7 Tips to be More Innovative in the Age of Agile Testing to Survive an Economic Crisis

What is Agile Testing?

“Agile testing involves testing from the customer perspective as early as possible, testing early and often as code becomes available and stable enough from module/unit level testing.” – A Wikipedia definition.

Why Need of Innovations in the Age of Agile Testing?

Global Recession/Economic downtime effect

Current Events are not Current Trends –

When global downturns hit, there is certain inevitability to their impact on information technology and Finance Sectors. Customers become more reluctant in giving software business. Some customers are withdrawing their long-term projects and some customers using the opportunities in quoting the low price.

Many projects that dragged much longer than expected and cost more than planned. So, Companies started to explore how “Agile with different flavours” can help their Enterprises more reliably deliver software quickly and iteratively. The roles and responsibilities of Test Managers/Test Architects become more important in implementing Agile Projects.

Innovations are increasingly being fueled by the needs of the testing society at large.

The Challenges in Agile Testing

Agile Testers face a lot of challenges when they are working with an Agile development team. A tester should be able to apply Root-Cause Analysis when finding severe bugs so that they unlikely to reoccur. While Agile has different flavours, Scrum is one process for implementing Agile. Some of the challenging scrum rules to be followed by every individual are

  •  Obtain Number of Hours Commitment Up Front
  •  Gather Requirements / Estimates Up Front
  •  Entering the actual hours and estimated hours daily.
  •  Daily Builds
  •  Keep the Daily Scrum meetings short
  •  Code Inspections are Paramount

So, in order to meet the above challenges, an agile tester needs to be innovative with the tools that they have. A great idea happens when what you have (tangible and intangible) meets the world’s deepest hunger


How Can Testers be More Innovative in the Age of Agile Testing?

Here are Important Keys to Innovation:

1. Creative

A good Agile Tester needs to be extremely creative when trying to cope up with speed of development/release.  For a tester, being creative is more important than being critical.

2. Talented

He must be highly talented and strives for more learning and innovating new ideas. Talented Testers are never satisfied with what they have achieved and always strives to find unimaginable bugs of high value and priority.

3. Fearless

An Agile Tester should not be afraid to look at a developer’s code and if need be, hopefully in extreme cases, go in and correct it.

4. Visionary

He must have a comprehensive vision, which includes client’s expectations and delivery of the good product.

5. Empowered

He must be empowered to work in Pairs.  He will be involving in Pair Programming to bring shorter scripts, better designs and finding more bugs.

6. Passionate

Passionate Testers always have something unique to contribute that may be in terms of their innovative ideas, the way they carry day-to-day work, their outputs and improve things around them tirelessly.

7. Multiple Disciplines

Agile Tester must have multiple skills like Manual, Functional, Performance testing skills and soft skills like Leadership skills, Communication skills, EI, etc. so that agile testing will become a cake walk.

“Innovation is the process of turning ideas into manufacturable and marketable form”        –  Watts Humpry

This is a guest post from J.B.Rajkumar. About Author: J.B. Rajkumar has extensive experience in both Academics and Software Testing.  He was a Trainer, QA Manager,  frequent Speaker for Colleges, Universities and International Conferences and currently  working with a top MNC

Note from Vijay: If you have ANY queries on “Agile Testing and its methods”, please do comment below. We will address each and every comment in a separate post.




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86 comments ↓

#1 Sibraj Banerjee

This article has provided me some handy inputs from the Software testing perspective.

#2 Arman

Nice information.

#3 kailash

Really Agile Testers face lot of challenges. Nice post

#4 Gutkun

Hi Vijay,
Thanks to u and Mr. Rajkumar for such a nice article.
I have a query but it is not relevent to the above topic.
Recently my company statred working on a new testing tool VSTS provided by Microsoft (Visual Studio Team System).
As it is very new tool so its very tought to get much information and the only way to help is msdn website.
So, I request if u guys have any knowledge regarding VSTS pls share with me as well as other members.
Looking forward to hear from you soon!

