Robots are being developed, driverless cars are being driven on streets, and technologies such as Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and IoT are put to work rigorously across diverse domains. Every aspect of technology is applied to automate human efforts and bring value to it. While it seems good, this establishes the need to ensure its performance and functionality at every level. However, it cannot be achieved with the traditional methods of software testing and quality assurance, where testing comes in at the end of the development process.
Agile Development has transformed the role of testing and has brought it into the mainstream of the development cycle.
Agile software development comprises a set of values and principles for software development, where the core idea is to encourage more collaboration between testing and development teams. It also implies that there would be shorter development cycles and frequent releases. The idea that there will be frequent releases often results in creating an impression that the quality is being compromised at some point.
The growing competition and challenges to stay active and upbeat in the marketplace have pushed every enterprise to bring velocity to their projects and the overall application development process. Moreover, it is expected that any kind of upgrade or update on the application happens in real-time by considering all business risks. Considering the development cycles are short and releases are frequent, the Agile methodology of development is constantly questioned for ensuring quality and adequate testing.
At the recent Gartner Symposium in Orlando Gerri Martin-Flickinger, Executive Vice President and CTO at Starbucks spoke on the topic Tech Innovation at Starbucks: What’s next? While highlighting the coffee giant’s digital transformation journey, she stated, ‘The journey required a reinvention of company culture; talent and delivery that embraced digital natives; a cloud-based platform model; Agile methodologies; and emerging technologies, like virtual reality, Facebook at Work and conversational AI.’
Agile Methodologies supplement an organization’s efforts in adoption of new and emerging technologies, enabling Digital Transformation. The organization needs to transform the way it functions in an Agile set-up, where quality is a shared responsibility. Considering the delivery is done in sprints, every sprint involves a close-knit team of testers as well as developers.
During the development and delivery, roles often times get swapped where the tester could code and the developer could write test cases.
This implies that the responsibility towards ensuring the quality of the code and the sprint is not restricted just to the testing team. Consequently, to answer the question, Agile further strengthens the quality of an application rather than compromising it due to its speed in delivery and frequent processes.
There is no alternative to ensuring quality, as the business risks can be detrimental if the quality is not ensured at every level. Agile has been adopted by many organizations not only for the speed it brings but specifically for the transparency it provides on delivering quality sprints.
In an Agile development scenario, testing is intertwined into the development cycle, which implies that there are constant checks on whether the software/application is operating on the go. Moreover, attention is paid to every feature in the product, enabling the teams to ensure smooth functioning and make the necessary changes as well.
Software development happens gradually and in rapid cycles, which results in fragmented releases and every release is built on the premise of the functionality of the earlier release. In a way, thorough testing assures that the software quality is retained.
While working in the traditional mode of development the user feedback and opinions come at the end of the cycle. However, with agile the user feedback is part of the development process. The user is involved in every sprint and the feedback received is incorporated into the next step taken in development. Whether it’s quality or performance every aspect matures with the user’s feedback.
This further helps in maintaining project control, as after every sprint there are stand-ups and transparency is maintained throughout. This helps teams to keep up the performance and quality, which becomes a shared responsibility.
Agile methodologies help bring down or rather nullify the chances of total project failure. So, there will always be a working product/software that begins with the first sprint and there is no complete failure. The sprints ensure that there is less time gap between initial project investment and the initial release. While developing in an Agile development mode, if there is any failure then the team is kept aware of it.
Moreover, it gives more scope for innovation and adding new functionalities, and even testing them for ensuring performance and quality. Agile has been and will be more and more accepted across various industries and enterprises, as it brings higher RoI and collaborative outcome.
Pyramid’s Agile testing solution is not a separate phase, but an integral part of software development. The concepts of Test Driven Development and Continuous Integration are key to Agile development, which covers all types of testing. Testing and coding are done incrementally and iteratively, building up each feature until it provides enough value to release to production. Pyramid QA Designers provide organizations helpful taxonomy to enable teams to identify and plan needed testing.
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