Agile Testing: Guiding Principles and Enabling Practices

Despite the belief that a shared context and collaboration drives quality, too often, software testers and quality professionals struggle to find their place within today's integrated agile teams.  This session is a practitioner’s view of testing and testing practices within an iterative/incremental development environment.  We will begin with a discussion of some of the challenges of testing within an agile environment and delve into the guiding principles of Agile Testing and key enabling practices.  Agile Testing necessitates a change in mindset, and it is as much, if not more, about behavior, as it is about skills and tooling, all of which will be explored.


Outline/Structure of the Talk

Testing challenges in an Agile Environment

Agile Testing vs. Traditional Testing

Agile Testing Mindset

  • Principles of Agile Testing
  • Enabling practices
  • Moving Quality upstream
  • Shifting role of QA & implications    
  • Requirements Elicitation & Modern Acceptance Criteria model

Multi-level Test Automation

  • Automation Pyramid
  • TDD


Learning Outcome

  • Contrasting traditional testing with agile testing
  • Principles and practices of agile testing
  • Specification by Example – helping the team produce testable code
  • Multi-level test automation
  • Tooling

Target Audience

Testers, Analysts, Developers, Managers


schedule Submitted 8 years ago

  • Craeg K Strong

    Craeg K Strong - How much testing is enough for software that can condemn a man to death? Traceability in an Agile Federal Government Agency Context

    60 Mins

    Using tools like TDD and ATDD, Agile provides the means to be confident that your brand new software is well tested-- even for life critical situations such as criminal justice software.  But hold on a minute!  It is a rare mission critical system that is built completely from scratch.  There are always legacy components your team didn't build or doesn't control.  Maybe the previous contractor built it-- but now they are gone and it is your problem.  How can you be certain that everything functions properly in such a situation?  How much testing is enough?  How can you know whether a system has been tested?  These are the questions that standards such as CMMI and PMBOK seek to answer with traceability.

    The debate about traceability has been raging for a long time, with passionate advocates on both sides of the argument.   Projects following traditional waterfall methods, and projects that conform to PMBOK or CMMI standards often create and maintain a requirements traceability matrix, or RTM, a document that traces “shall” requirements to functional capabilities and testcases.  Some Agilists argue that the RTM is rarely consulted in practice, so the significant efforts required to maintain such a document are “waste.”  Others point out that agile practices such as TDD provide all the traceability that may be needed. This talk will explore the underlying reasons why traceability may be important and worthwhile in many Federal government contexts, and review exciting new technologies that may provide an “agile answer” to this conundrum.

  • Craeg K Strong

    Craeg K Strong - Lean Documentation in a Federal Government Context: How an Agile team can meet mandatory Federal IT governance documentation requirements

    3 Mins

    Many Federal government agencies are implementing Agile methods in addition to or in lieu of traditional waterfall lifecycle models.  However, comprehensive documentation is often still required by Federal IT governance, legal, regulatory, or statutory frameworks, or to meet outside audit or “watchdog “ requirements.   The Agile Manifesto values “working software over comprehensive documentation,” but that does not mean that Agile teams cannot or should not produce valuable documentation.  Although there are some well-publicized Agile success stories in the federal space, some agile federal projects are receiving criticism for failing to meet applicable standards when it comes to documentation deliverables.  With Agile’s emphasis on small, lean teams and intensive technical practices such as pair programming, meeting documentation requirements set forth by Federal IT governance poses challenges for Agile teams in the Federal space.  This session will review the documentation that is typically required in a heavily regulated environment, and discuss specific techniques for reducing, replacing, generating, or “slimming” the document deliverables.  Specific tools, techniques and best practices will be reviewed and analyzed with “before” and “after” snapshots and a look at cost versus benefit.    Documentation generation is an area of intensive activity with some very exciting new developments that can change the game significantly for the better!  Tune in to share insights and discuss strategies for breaking down one of the last big barriers to significant agile adoption in the federal space.