With Best Regards

#5 sushil pansare

Vijay,

Can you please explain the database testing?

thanks,
sushil

#6 dinesh

Hi Vijay,

It was a very good article nice info. But would it be possible for you to send some materials or the links where i could get more info about the agile methodology. I tried some thru google but many had no much info. Could you please guide me thru?

Thanks in Advance,
Dinesh

#7 Rashmi

I would like to know about Root-Cause Analysis in details.
While implementing Agile, scrum is one of the process which is followed. Please can you expalin it in detail ?

Thanks,
Rashmi.

#8 Mehmood Anjum

Nice article
It clear my all relevent concepts which were not clear before..

thanx

#9 Mehmood

Nice article………….
It clear my all relevent concepts which were not clear before..

thanx

#10 Amit

Hi,

If possible can u give some links regarding agile testing??

#11 zakir

Good one vijay. It will be more good if you add some flow in Agile testing. Keep up the good work

#12 venkat.s

Nice Article.

I have the following queries.

1. Does the Agile Testing has Test Plan & Test cases? Pls provide the format of the same.
2. Whether Agile Testing is a Black Box Testing or White Box Testing?
3. Please recommend some basic books in order to understand Agile Testing.

#13 J.B.Rajkumar

To Venkat.S

1. Agile Testing do not necessarily have comprehensive documentation for Test Process
2. It is more of Black box that supports with white box testing.
You can find so many books and sites, if you can spend some with Google search.

#14 Jason Paulgaard

‘Fearless…’go in and correct it’!?!

Please do not encourage newbie testers to change code!!!

Please also have someone more familiar with the English language proof your writing before publishing.

This is the last article I’ll read or receive links to from this site. Try harder.

#15 bryan

3. Fearless
An Agile Tester should not be afraid to look at a developer’s code and if need be, hopefully in extreme cases, go in and correct it.

It’s the “and if need be, hopefully in extreme cases, go in and correct it.” that worries me. Newbie or not, touching the code of a developer is one way to create problems between the QA department and the Development department. You never touch the code of a developer. That’s not the job of QA.

#16 Kezar Raj

Nice Article

#17 Anitha

A nice introduction to agile testing. However, I do not agree that the QA should go correct the code in extreme cases. Maybe they can provide inputs to the developer to correct it.

Kindly provide more info on the scrum process. A couple of case studies on the success of agile testing would be helpful.

#18 Girija Prasad

Hi,
Nice to see this article. Please let me now the challenges while adopting agile test methodology.
Regards,
Girija

#19 Rahul

@Girija
1>quite time consuming
2>sometime framwork is not ready but still we need to write test cases which is quite challanging task.
3>require very extensive unsderstanding of application..

#20 Rahul

@Gutkun
use google for more updates on agile..

#21 Rahul

@Vijay
Thanks u dude for getting this article nested here…keep it up…looking forward for such a great article in future Vijay

#22 Rahul

@Rashmi
Root cause analysis–nothing great it is finding the POSSIBLE CAUSE why this could occured..just ur observation and practice make you to arrieve you to RC analysis..so keep banging ur head and u will get sweets

#23 Rahul

All,
Just some pointer about Pair Wise Testing–Why one should go for PW testing
1>It resuces no of test case to significantly lower side,which is relatively easy to miantain and execute
2>in pairwise testing we see how two input talks with each other..does it leading to any failure or not..
3>pairwise bug represents the majority of combinatoric bugs
4>best thing is that there are tools available which generates pair wise test cases,

hope it would help other to at least some extent..

#24 Aman

Nice Article. This Article is very Helpful for the tester
who worked with Agile Methodology.

#25 kashan

Thanks alot very informative article !!!!

#26 santosh.R

Do we need test cases for agile testing method?

