A Tester's "Wonderful Life" in an Agile Development Shop

Greg Grivas, Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts

Some subscribe to the notion that agile methods-such as eXtreme programming (XP) and test-driven development-eliminate the need for QA and testing specialists. Others, including Greg Grivas, subscribe to the belief that QA/test is needed in every aspect of Agile development. While gathering requirements as stories or use cases, the test specialist takes on the roles of consultant, facilitator, questioner, and possibly leader. After the code is developed, reviewed by users, unit tested, and close to production-ready, the QA specialists subject the software to further tests: smoke, regression, endto-end, performance, load, usability, exploratory, and more. In the final phase of delivery, the code is subjected to all the different testing techniques again, and bugs are immediately converted to requirements and corrected at a fast pace. By fully engaging test specialists in Agile development, the product owners will have confidence that a quality product will go out the door on time.

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