Book Review – Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams

To date there is a lot of Agile literature focussing on development.  So it was refreshing to see a book focusing on Agile Testing.

Agile methods have transformed the way we do testing and the role of the tester.  Testing up front is a big mind-shift change for testers and management.  Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams provides a good coverage of the issues testers face when they move from waterfall to agile from tools and metrics to mind-set, automation, roles and processes.

Littered throughout the book are “Lisa’s Story” and “Janet’s Story” – small snippets of real life  Agile Testing war stories experienced by  the authors which give you insight into ways testing was approached in relation to an agile project.  There is a good mixture of high level concepts and guidance and lower level details.

The book identifies 7 Key Success Factors for successful agile testing (in order of importance):

  1. Use the Whole-Team Approach
  2. Adopt an Agile Testing Mind-Set.
    (An agile testing attitude is a proactive, creative, open to new ideas, and willing to take on any task.)
  3. Automate Regression Testing
  4. Provide and Obtain Feedback
  5. Build a Foundation of Core Practices
    a. Continuous Integration
    b. Test Environment
    (Available and one you can control)
    c. Manage Technical Debt
    d. Working Incrementally
    e. Coding and Testing Are Part of the One Process
    f. Synergy between Practices
  6. Collaborate with Customers
  7. Look at the Big Picture

I think testers new to agile will gain a lot by reading Section 5 – An Iteration in the Life of  a Tester (Chapters 15-20) where testers can get a feel for what they would be doing throughout the agile development lifecycle.  It explains the steps and activities testers do starting with planning releases and iterations to what happens daily throughout an iteration and then ending the iteration  by delivering new features and finding ways for the team to improve the process.

Agile Testing : A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams is the most comprehensive book on agile testing that is currently available.  Even if you are not a tester, the book contains some useful information for other team members such as developers.

Building quality-in and Quality Assurance is a culture of an agile team and this book will put a tester on the path of the cultural shift for the better.

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