#27 sunitha

nice article

#28 SWAGATA MUKHERJEE

Principles:—-

1. The value of any practice depends on its context.
2. There are good practices in context, but there are no best
practices.
3. People, working together, are the most important part of any
project’s context.
4. Projects unfold over time in ways that are often not
predictable.
5. The product is a solution. If the problem isn’t solved, the
product doesn’t work.
6. Good software testing is a challenging intellectual process.
7. Only through judgment and skill, exercised cooperatively
throughout the entire project, are we able to do the right
things at the right times to effectively test our products.

#29 Rashmi

Thanks, Rahul. Can anybody expalin what is scrm process followed during agiel testing ?

#30 J.B.Rajkumar

@ Rashmi and Others

Scrum is process of implementing Agile, where features are delivered in 30 day sprints. Here you define the requirements for a 30 day sprint and work on them with vigor for 30 days without being sidetracked by other things or having things re-prioritized. A specific feature is not recognized as being completed until it is analyzed, designed, coded, tested, re-factored and documented. At the end of the 30 day sprint, most features defined in the 30-day sprint should be completed. If some did not get finished (because of being underestimated), the uncompleted features can be moved to a later sprint. A sprint is considered successful if all the completed features have high quality and can be put into production (or beta) upon ending the sprint.

#31 SWAGATA MUKHERJEE

A one-day program to provide an insight into Agile Scrum and test strategies for Agile Scrum projects. This program is targeted at senior software professionals who are thinking of introducing Agile Scrum in their organizations, responsible for transitioning teams to Agile Scrum, defining test strategies for Agile scrum teams, assisting Agile Scrum teams to perform better with clear focus on Agile values and also preparing to be part of Agile Scrum teams.

Participants will understand what Agile Scrum is all about, differences between Agile and traditional waterfall models, various roles, artifacts and meetings of Scrum, estimation as done in Scrum and testing aspects in Scrum.

The program will be conducted through presentations, analysis of various real-life situations faced by Scrum teams, an exercise on estimation and a simulated 60-min Sprint.

#32 Rashmi

Hi Swagata, Can u please tell us when the program is scheduled and other details like the Venue, fees stc ?

#33 Sharmila Juvekar

Many days, I was thinking to know more for Agile Mehodology of testing but did not get the time. Just now I red this link and really thought that currently on what we are working are unknowingly using some sort of Agile technique in our testing.

Good Link. Thanks

#34 Kazi Jahangeer

Its very nice.m thanks for software testing forum.and emplyee who share all knowladge in here.

#35 Jagdish Hatwar

1)On fresh madule which testing have to perform , at stating of testing?
2) When the Agile testing is to perform?

#36 Jagdish Hatwar

Is there any formate for the to testing on new prject as well asnew module?

#37 Mythee

Hi All,

Can anyone explain the difference b/w Active and Passive Testing

Thanks in Advance
Mythee

#38 Mythee

Hi Friends!

FYI

University for software testing
http://ub-news.com/news/hp-software-university-begins-for-testers/1447.html

Special Correspondent

BANGALORE: Hewlett Packard (HP) in association with the Indian Institute of Hardware Technology (IIHT) on Thursday launched HP Software University here. The global software testing market is estimated to be $13 billion and India is expected to contribute 70 per cent of the market. Its present share is $6.5-7 billion.

What stands in the way, according to Hewelett Packard India Managing Director Neelam Dhawan, is the shortage of 25,000 qualified testing professionals.

HP is trying to bridge this gap. While the institute will provide the planned training HP will give the worldwide recognised certificate.

The two organisations had enjoyed a ten-year partnership and the training course would be different from similar ones offered by various institutions, IIHT CEO Keshava Raju said.

The software university programme was for graduates in any stream, Ms. Dhawan said.

There would be accredited training on HP software and a curriculum around various testing software like Quick Test Professional and LoadRunner.

Besides Bangalore, courses are to be offered at seven other cities including Chennai and Hyderabad.

