3 Ways Agile Development Make a Tester’s Life Better



Agile development is often heralded for a number of benefits ranging from stable code to better communication.  One of the groups that heavily benefits from switching to an agile/scrum development model is the testing group.   Software testers in a waterfall organization are given a difficult task – create tests from documentation and run those tests once code is handed off to your group.   This hand-off may occur months after some pieces of code were originally written.   The developers have moved on to newer tasks and often are reluctant to  go back and look at old code.    Testers are pitted against the development teams.   Depending on the culture, this can make relationships between the group slightly tense to highly contentious.    When is it enjoyable to have work you completed months ago critiqued and have to go repair that work?    Agile can help.

1.  Agile scrum does something more than just enable communication  – it places test and development on the same team.   They must work together and are judged together on the overall quality of their work.

2.  Agile disrupts the time frames imposed by the waterfall method.   Testing and development occur simultaneously.   As the team designs how functions work, documentation is created and testing begins.   Because testers are involved in design, whitebox testing (where testers have knowledge of the inner working of code) becomes the norm.

3.  Agile allows both developers and testers to explore new tasks.   It is encouraged for a tester to contribute to the code and  for a developer to create tests.      Automated tests are highly encouraged and are often part of the completion criteria for a sprint.

Agile development impacts all teams.   Effects from agile are seen throughout the organization and agile can certainly improve relationships between test and the rest of the organization.


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