The acceptance of Agile software development and Agile testing has picked up a significant pace over the last few years. The traditional processes in SDLC (Software Development Life Cycle) are now replaced by Agile SDLC methodology where an immense focus is laid on collaborative-decision making.
Iterative and incremental process models are used for the planning and implementation of regular iterative cycles called Sprints. The principles of Agile testing can also be used in automation testing. Did you know that Agile testing and DevOps are considered to be one of the biggest software testing trends in 2021?
In this article, we deep dive into Agile testing and uncover the best practices of agile test automation.
Introduction to Agile Testing
For starters, agile testing is a methodology of testing that is based on the principles of agile software development. Along with iterative product development, the focus is laid on continuous testing. Product requirements are obtained from the customer and relevant folks from the testing team are involved in the entire process.
Product development and testing goes hand-in-hand, which is not the case with traditional software testing. The tight integration of testing with the development process helps in uncovering bugs at the early stages of product development.
Agile testing not only helps in building a high-quality software product but also improves the collaboration between developers, integrators, and testers – the key pillars of any software product.
Best Practices For Agile Test Automation
Automation Testing has been playing a vital role in the field of software testing, with many enterprises opting for Scriptless Test Automation that helps QA teams accelerate the time-to-market strategy.
Agile test automation has made significant inroads in the field of automation testing and it is essential to incorporate its best practices to make the most out of automation testing with Agile.
It is recommended to partner with an automation testing company like KiWiQA that has prior experience with agile test automation. It can help in quickly incorporating agile test automation in your project(s).
Without further ado, listed below are the best practices of agile test automation that are best-suited for a wide range of software projects:
Embrace TDD and ATDD
The core intent of agile test automation is to improve product quality by ensuring that the development team and QA team are always on the same page. Collaboration is the guiding pillar of test automation with Agile. Test Driven Development (TDD) should be used by QA teams for the development of test scripts before the start of product development.
On similar lines, Acceptance Test Driven Development (ATDD) should be leveraged for the development of acceptance tests. Members from different teams (e.g. development, testing, product management, etc.) collaborate for writing tests way earlier than product development.
The adoption of TDD and ATDD reduces the overall effort involved in the maintenance of test scripts.
Choose the best-suited test automation tool
The ROI of Agile test automation is largely dependent on the proactiveness and productivity of the team members involved in the process. That is why it becomes important to choose a test automation tool that can expedite the process of automation testing.
The guideline is to select a tool that not only suits the project demands but provides a range of features in terms of third-party integrations, reduced maintenance, platform compatibility, and more.
User Stories for Test Cases
Automation test cases are created based on the features implemented in the product which in turn are derived from the product specification. In agile test automation, the focus is laid on creating test cases using test scenarios and user stories.
This helps in expediting the process of test automation since the testers no longer have to wait for the entire product specification to get started with the automation testing.
Focus on System Level Automation
The UI of a web product will witness changes after receiving feedback from team members and users of the product. The effort involved in the maintenance of automation tests increases exponentially if the tests are developed keeping the UI in mind.
To avoid such situations, automation tests in an agile environment are conducted at the middleware (or services) and systems level. By following this approach, changes in the product UI do not result in any changes in the test automation suite.
Automation of Regression Tests
In simple terms, Regression Testing is about re-running existing test suites (or test scenarios) that have been tested on earlier product releases. Regression tests help in ensuring that new implementation updates have not broken any existing functionality.
In an agile testing environment, regression tests should be a part of the CI/CD pipeline to ensure that units of code (or new feature implementation) do not break the build when merged into the production branch.
Faster regression tests and improved test coverage are possible by implementing automation of regression tests in the CI/CD pipeline.
Development and Testing in tandem
The major difference between traditional testing and agile testing methodologies is that developers and testers work closely to roll-out a quality release (or product).
In an agile automation testing environment, automation tests written by the QA engineers form the initial base of the development activity. With the progress in product development, testers have to work closely and collaborate with the development team for ensuring that implemented features work as per the expectations.
Change is Constant
Incremental changes & improvements are a part of any agile process. Frequent releases are done through Sprints. Your team needs a change of mindset to adapt to the agile approach.
Hence, development and QA teams have to be receptive to frequent changes as it will help in improving the product quality.
Just like Software is eating the world, it is wise to mention that agile test automation is eating the traditional process of testing. To make the most out of agile testing, it is important to communicate with the team about the positives of the approach.
An enterprise like KiwiQA that has experience in providing automation testing services to a wide range of customers can help in getting started as well as accelerating agile automation testing activity. This collaborative approach can be instrumental in implementing the agile test automation best practices at scale.