#39 Mythee

@Jagdish Hatwar
1. Smoke Test has to perform in the beginning to ensure that the software will not crash outright
2. Agile methodology has various derivate approaches, such as Extreme Programming, Dynamic Systems Development Method (DSDM), and SCRUM. Extreme Programming is one of the most widely used approaches.

Extreme Programming is useful in the following situations:

When the customer does not have a clear understanding of the details of the new system. The developers interact continuously with the customer, delivering small pieces of the application to the customer for feedback, and taking corrective action as necessary.

When the technology used to develop the system is new compared to other technologies. Frequent test cycles in Extreme Programming mitigate the risk of incompatibility with other existing systems.

When you can afford to create automated unit and functional tests. In some situations, you may need to change the system design so that each module can be tested in isolation using automated unit tests.

When the team size is not very large (usually 2 to 12 people). Extreme Programming is successful in part because it requires close team interaction and working in pairs. A large team would have difficulty in communicating efficiently at a fast pace. However, large teams have used Extreme Programming successfully.

#40 TestOptimal

In today’s agile development, full test automation which allows QA to make changes efficiently is differentiating factor for a successful agile process.

The Model-Based Testing will certainly play an important role in the agile development process. It’s a lot easier to make changes to model than sipping through complicated and often tangled testing scripts. The ability to generate 100% coverage test cases from the application model will be a time saver.

TestOptimal is a model-based test automation and stress/load testing for web applications. If you are looking for a good test automation and stress/load testing for your web applications, you have to check out http://TestOptimal.com/.

#41 BALKRISHNA KAMATH

Hi
This was nice
but presently i am jobless layoff from my company can anybody help me for the job i am a having a family which are dependent on me .
i havi 5 years of exp in testing
i request you to please provide me one job
i am in mumbai
please feel free to call me at my cell 9833787775

thanking you all
do it for your friend that is testing.

#42 rameshk

Hi all,

Any openings for QA with 4 yrs exp including 1 exp on QTP

#43 rameshk

Hi all,
Any openings for QA with 4 yrs exp including 1 exp on QTP
Please let me know at ramesh16j@gmail.com

#44 Inder P Singh

The Agile process is not only a different and refreshing way to develop software; it is also a new approach for team work and collaboration. In order to be productive in an agile team, the agile tester should be the following:

1. Good communicator

Communication always goes on within an agile team. Together, the team members develop their strategy, discuss potential and current problems and propose and develop solutions. The agile tester should be a good listener as well as an informed contributor to the team discussions.

2. Take ownership of the product or the application

The primary goal of an agile team is to have working software. The agile tester should be very conscious at all times of any defects that compromise the functioning of the software.

3. Flexible

The agile team welcomes change. The agile tester should be comfortable when the testing focus changes. The tester should remain productive even when the testing priorities change frequently.

You can see the principles of agile software process at agilemanifesto dot org. If you understand and believe in these principles, you may want to become a signatory to the Agile Manifesto.

Thanks,
Inder P Singh

#45 Jagdish Hatwar

Please help me for the liquid testing, where n when it is usefull?

#46 Jagdish Hatwar

This information is really helpfull but the word like “Fearless” is discourageous. Please don’t use like this type of word.

#47 Jagdish Hatwar

Agile testing is used for testing the module as early as popssible which neeed how the effective tsting is done with intention to find bug.

#48 Jagdish Hatwar

Agile testing is used when to test the module as early as possible which need how the effective testing is done with intention to find bug.

#49 Rahul

Hi,I am Rahul from Delhi my query is that I have 2 yrs of advance diploma in computer application.Also I am a science graduate I worked in a s/w organization for 2 yrs a tester but now I want to switch over to automation tools.

Can you please let me know what exactly shall I do to get an appropriate job in software industry?

Also how a degree is hindrance in finding a job in software testing field now a days?

