There are many benefits to your testing program when working in an agile methodology. The values that agile methods emphasize reduce a lot of friction in the testing and bug fixing process and is part of the reason for the popularity of agile.
Here are some of the testing benefits of agile.
The Whole Team is Responsible for Quality
In traditional waterfall software development, testing is done after development is complete. In agile, the whole team is responsible for quality.
Agile teams mix disciplines so that you might find one tester working together with a couple of developers. The developers often write unit tests as they add more features and then use these tests to test the app continuously as they keep adding features.
The tester will write test cases and then build and test the new code as it is being completed catching bugs and giving developers feedback almost immediately.
Because the tester and developers are working on the same team, they can more easily communicate with each other.
If a bug report needs more detail, then the dev can nudge the tester on the shoulder and tell her exactly what needs more detail and get a response right there.
Additionally, daily scrum sessions help catch issues in advance and help keep important issues in the spotlight.
Defects are Easy to Fix
Because the tester is working with the developers on the same team, they are able to give almost immediate feedback which lets the developer fix the bug while the code is still fresh in his mind.
In a waterfall environment, a major bug can set the entire project back months as bug fixes will usually interact with other code in a number of ways requiring cascading changes throughout the code base.
Because bugs are found earlier in development, there are nearly the same number of cascading dependencies in agile development compared with waterfall.
Fewer Changes Between Fixes
In waterfall development, the code base can change substantially between when a bug is detected and when a developer is assigned the job of fixing it. This can result in added time trying to figure out how to reproduce a bug.
In agile, because the time between coding and testing is so close, the developer won’t have had enough time to add new code to the project that will make finding the bug more difficult.
Flexibly Incorporate New Requirements
Waterfall functions best when business requirements are all planned and outlined at the start of the project. Anyone who has worked on even the simplest application knows that business requirements are far from immutable. Agile methodologies are designed to get work done while incorporating change requests and enhancements.
Agile locks the teams in to short sprints letting each team focus on completing a small set of features. The contents of the next sprint, however, are entirely up for debate. That includes adding new, unplanned features and modifying already existing ones if that is what is best.
Testing Can’t Be Cut
Because testing is done continuously throughout the software development life cycle, it can’t be cut. At least, it can’t be cut by much.
Often in waterfall projects, testing is cut in order to meet deadlines. This results in bad software being sent to users. Sometimes in stunningly bad software.
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