't hide.

In some agile environments some of the Testers will be very technical and focus on automation and knocking up tools, frameworks, etc to help with the testing. But that doesn't mean that a Tester with different skills won't be able to add value. And ideally it's good to have a mixture.

I also think it's not so much what differentiates A/agile Testing from from any other testing. It's that Testers who have been doing the bare minimum are more exposed in a agile(ish) environment. Issue with that is that some people don't realise they are doing the bare minimum because they are doing what is asked of them.

People who have tried to change things, or looked for ways to improve things will probably be able to adapt easier to agile.

Those who have not been increasing their skill set, learning new things, etc can find it hard when things are moving quickly. Those who are used to spending days/weeks/months knocking up test scripts to follow may find themselves a little lost when they don't have that security blanket.

You need to be able to manage yourself and get on with things and in a more agile environment you are able to do so.

The thing is, there is no one, true, right answer because both 'agile' and 'testing' mean different things to different people so you get my rambley answer :-)

Huib Schoots has a excellent post about agile testing.

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