Thanks and regards
Rahul

#50 pavitra

Hi friends please help me

Can any of you give me good topic for presentation in Software testing.
Suggest me some good interesting topic

#51 Abro Zacheria

Agile tester also should know some usability or HCI techniques. This makes him vital for the role of Agile Tester

#52 Nitin Vishwakarma

Nice article. But, somehow I couldn’t corelate the title of the article and its content. The things that are mentioned here are the required traits for the testers while I was expecting few real practical tips. Further, relation to economic crisis…?

#53 Satchithanandham Shankar

It gives me input about what is agile, can you also provide some more information like which kind of application we can use this type of testing and is there is any Prerequisite?

#54 Anamica

Hi Vijay, Nice Articale about Agile Testing,

I am looking for Destructive and non-destructive Testing. Can you help me on that..

Thanks …

#55 shyam

Can any one provide more details on agile testing and how the scrum & iterations are used in agile testing?

#56 Venu

This article in complete useless. What information are trying give out of this.

#57 shalabh sharma

Nice article with the exception that encouraging testers to look into code and correct it. Looking into code is ok if the tester wants to investigate an issue but correcting it is not a good practice. Under on circumstances should a tester go and change code of a developer.
I also noticed quite a few respondents want to know about scrum. I have a PPT on my LinkedIn profile (http://www.linkedin.com/in/shalabhsharma) that explains the process. Any one interested can go through it and feel free to ask me any specific questions regarding the process.

#58 Nag

This is a good article not only to those using agile but also to groups/teams who have very short delivery time. Having long term experience in automation testing (in agile environment) using various tools, I took a chance if I could fix a bug sitting next to developer, and could precisely fix it. Testers/QA people can definitely help faster delivery either just pointing to bug or sit beside and get it fixed. The second was possible for me as I had gained good knowledge on both coding and application. Any way if we can deliver quality product in time we get happy customer –> and so $$

#59 Venky

Can i say Agile testing in other words “Adhoc testing” ???….

#60 Murali

communication on agile process through email

#61 Jagdish Hatwar

Thanks !
But one daubt is that when I used to perform the agile testing, I thought some mistake may going to happen though I thing no testing is 100%.
I think, agile testing make cause to major side effect in the madule!!!

#62 Yaxiong Lin

Model-Based Testing is an innotative approach to software testing. The fact that the application behaviour testing model can be changed much easier than test automation testing script can making it an excellent alternative to the traditional test automation approach.

Check out my recent 3-part article on Model-Based Testing and Its Tools:

part1 – http://www.qaguild.com/weekly_article.php?id=70
part2 – http://www.qaguild.com/weekly_article.php?id=71
part3 – http://www.qaguild.com/weekly_article.php?id=72

#63 RM

Good one man.. With agile testing, the testers job is safe!!

#64 HARI

Nice article and comments !!

#65 Shana

Great article and comments, could solve number of lacking areas in agile testing.

#66 sivakumar

Agile testing is used for testing the module as early as popssible which neeed how the effective tsting is done with intention to find bug.
Nice article with the exception that encouraging testers to look into code and correct it. Looking into code is ok if the tester wants to investigate an issue but correcting it is not a good practice. Under on circumstances should a tester go and change code of a developer.
I also noticed quite a few respondents want to know about scrum. I have a PPT on my LinkedIn profile (http://www.linkedin.com/in/shalabhsharma) that explains the process. Any one interested can go through it and feel free to ask me any specific questions regarding the process.

#67 anju

Fearless
An Agile Tester should not be afraid to look at a developer’s code and if need be, hopefully in extreme cases, go in and correct it.

We can be fearless to look at the code and log the defects explaining the cause. But I don’t think we can correct it. This is new thing to me, please explain if there is such possibility.

#68 J.B.Rajkumar

@Anju

In Agile/Scrum Team, there is no difference between Testers and Developers. Its only dynamic team members, working towards the sprint. If tester has capability of solving the problem, yes, he can help the developer and vice versa.

#69 Madan

Except being “Fearless”, all other qualities are desirable in any Tester following any testing methodology. Just remove the word Agile from this article and you will find it relevant.

