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What Are The Latest Trends In Agile Testing?

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By Author: Oliver Moore
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The global digital transformation journey requires the quality of processes, models, products, and services to be top-notch. To ensure accelerated growth, enterprises are embracing the Agile model and moving away from the traditional ones - waterfall, spiral, and iterative. The reason being the slowness and inadequacies of these models. Enterprises have realized the need to adopt innovative ways to offer customer delight, the final outcome to stay competitive. The agile testing approach is mainly embraced by enterprises that need their development pipeline to create continuous builds.
This calls for both development and testing to be conducted simultaneously instead of the earlier silo-based waterfall method.

The need for adopting the agile testing approach has been necessitated due to the growing complexity of software applications. Today, the performance of the software is determined by the quality of its interfaces with third-party applications, browsers, devices, and operating systems. The more complex a software is, the more comprehensive testing it demands. Agile testing is about shift-left testing where planning, designing, writing, and testing code becomes part of the sprint. It is a collaborative approach instead of the waterfall’s silo-driven approach and drives better outcomes. Agile testing involves taking continual feedback from the customers and stakeholders.

Why is agile software testing advantageous?

The complexity of software applications has shifted the focus on testing. This is to ensure the applications live up to the expectations of both businesses and customers. The agile testing approach focuses on smart testing through automation rather than using the time-consuming manual means. Here, the testers and developers follow a collaborative approach with the former offering timely feedback to the latter. This makes the final product fully aligned to the customers’ requirements or expectations.
Principles of Agile Testing

Agile application testing follows a set of principles to deliver glitch-free products to the end-customers:

Continuous Testing: Agile testing experts conduct continuous testing to identify glitches at various stages of development and integration.

Continuous Feedback: One of the main reasons why products often fail to meet customers’ expectations is the apparent disconnect that exists between the end customers and other stakeholders. The agile testing strategy ensures the development team receives continuous feedback on the quality of builds. This helps the product to meet the business as well as customer needs.

Test-Driven: The agile testing approach includes testing at the time of development itself rather than later. This saves time and costs as mitigating a glitch after development can be expensive and time-consuming.

Less Documentation: The reusable checklist used by the agile testing specialists ensures the focus is on testing rather than on keeping the incidental details.

Simplified and Clean Coding: Since the glitches are identified and remedied within the sprint, the final code remains simplified and clean.

Accountability is shared by all: In the traditional system of testing, only the testing team is held responsible for the presence of glitches. However, in agile testing methodology, the development, testing, and business analyst teams share equal responsibility for the outcome.

Latest trends in agile testing

The spiraling demand for software testing and the advent of new technologies like IoT, AI, big data, and analytics emphasize the need to follow the latest trends. These include:

Artificial Intelligence (AI): The objective of agile in identifying and mitigating errors early on in the development cycle can be met effectively by using AI. For example, AI can analyze the database of past codes and check for patterns that contained glitches. These patterns can then be flagged for the developers and testers to gain necessary insights. Artificial intelligence can analyze the code under development to find if it deviated from its intended objective. This way it can help the agile-driven team to align the build with the business objectives and customer expectations.

Move towards Quality Engineering: The growing technological complexity of software applications means more chances for the ingress of bugs. So, along with continuous testing to identify errors in real-time, the focus should be on eliminating the ingress of errors in the first place. This calls for moving towards quality engineering where products and services are designed and built to meet or exceed customers’ expectations. It also involves the development, management, operation, and maintenance of IT systems displaying a high-quality standard.

Big Data Testing: With applications interfacing with other IT ecosystems (SMAC for example), a huge quantum of data gets generated. These need to be tested for errors using big data testing. Here, rather than testing the individual features of the software application, activities like data creation, storage, retrieval, and processing are validated.

Continuous Improvement, Integration, and Delivery: Agile is giving way to DevOps where apart from development and testing, the operations team is also involved. Here, any software build is tested continuously and enhanced based on the customers’ feedback. The entire DevOps process is geared towards ensuring the integration and delivery of glitch-free software quickly.

Conclusion

Is agile testing meeting the rising expectations of software applications? With delivering better customer experiences becoming critical for companies to stay competitive, the agile way of testing needs to follow the latest trends. Capturing and mitigating glitches earlier in the SDLC or even preempting them can significantly increase the acceptance of software in the market.

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