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12 key software-testing recommendations while implementing agile technics

The broad area of analysis of this paper is the efficiency and the effectivity of testing activities, especially whilst using agile methods.

According to a large survey by the German and the Switch Testing Boards in cooperation with several universities, the majority of the development teams used 2016 agile techniques regardless the currently implemented processes. The survey also showed that about half of the projects were developed according to an agile model and that many projects using other models cherry-picked and incorporated agile techniques in their environments.

What does this mean for the software testing? Can we observe any deterministic or expected transformations if we set the spotlight in such cases only on the testing activities? How do the tasks of the test professional vary? If we “migrate” the whole development process to agile, shall we not “migrate” the testing to agile too? If we only cherry-pick and include selected agile methods into a phase-oriented model, how far shall we adapt the test process?

The survey also pointed out that a majority of test professionals (tester, test manager and QA-experts) were not sure whether their tests were appropriate or not and that only a third of the software products were delivered without major quality issues to the customers. In this constellation, I think, a discussion of the test relevance of agile methods might contribute to ameliorate the efficiency and the effectivity of tests.

This paper will therefore focus on the software test perspective in a software development environment with agile elements. The paper will address variations, improvements and new developments. The aim is to determine a comprehensive checklist for testing activities in projects with agile methods in order to improve the efficiency and the effectivity of the implemented test process. We will conduct the analysis referencing mostly the continuous integration/delivery technique that we consider as a core innovation in the agile development models. A continuous integration server were used 2016 by 40% of all software projects in Germany.

Hermann Bayala

The author is a software test manager in a vendor company for embedded products. He is an ITQSB certified Tester (agile and advanced level Test manager and test analyst). He disposes of over 20 years of experiences in software development and testing in several industrial fields (e.g. industrial goods, automotive, avionic software).