I’m also finding it really hard to relate how a tester can be innovative or be Modern or be ahead of times
by being
Creative / fearless / Talented etc…

Thanks
Madan

#70 Abhijeet

An Introduction to Scrum Scrum is an agile process that allows us to focus on delivering the highest business value in the shortest time. It allows us to rapidly and repeatedly inspect actual working software (every two weeks to one month). The business sets the priorities. Teams self-organize to determine the best…

Further on …http://eclecticcolors.blogspot.com/search/label/Introduction%20To%20Scrum

#71 Narender

Hi friends, I am looking for job change. Any openings please tell me. Exp 3.10yrs Manual I am in Bangalore

#72 QAExe

We are a very tiny small team of two resources in QA team.Our company is not ready to get more resources to meet the QA needs. I have several questions that if somebody can address or suggest based on their experience :

1. We want to implement Agile methodology ,this will be huge impact for QA team with limited resources.We have automation scripts that can be ran over Regression suite .Please suggest some best practises that we can adopt for aligning with Agile testing methods.

2. Two resources working on different projects will need regression tests ran across multiple environments.This will impact our scripts because one environment will use new functionality changes that of other env will use old functionality.I hope I gave clear description of the scenario.

3. What are the best practises that we can adopt for being Agile and suggest our upper management.

4. Is automation in our scenario a good candidate for Agility ?Any thoughts?

Please share your experiences and suggestions.

Thanks
Agile quester

#73 H Raut

Qualities mentioned for Agile tester mentioned by Raj are very much correct in today’s scenario. I also request all don’t take lieral meaning on fearless and argue on it.

#74 H Raut

Qualities mentioned by Raj for Agile tester are very much correct in today’s scenario. I also request all don’t take lieral meaning on fearless and argue on it.

#75 Shoaib

It is indeed nice article.
Thanks.
Peace be upon you

#76 Amuthan Sekar

@ J.B.Rajkumar

3. Fearless

An Agile Tester should not be afraid to look at a developer’s code and if need be, hopefully in extreme cases, go in and correct it.

—————
I like this point very much. Nice and good article…

If we are capable of correcting the mistake in the code means, (if we have access) we can do that.

Thank you JBR.

#77 Pawan

The Article is very nice.Can anybody explain the difference between “Load” and “Performance ” testing.

#78 Disagree

DISAGREE!

This is not just required on Agile testing but also a key requirement for any type of software testing. If QC does not have these capabilities then it is better for him to find another job.

Nothing very specific to Agile. To be successful you need to be competitive or else you are not qualified enough to do a job.

Waterfall or Agile – Competency is the key for testing.

#79 Tester

In Agile testing it is very important not to forget to have a frequent communication with the customer inorder to make sure the product is inaccordance to the customer request.
About Looking at the code and correcting it….it is complete upsurd..
In real time if the company size is big then it is not adviced to look at the code and correct it.
If a company size is small even then it varies depending on what terms a Tester got hired, if he got hired saying in typical situations a Tester should have the ability to test and code if needed then it is possible to correct code where a developer intervene is not necessary to correct it and make sure to check the code with the developer before checkin.

#80 chetan

Hi Vijay,

it is realy good article, do have any other information related to the agile tech. please send me urls

Thanks & Regards,
Chetan

#81 hi

Hi All,

Please help in understanding wat is different test artifacts.

Thanks and Regds,
Swetha

#82 Harish

Hi,

Could you please sugeest some innovative methodology/process in agile software testing?
The regular 3 Dev and 1 IAT is not working out.

Thanks,
Harish

#83 Rithu Krishna

I am just fresher in software testing .i wand to know some new ideas of software testing and also i have to take a seminar in new innovations of testing topic.please help me to suggest a topic.

#84 Malleesh

Hi,

When Regression testing takes place in Agile-scrum.

#85 Earnest Mathew

@malleesh regression testing happens in the next sprint, when the completed stories are integrated & form a basis of the product.

#86 Yasar

Thank you so much.

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