Agile Testing Meetup

The other week I attended the Agile Testing Meetup group at the new Skills Matter offices. The purpose of the group is to encourage debate and share ideas relating to testing software in an agile environment.

The session started with a short presentation on Fitnesse and finished with a general discussion.

Fitnesse is an interesting tool, but probably not of much practical use in an environment where acceptance tests are largely conceived by developers which, rightly or wrongly, is true in my case.

The general discussion focussed on problems faced by testers in an agile environment and yielded the following list:-

  • Differences between environments (e.g. Dev, Staging, Testing)
  • Testing is always low priority.
  • Time to Automate tests is longer that manual testing.
  • Unclear requirements can make testing difficult.
  • Development overruns into Testing.
  • No time to “skill up” (train) testers.
  • Hard to get a shared understanding at the right level.
  • Dependency of developers.
  • Environments and switching between them.
  • Testers not involved in specification until too late.
  • Organisations definition of Quality.
  • Agile Onshore + Offshore + Distributed teams communication.
  • Employing Contractor Testers result in a lack of continuity.
  • Trying to practice agile in a non-agile environment.

What I thought was interesting was that most of the points seemed to have little to do with agile and much more to do with testing in general.  The point is that agile methods won’t solve your problems they just make it easier to spot and solve them.

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