Companies who use IT processes tend to be the most likely to embrace Agile practices and are benefiting from applying Scrum and Scaled Agile Framework (SAFe) to software development within the enterprise. Because Agile is based in sprints (or iterations) the process lacks a dedicated testing phase like that in a traditional Waterfall process making manual testing inefficient and costly, and, in some cases, nearly impossible to complete.
In Agile development, continuous integration, continuous development, and continuous deployment are utilized. In order for continuous deployment to be successful, testing needs to be performed quickly and succinctly – lending itself to automation testing in some cases.
There are several instances when automation testing can be implemented in Agile including: when one test case will be repeated, when test cases cannot be performed manually, if a test case needs to be run with different data/conditions multiple times, when the same test cases are carried out with multiple user sets, or if test cases need to be executed in various environments.
In order for a team to automate their testing process they will typically use tools like Selenium, Appium, Cucumber, Test Studio, TestNG, etc. After a test case is developed it can be run multiple times in continuous builds. The ability to identify bugs in real-time allows the team to quickly identify the stage in which it occurred and rectify it from there.
While automation testing is incredibly beneficial for the Agile process, testers can run in to several roadblocks. If testers don’t find bugs until a late stage in the development process, they can be incredibly difficult to fix. To largely eliminate those costly errors, testers can perform successive code reviews or run static analysis tools on the source code. Deficiencies in API testing and test coverage, bottlenecks, and broken code can also challenge an Agile tester. However, the benefits to speedier automation testing outweighs the potential pitfalls.
It goes without saying, no process is perfect, however, using Agile methodology and automation testing is creating efficiencies and saving capital for project teams that may not have been possible when using Waterfall methodology or manual testing. As teams streamline processes and adopt an Agile mindset, they are able to bring projects to the finish line much more quickly and, with automation testing, bug free.
This blog post was written by Danielle Larson, Talent Acquisition & Engagement Specialist
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