Agile testing is a software practice designed to apply the principles of agile software development to the QA testing process. Agile testing stresses the iterative nature of agile and CI/CD development cycles and attempts to align QA with the cadence of releases. Leveraging agile testing helps align QA speed and objectives with the goals and rhythms of development.
Agile testing sometimes leverages a “whole team” organizational strategy, involving testers early in the development cycle to put a focus on quality as early as possible. In other cases, a separate, dedicated testing team works in parallel with the developers. In both models, testing is not a separate phase of development, but rather a process that happens continuously through development.
Unlike more traditional testing processes, agile testing focuses on fixing issues as quickly as possible, rather than waiting for a designated QA phase in the development process. Bugs are documented and resolved as they are found, with regression tests put in place to prevent them from resurfacing.
Agile testing can be applied to all standard forms of QA testing. The primary difference is that these tests are executed earlier and more frequently than they would be in a traditional QA process. Agile testing leverages continuous integration to automatically run unit tests with every code merge, ensuring that every new addition to the code base, no matter how small, is checked for quality.
Agile testing also relies on non-manual testing techniques to keep test runs as quick as possible. Testing automation using tools like Selenium is commonly applied to agile testing strategies. Crowdtesting can also be used to speed up agile testing, especially early in development where automation would be too brittle and flaky to implement.
Agile testing practices can help speed up the QA process to ensure that release deadlines can be met consistently. It significantly shortens the feedback loop and surfaces bugs more rapidly, reducing the overhead required for resolving them. This rapid feedback loop can also help to improve overall product quality and customer satisfaction, as bugs are less likely to reach production when using agile testing techniques.
Agile requires a degree of coordination and planning, which can be challenging for some teams to implement successfully. Having someone on the team (whether a developer, product manager or QA engineer) to own QA processes helps to ensure that testing efforts are coordinated and as efficiently executed as possible.
Because implementing this model of testing requires a process shift, teams may need to invest time and other resources in setting up the appropriate tooling and integrations needed to support the faster testing cycles.
Rainforest QA allows teams to implement agile testing by streamlining their QA workflow and aligning it with their larger business goals. The Rainforest platform is designed to integrate well with Agile and CI/CD development processes, adding faster QA processes directly into the development cycle.
Learn more about Rainforest's testing methodology by reading co-founder and CTO Russ Smith's Continuous Testing Manifesto.