Software development has become increasingly complex in recent times because of which the popularity of Agile is on the rise. A larger number of software development teams are now using Agile as compared to the earlier popular, Waterfall. The onus of QA in such a scenario falls on the agile testing team, especially in the wake of the myriad challenges linked to the continuous demand on companies to deliver quality software.
Since agile development is gaining momentum, a software testing company focuses on building a team of testers who understand the processes and methodologies of agile development. Despite best efforts this realm is not free of its share of ‘tests’ and we examine some of the key challenges faced by agile testers:
Adjusting to Last Minute Changes in Requirements
One of the biggest challenges faced by agile testers is adjusting to and remaining flexible to incorporate frequent changes in requirements. Since the addition, deletion or updating of requirements is common in agile projects testers may sometimes have to scrap the work already completed or make changes to the work in progress. The inability of agile testers to adjust to changing requirements can affect the scope of testing, which in turn lead to the frustrating situation of delays in delivery or substandard products.
Accepting Testing as a Continuous Activity
Even the most experienced agile testers find it hard to accept that agile testing services are a continuous activity. In agile, testing cannot be considered merely a phase in software development, but rather the job of testers, starts from the beginning of the software development process and continues through the SDLC. Hence, testers must work together with product owners to gain knowledge of the details of the ‘story’ and write acceptance criteria. In addition, they must be able to create accurate tests based on requirements and provide quick and relevant feedback to developers.
Coping with Insufficient Test Coverage
An agile testing team faces the pressure of inadvertently missing out critical tests for a requirement given the frequent changes and continuous integration. Insufficient test coverage can also be a challenge for testers, especially when unanticipated changes occur within the code. Additionally, testers may sometimes skip the testing of certain functionalities and features to meet the continuous delivery demands of agile development. This in turn, could result in some serious flaws in the software.
Learning to Validate Software Functioning without Documentation
Another challenge faced by agile testers is the non-availability of documentation. Since agile testing is carried out with practically zero documentation, the verification and validation of the software functioning without documentation can be a daunting task for testers.
Keeping Pace with Delivery while API Testing
Agile testers generally face the challenge of testing APIs because they lack the requisite skills, especially if they have mostly been performing manual or exploratory testing. A software testing company cannot miss API tests because software design now largely revolves around a service oriented architecture that publicly exposes the APIs. Lack of skills for testing APIs may hamper the ability of a testing team to perform continuous testing and keep pace with delivery. Working with an expert and renowned software testing company would eliminate this risk.
Handling Communication Issues
In an agile software development project, communication plays a crucial role. However, the fast-paced environment may sometimes pose a challenge for the testing team because of the lack of proper communication among the members of the team or with the developers and product owners. Such a situation can be distressing from the QA standpoint because of the possibility of bugs in software. Outsource your QA testing activities to ensure focused attention to proper communication, both verbal and written.
Managing Performance Problems
The addition of more lines of code by developers can lead to performance problems, particularly when developers fail to ascertain the impact of the changes on end-user performance. Such problems in performance can be challenging for agile testers because they need to keep track of performance over time. It is their responsibility to identify the areas in the code, which could be causing performance issues and take speedy action to resolve the issues.
Fixing Broken Builds
Frequent changes in code by developers can increase the possibly of a broken build, and thus affect the functionality. With Software testing services markedly focused on fixing issues in software, agile testers face the challenge of ensuring that changes in code do not break the existing features. Hence, they would need to run a series of tests against each build.
An agile team may lose focus at times because the testers must carry out multiple activities on a regular basis. It is the job of agile testers to setup a test environment, conduct continuous testing, fix broken builds, provide feedback to developers, and review test cases for unit, integration and regression testing. Finally, they must also remain available during production release.
It is evident that an agile testing team faces unique challenges while performing software tests. However, if they understand the challenges and can adapt to changing requirements in an agile project, they would successfully deliver on the overall goal of the project. This can help the agile testing team to effectively manage the expectations of the clients and ensure the delivery of high-quality software. Connect with us to work with some of the best agile testers in the market today.