How does Agile affect testing

Testing was easy to identify in the waterfall method, it happened at the end just before shipping the product! Of course, if the project was over the estimated time for completion test was also the first to feel the pressure. Now with agile thinking, testing is involved throughout the process and doesn’t need to feel that end of project time crunch, right?

On the Sticky Minds site is a paper titled “An Uncomfortable Truth about Agile Testing” by Jeff Patton. He brings up the distinction between verification and validation.

  • Verification: the software conforms to specification, without failing
  • Validation: the software is fit for use

Jeff makes the point that “By building part of the software and demonstrating that it works, we’re able to complete one of the most difficult types of testing: validation.” So each iteration of the product, allows the user to test the validation of the product sooner and the team can make changes earlier so that the final product produces value to the user. The tester as an integrated member of the team constantly verifies that the code produced meets the requirements. This is where testing needs the most help, they could be testing the same type of functionality over and over. Automated tools might help, as well as computing resources, the tester as they are now become a critical member of the team.

Finally, what is the purpose of testing? To find errors! And everyone knows that the sooner you find them, the cheaper they are to fix.


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