With the continuous increase in the complexity of the application development process, new testing approaches are coming up regularly to keep up with the complexity of development approaches. One of the most widely used and new-age approaches to the application development lifecycle is the Agile testing approach. It focuses on cutting down the testing efforts without compromising the quality of the application. Agile testing aims at testing smarter rather than testing more.
The reason Agile testing is gaining popularity is that it helps in increasing the level of collaboration between testers and developers. The testers provide corrective feedback to the developers during each development cycle. Here the test teams and the development teams work closely together and help in improving the overall quality of the application.
You might be wondering what Agile methodology and Agile Testing mean. In this article, we will help you provide a deeper and better understanding of this Agile methodology, how it works, and how it helps in testing. We will also see what is so special about this testing that it has gained widespread acceptance as a crucial driver for delivering high-quality applications. Also, its benefits and limitations. So let’s get started with the basics first.
In simple English, the word agile means being able to move quickly, and in the IT world agile refers to a continuous, incremental, and iterative approach to any application development.
Now talking about agile in the application testing process means making changes to the existing application during its development lifecycle as per its requirements to deliver high-quality applications. It is one of the most commonly used testing approaches in today’s fast-changing IT world.
Particularly, this methodology follows the principles of Agile Software Development. it aligns with iterative development methodology in which requirements develop gradually from users and testing teams. Under this, the main focus of the testing teams is to cater to the needs of users through multiple iterations.
Usually, the testing methods are sequential, but when it comes to Agile testing, the process is continuous. Let’s figure out how Agile testing could help in shaping the application effectively.
It is a continuous process that is done during the different stages of testing an application and with every testing, the application’s features, capabilities, operations, etc. tend to get smoother with the end result being user satisfaction. In short, agile testing ensures the application is functioning all well, there is the least damage, and can be delivered to the users without any hassles.
Features of Agile Testing
An agile methodology is a process that emphasizes enhancing the development life cycle of a particular application. This is the new age approach that has become a critical part of the modern technological environment. It offers the following versatile features.
The agile testing goal is to work smartly rather than working hard. Therefore it facilitates the continuous delivery of the application in a more effective manner as each team member works in collaboration to accomplish the task.
The testing begins at the start of the development process with an ongoing integration between testing and development to ensure that the deliverables are in a stable state so that the tester can test major functionality with different perspectives and achieve a high application quality.
The whole development process is divided into smaller runs, or they are called iterations that are delivered to the customers within the given time frame.
It enhances and promotes an efficient relationship between the testers and developers to gain the desired requirement. This also improves the capability of individuals to adopt the change required to incorporate it into the working processes.
Rather than being sequential like traditional techniques, agile testing is a continuous mechanism.
All the bugs or issues found in one iteration are corrected by the Agile team within that iteration itself. Hence simplifies the task of testing and fixing defects.
To ensure continuous progress, feedback is provided by the testing team on an ongoing basis.
Traditional Testing Method vs Agile Testing
In the traditional waterfall method, the sequence of testing events is fixed and the testers can’t begin the next step until the previous step has been fully completed, which means the testing team doesn’t receive the final application until late in the development cycle.
Testers are forced to wait for the application to come down and then decide whether the application needs to be kicked back to a previous step in the development process.
In the traditional development approach team members get separated based on the area they are working on, and then gradually add pieces together to create a final application. This was really challenging for the testing team as any bugs they catch at this later point will be difficult and costly to eliminate from the application.
With Agile testing, the test plan is in place throughout. Agile methodology is focused on responding to change and encompasses many practices that are quite different from traditional development techniques. In the Agile development approach, continuous integration is key where the whole team collaborates and every time a new feature gets added the test team gets their hands on it and provides feedback directly to the developers. It creates a completely different application development life cycle. This is the reason why teams need to implement agile testing methods.
Methods of Agile Testing
There are a number of methodologies developed for Agile testing processes. Currently, there are four most popular in use. It is important to note that no single methodology is perfect for a specific application; these are useful as starting points from which to generate a modified approach. They are
Behavior Driven Development (BDD)
In this method, testing is performed on the basis of how the system is supposed to work. This method improves the communication between developers and testers and enables them to know and understand each feature prior to the development process and design the application accordingly.
The examples in the BDD testing method are called Scenarios. Test scenarios are written in a special format called Gherkin Given/When/Then syntax. The documentation of the scenarios holds information on how a particular feature should behave in different situations with different input parameters
Acceptance Test-Driven Development (ATDD)
The method of Agile testing involves team members with different perspectives such as the users, developer, and tester. These tests work on the basis of the user’s point of view. Focussing on how an application works and checking if each feature works as intended. ATDD aims to find the problems and the ways they need to be solved.
In this method of testing, the test design and test execution phases are done simultaneously. It gives the main priority to user collaboration and interactions rather than the process and tools.
This type of testing is more adaptable to changes as the tester does every hit and trial to explore the application by using different user behaviors and identifying the functionality. Here testers are not provided with detailed documentation. They try to learn the application, by focusing on the high-risk scenarios & execute the test plans according to their findings or prior experience
Pros of Agile Testing
Some of the concepts to make a process agile include satisfying the customer with rapid delivery of the application, shorter timelines, immediate feedback, face-to-face contact with teams and clients, and meeting changing needs even late in the development process.
Agile testing provides a number of significant advantages. Hence, adopting this testing early and regularly can help assist you in catching issues and fixing them faster. This as a result will save money and time in the long run, and also restrain the number of defects that make it into production.
Let’s appreciate some more benefits of using Agile testing that make the tester’s and developer’s jobs easier and provide them maximum control over their initiatives.
A higher-quality application
One of the Agile principles is continual feedback, and also one of the best ways to remedy an issue during application testing. Starting testing concurrently and earlier in the development process means detecting more defects and eliminating them soon after they are created.
