With 2020 upon us, software development firms seeking to increase their agility are focusing more and more on aligning their testing approach with agile principles. Let’s look at seven of the key agile testing trends that will impact organizations most this year.
Testing in an agile environment requires quality engineering rather than quality assurance. The difference is that quality engineering involves continuous testing of the product and processes while heavily leveraging automation. It ensures the product undergoes effective testing to remove bugs while software is being implemented.
Testing is no longer a phase, and while it’s difficult for all testing to be automated, much of it should be.
The benefits of quality engineering:
- It gives quick feedback on the product due to testing being performed continuously on various platforms and different operating systems
- It reduces software failures and rework through early and timely feedback
Shifting Testing Left
In a shift-left process, more types of testing start in parallel with software development. Testers collaborate with developers to create test cases and what-if scenarios before code is written, and these tests are then used to drive development.
In a conventional software development approach, testing is a bottleneck in the release process. Because schedules are often compressed, testers have traditionally had less time to test and find bugs. When testing is shifted left, this is no longer the case. Testers also have time to collaborate with UI and API developers to check the software’s usability before it is even built.
The benefits of shift-left testing:
- It reduces time to market for software releases.
- It helps deliver high-quality software in less time
- It identifies bottlenecks in advance to prevent downstream software failures
Agile Test Management
Agile is not effective without strong collaboration between developers and testers. This includes how testing is planned, how testing is executed, and how the results are reported.
Agile test management processes and tools allow the entire team to maintain and track testing progress and keep everyone on the same page. For those working in a distributed environment, a cloud-based test management tool offers easy access to testing information from anywhere in the world, around the clock.
The benefits of agile test management:
- It is easier for team members to track testing efforts and improve collaboration
- It reduces the number of bugs and helps release high-quality software by making sure adequate testing has been completed
- It reduces feedback latency between developers and testers and ensures real-time feedback on issues found
DevOps is based on the concepts of lean management and getting development and operations working together effectively. It seeks to remove waste from the software development lifecycle and accelerates software delivery.
Agile and DevOps together can improve overall team communication and collaboration to reduce software failures and delays. DevOps integrates continuous testing into the development and delivery process to make sure quality code is produced continuously.
The benefits of DevOps:
- It focuses on establishing the right culture and getting everyone collaborating
- It integrates operations into the team to reduce downstream testing issues with environments
- It helps in the integration of the coding and testing processes by making sure each code change is tested using appropriate tools
- It helps in the creation of an integrated and seamless flow of working software, from development through testing environments and into production
Continuous testing is the process of continuously executing tests and incorporating testers into cross-functional teams to test functionalities and provide quick feedback. It involves testing early and often using the shift-left, quality engineering, and agile test management capabilities mentioned previously.
The benefits of continuous testing:
- It mitigates software failure risk by finding issues early and often
- It improves software quality through continuous feedback and reviews
- It optimizes test suites to cover business risk and limit the redundancies
Lean Portfolio Management
Lean portfolio management works above all software development projects to align these efforts and measure results based on organizational strategy and objectives. A continuous process is used to distribute work to teams based on the priority of features and user stories with an overall high-level strategy.
Lean emphasizes collaboration from top to bottom and factors in the right planning, goal measurement, and transparency to work effectively. It also focuses on removing project approval bottlenecks for faster time to market.
The benefits of lean portfolio management:
- It improves alignment between individual projects and organizational strategy
- It improves business value and brings clarity to the software to be delivered
Agile Backed by AI and ML
Using artificial intelligence and machine learning to support agile methods unleashes the power of data analysis. Software teams can dig deep into developers’ and testers’ productivity data and gain insights based on past projects.
AI and ML can provide real-time information on everything from predicting when a project will be ready for release, to ways to more effectively test, to approaches for improving code. It supports futuristic technologies such as IoT, robotics, and quantum computing that can change the software development process in the years to come.
The benefits of agile backed by AI and ML:
- It provides insights and information on better approaches for building and testing code
- It analyzes code and tests to improve them and fix bugs
- It supports futuristic technologies such as IoT, robotics, and quantum computing