software testing process

A scrum in Croke Park

I’m attending the SQS conference on Software Testing in Croke Park, Dublin.  I thought it was appropriate to go to an Agile Testing session involving Scrum amongst other techniques in the same hallowed ground where not to recently a game of Rugby was played out between England and Ireland.
As our trainer Mike Scott was English, we tried not to gloat too much.

I won’t bore you with lots of analogies on how Agile is similar to rugby, besides after a day of Agile, I can’t think up too many, I’m sure someone out there can….

But here is what I enjoyed about Agile and its techniques

I liked the concept of the balloon pattern and testing so early that no code has yet been written, only your installation packages. I think thats really smart. You can iron out all your installation and configuration issues up front.

I like the concept that we as testers need to ask lots of questions and not make assumptions, though I think this is not unique to Agile.  A course on  Rapid Software Testing by James Bach also stresses this point.  However,  Agile demands intelligence in testing, where perhaps more traditional methods are less exacting?

There seemed to be a heavy dependency on Test Driven Development (TDD) which I am a big supporter of, though I do question the use of 100% Acceptance Test Automation.  I think in every software testing exercise there is room for both manual and automated testing. Its a question of intelligently planning out what percentage ratio works best for that particular project or environment.

Is Agile faster and cheaper as its sometimes portrayed?  I suspect not, but it does offer a customer greater flexibility and visibility and I like the sound of that!

2 replies on “A scrum in Croke Park”

Anne-Marie,I agree to that the customer is not much benefitted from the agile methodology. the agile process is basically has known defects and in some case it releases to the customers with known defects too, I feel if the known defects are there then it should not be released to the customers.
“Cheapest and quickest way does not always guarantee the quality: 🙂

Hi Anne-Marie,
Good posting. I’ve been using agile for a year or so now and have been incredibly impressed with how the tester fits in to the process. They are at the centre and involved right at the start.

I too have a doubt over 100% automation acceptance testing. It is not possible and exploratory testing is actually far more valuable. You’ve also got to ask whether or not you know all of the acceptance criteria in advance and whether or not the ones you have got are actually accurate.

I’ve been experimenting with using Selenium to automate the repetitive low level acceptance tests leaving the complicated testing to exploratory techniques.

Glad you enjoyed the scrum gathering, sounds like we may have another agile convert in the making.


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