With each iteration, the application is thoroughly tested and debugged as it is created, then waiting until it’s finished. Another benefit of continuous feedback combined with early and frequent testing enables the testers to develop a detailed and intricate knowledge of the application. Combining the knowledge of the methodology of testing used, with the user’s input helps the developers to create a superior application.
Reduced Time to Market
Agile testing methodology reduces the development cycle and constantly provides users feedback, ensuring the application adapts to the market during development and reaches users as early as possible.
Organizations with high agility achieve goals faster than organizations with low agility. Test automation facilitates the consistent execution of test cases and extensively reduces an application’s time-to-market. Once tests are automated in an agile environment, testers may experience the test library’s implementation faster than manual testing.
Many development teams use agile approaches for numerous forms of testing like Integration testing, system testing, unit testing, sanity testing, regression testing, functional testing, acceptance testing, regression testing, etc as their primary development and testing strategy. An agile setting allows testing more efficiently meeting the user’s demands with flexibility and reducing the cost of change by ten times.
Agile testing is a collective effort of the entire team where they work and maintain track records together as a whole. This makes it easier for a novice in the testing process to get a fair idea of every particular detail of the application.
The team shares a close interaction among all members, as they meet often to discuss difficulties and progress, allowing them to collaborate more effectively. creating a happier, more enjoyable, and more productive workplace.
Agile teams enjoy more autonomy and power over their decisions since they are self-organized and managed. Developers, testers, and users all work side by side to create the best application.
The close-knit atmosphere of an Agile team due to the flexible team structure and cross-functional nature aids members to learn new project management skills and progress in their current jobs
Flexible and highly Adaptable to change
Flexibility and adaptability make Agile one of the most popular techniques to implement today. it is capable of accommodating changes that occur in every sprint making it more flexible and adaptive in incorporating change requirements. This method is also known as the new-age method since it is compatible with the ever-changing technological scenario.
In the agile development strategy documentation work is very less, Because of the usage of reusable resources in the release of every iteration. it just occasionally reminds the teams for documentation when necessary.
Cons of Agile Testing
Despite the benefits that Agile offers, still it is not for everyone. Some teams have also faced problems with Agile. Therefore it is important to be aware of the shortcomings of Agile testing. The Agile drawbacks can disrupt an application and threaten its success. With that in mind, it’s important to recognize and tackle them before they grow. Below are some of the weaknesses of Agile.
Often a lot of the test team’s time gets spent on finding and fixing bugs and this lengthens our application releases for minor glitches. As a result, the number of regression bugs increases which ultimately delays the application delivery.
It is certainly true that agile testing is perpetual and flexible in nature to accommodate changes and advancements in technology but this pro has a loophole too. Each test strategy has a very short lifespan and is likely to change more often, therefore the changes are not always predictable. There are chances that they may not be adopted while releasing the next iteration. This way, sometimes it becomes unpredictable for the users what new will come up in the next iteration.
In Agile, documentation happens throughout the process and not at the beginning. More often it happens just in time for building the output, here large volumes of data are condensed into smaller cases. Which don’t contain a great amount of detail This can make it difficult for the developers to get a hold of the exact user’s requirements.
Without a clear documentation plan or an official process to follow, it becomes less detailed and often falls to the back burner. As a result, the team members can easily get confused when moving through the development stages.
Due to the flexibility of agile methodology, users may demand constant change in the application each time it is improved. This led to a widening of the test scope. where deliverables get multiplied quickly, and new features often get added to the workload. Some requirements may even need to be rewritten entirely or replaced with updated ones.
As a result, test teams who are inexperienced or not thorough may become overwhelmed, lose track of these requirements, and end up mismanaging the process by failing to rationalize user requirements and becoming unsure of which ones to prioritize.
No fixed process
The fact that Agile requires minimal planning at the beginning makes it easy to deviate from delivering new, unexpected functionality. Also, the process has no fixed end, as there is never a clear vision of what the final application looks like.
Additionally, the whole test team constantly works on developing a robust application by implementing changes without leaving any footprints whatsoever. This, as a result, creates a chaotic situation among the team members.
Make Agile Testing successful with LambdaTest
Even though there are certain demerits of employing Agile in a process, the benefits of using this testing can go a long way and help the test team to overshadow the drawbacks easily. It is important to note that the use of an automation framework plays a vital role in the agile testing process. Selecting the right framework potentially plays a key factor in the success of an application.
The entire QA process pivots on the use of a real device cloud. Without real device testing, it is not possible to identify every possible bug that a user may encounter. Undetected bugs cannot be tracked, monitored, or fixed. Moreover, without getting accurate information on bugs QA metrics cannot set baselines and measure success. This is true for manual testing as well as automation testing
Also, the user interface and other functionalities of an application can be viewed differently in different applications and browsers. Therefore testers must ensure that the UI and other functionalities are rendering as expected across all browsers and devices.
To overcome the above challenges testers can perform testing on real device clouds like LambdaTest. This cloud-based platform supports live interactive testing on multiple browsers and devices. This enables ease in automation, testing in cross-browser and cross-device, and efficient visual testing for testing web apps.
LambdaTest real device cloud offers 3000+ real devices, browsers, and operating systems combinations for instant, on-demand testing. The cloud also provides integrations with popular CI/CD tools such as Jira, Jenkins, TeamCity, Travis CI, etc. Additionally, built-in debugging tools let testers track, identify, and resolve bugs immediately. LambdaTest also facilitates instant and hassle-free parallelization.
LambdaTest also helps to overcome other agile challenges like inadequate test coverage, Slow feedback, deferring important tests, etc. and helps the team to achieve Agile goals.