Agile software development is a strategy that is quickly gaining traction in workplaces all over the world. It focuses on fast-paced, iterative development requiring a breakdown in the traditional processed approach to phase-based release cycles.
Agile software development is unique in that it treats testing as an integral part of continuous development cycles, rather than a phase of development that takes place after coding is finished. Testing in an agile workplace requires a great amount of flexibility, potentially drawing from any test area in a single pass. As such, this strategy thrives in environments where testing and development teams can closely collaborate to achieve effective results.
Applying agile in a third-party test house can prove challenging given certain circumstances of a test cycle. Out-of-house, resources may not be instantly available and immediate communication may not always be possible. In these situations, it is critical to maintain an adaptable approach to the test procedure. The rapid development cycles of agile development often can mean new features slipping into builds without a contingency for coverage.
Here at RTL, the ability to flexibly switch between scripted and targeted ad-hoc testing is particularly helpful during periods in which communication with developers is inconsistent. When given multiple builds in a day, maintaining the expected level of coverage becomes the primary concern. Tracking metrics are a key tool for determining which areas of risk need continued attention and how much when done in conjunction with new features or test areas.
Although it may not be considered "true agile" working as a dedicated testing
team, we strive to integrate ourselves into the client's development process as
much as possible and have found our adaptable test practices can exceed the
requirements and expectations of a committed agile development team.