Software development cycle and the importance of agile testing

In today’s busy world, we want everything to be better, faster, and easier to use. Similarly, the software realm is also undergoing a revolution where consumers are always on the lookout for an outstanding product which is worth their time and money.

But how do businesses keep up with the competition and still be more efficient in producing quality products?

In this age and era, time is money! We don’t have a single minute to spare on tasks that are not critical or can be performed via other means. This is why, traditional modes of testing are taking a back seat since they are time-consuming and also ineffective in many scenarios.

Studies show that in over 80% of failed software projects that were investigated, Waterfall methodology was one of the key factors behind failure. Another study of over 400 projects confirmed that only 10% of the developed code was actually deployed, and of that only 20% was actually used.

These numbers are just a few examples, and confirm why most IT companies are now applying traditional approaches instead of automated ones when it comes to software development cycle.

In fact, more and more organizations are now applying the agile software development and testing methodology to keep up with competition and create flawless products. According to the Testing Trends in 2016: A survey of software professionals, 88% of organizations have adopted agile development while only 1 in 5 have fully implemented the five best software testing practices that are associated with a mature agile development process.

What is Agile testing?

The word ‘Agile’ means quickness, lightness, and ease of movement. This is what agility is and the above-mentioned features are the essence of agile testing.

The agile model in software development is easy to perform and is mostly used while developing critical software. The agile process continuously tests the product during the development cycle to ensure quality. It also provides users the liberty to add requirements at any stage after software release as well.

Some examples of Agile model:

  • Scrum
  • Extreme development
  • Feature driven development
  • Test driven development

Advantages of implementing Agile testing

Following are some of the main benefits of applying the agile model during the software development cycle;

  • Saves time and money
  • Requires less documentation
  • Requires regular meetings with all the members of team, thus creating tight communication
  • Acquires regular feedback from the end user
  • Customers can add and change any requirement during the later stages

Principles of Agile testing

The main principles of the agile model are:

Testing is not a phase:

Tests should not be run towards the end of the development cycle, which is what usually happens with the traditional approaches. In agile testing mode, tests are not considered a phase. They’re a continuous process to ensure that the software shows constant progress during the full development cycle.

Testing moves the project forward:

The agile software testing is based on the understanding that every software should be error-free from the start. During the software development cycle, testing is conducted continuously while provding feedback at every instance is also a must.

Everyone is responsible for testing:

In the traditional testing modes, testing is only the testers’ responsibly. However, agile testing requires each and every member of the team to execute tests. The whole team needs to collaborate and check every part of the software before moving on to the next stage.

If any aspect of the software is left out and not checked – chances are that the software will not move on to the next level. This is why, tests should be conducted by each and every member of the team so that there is no room for any defect.

Shortening the feedback time:

In a conventional software development project, the developers have to wait for feedback about a specific code for way too long after which a feedback loop is created. These loops last for a long time especially if the tests are conducted at the end of the development cycle. However, in the agile approach, tests are executed from the very start of software development and testers check the product on several levels.

Manual testing methods are dependent on people and in most cases, are not initiated immediately after the project goes on floor. They take more time to be executed and the feedback comes slowly causing a delay in production.

Keep the code clean:

Agile developers and testers work extensively to get the code right. As soon as they come across a defected code, they have to fix it. The agile testing methodology helps the testers in this regard by allowing them to fix a defect as soon as it is found.

Documentation free:

For agile testing to work, close collaboration between the members of every team is essential. This eliminates the need for comprehensive test documentation. Agile quality assurance tools include checklists and charts to focus on the essence of each test rather than its incidental details.

Implementing and testing:

The story does not end with the implementation of a fixed code. Agile testing methods conduct tests while a new code is being implemented, leaving no room for errors.

Don’t wait till the end!

The IT infrastructure is ever-changing and software development and testing practices change every day. While the traditional ways of software development still work for many, the new and modern approaches are fast replacing the former. The Agile methodology enhances collaboration between different teams and the customers, thus ensuring fast feedback.

With Agile testing, organizations don’t lose sight of their overall goal, which is ‘to build and deliver high quality software’.

AUTHOR BIO

ABOUT Alycia Gordan

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

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