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Application Quality in an Agile Testing Environment

Many Agile teams have struggled with traditional test management and automation tools, which often seem rigid and inflexible to use in such a fast moving development environment. They need struggle no more...

QA Challenges With Agile

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Although more and more organisations are moving towards agile software delivery, agile methodologies bring their own set of challenges.

The truth of the matter is that traditional test tools struggle to work in an agile environment. This is mainly due to the fact that they were designed to work in a 'test last' environment whereas the agile model is more a 'test first, test continuously' model.

Traditional or legacy testing tools force QA teams to wait until after the software is complete (or at least the interface) before test automation can begin. After all, it's difficult to record scripts against an interface that doesn't yet exist.

These kinds of tools only really suit application testing that involves long development cycles and strict change management regulations. Otherwise they simply won't work.

Typically, these tools require users to have specialist skills. The cost of licences for these products is so huge that many organisations tend to only buy licenses for just a select few. This goes against the ethos of tight communications and close-knit working groups that are necessary in a successful agile testing environment.

Finding the right agile automation tool is therefore incredibly important if agile teams are to have a bug-free version of the software with each iteration.

Furthermore, the number of tests increases exponentially with each story to the point where, if the tests were done 100% manually, the testing could actually exceed the length of the total iteration. It is therefore imperative that agile teams have an option that reduces the time taken for manual testing.

Addressing the Challenges of Testing in an Agile Environment

One area where Original Software can be appropriate is in unstable, changing circumstances. The two most notable situations are the first release of an application and in agile processes.

Paul Herzlich, Software Testing Tools Analyst, Ovum

Until now there have been two camps for Application Quality Management (AQM) systems. Traditional Tools like HP QC that have proved inflexible for agile developments and maintenance heavy, or new agile tools from Version One or Rally Software, which are agile specific tools and not suitable for use outside agile environments or corporate-wide where teams are using a mix of processes.

Best of breed for Agile

With many organisations moving to or experimenting with Agile, Original Software has been acclaimed by the analyst community as the best solution for supporting Agile.

Just as improvements in developer's software tools and methods have enabled a shift in development approaches, next generation technology for test automation is similarly reframing the opportunities for testers to automate earlier in the delivery cycle without incurring the heavy burden of script maintenance so often associated with traditional automation tools. This means that not only can an agile environment be adopted, application quality is maintained and the total testing time reduced.

Manage Your Agile Environment with Ease

Our solution suite unites all aspects of the software quality lifecycle from requirements through to deployment, providing an integrated approach to solving your agile quality process and management challenges.

Agile methods impact every stage of the software development lifecycle and all stakeholders within it, from the business analyst to the tester and developer, therefore making collaboration a key requirement for success. Our solution can help you to keep up with the pace of a fast moving development release schedule, with the aim of meeting the demands of the business and ensuring software quality is at the forefront.

Reduce the Toxic Debt in Your Agile Projects

One area where OrigSoft's TestDrive-Assist can be appropriate is in unstable, changing circumstances. The two most notable situations are the first release of an application and in agile processes. By recording your manual test, you may not have the benefit of full automation such as automatic data entry and validation. However you do get an audit trail and clear information for reproducing bugs. The ability to automatically migrate your manual test to an automated test may pay off immediately, but in any case, by the end of your scrum or iteration, it will form the foundation of a future automated test.

 

It will not surprise you to know that manual testing is the oldest form of software testing. It may surprise you however, that despite the rise of software test automation solutions, manual testing still accounts for at least 80% of all testing carried out today.

Manual testing requires the tester to perform manual test operations on the test application without the help of test automation software. Manual testing can be a laborious activity that requires the tester to possess a certain set of qualities; to be patient, observant, speculative, creative, innovative, open-minded, resourceful, un-opinionated, and skilful.

Original Software has a solution specifically designed to work with manual testers. Consequently, it's perfectly suited to the agile environment - something that has been has been recognised by industry analyst group Ovum:

Making Agile Test Automation a Reality

Next generation software test automation solutions do not depend on old scripting languages. Test automation is no longer confined to programmers and scripters. Graphical scripts are built based on the user’s interaction with the system under test.

The intelligent technology behind these solutions mean that they automatically recognise when an application interface has changed and the scripts are updated to reflect the changes. This means that the solutions are completely re-usable, no matter how often the application changes. As a result, the automation zone is no longer confined to those areas of the application that are stable and risk free.