What Qualities Should A Good Agile Tester Have?

By Kanika Vatsyayan

Agile truly has become the trend of the IT world! Agile software development is slowly but surely becoming the norm for many businesses, and this is why there is a huge demand for agile testers. When leveraged rightly, the ends result in creating a stronger application that responds more quickly to ever-changing consumer demands and therefore has staying power in unpredictable markets. However, according to Capgemini, 42% of survey respondents list a “lack of professional test expertise” as a challenge in applying testing to Agile development. 

Doing agile testing in an appropriate way is much easier said than done. All teams must be involved in each phase of the project, and this includes testers. Ensuring that QA teams are up to the task of agile requires that testers have a certain skill set or that they’re willing to develop certain skills. In this article, we will learn the qualities/skills that a good agile tester should have. These include the following: 

  1. Technicality 

A good agile tester with sound technical knowledge should be able to: 

  • Know and identify which tests should be automated and at which point. 
  • Determine the right set of tools so as to help the testing be done in an apt way.  
  • Analyze the results of the automated tests. 
  • Able to create different automation suites, such as smoke pack, full regression pack, and end-to-end regression pack. 
  • Reduce the execution time for the automated tests in order to obtain quick feedback. 
  • Run the tests on a regular basis so as to provide valuable business insights 
  • Use the facilities of different testing tools to help with manual testing 
  1. Well Versed in Agile Methodologies 

Good agile testers should have a good understanding of the agile manifestos and implement its principles in their daily tasks, be it in any arena. Agile testers should be very well aware that they are also part of the delivery team and that there is no use in separating the testing phase and development phase.  

Moreover, good agile testers should be available as they know that change is inevitable and that priorities change on a daily basis. There can be last-minute urgent production bug fixes that require testing as well as testing the new features and functionality. Agile testers should understand the agile terminologies and participate in the activities robustly.  

  1. Domain Knowledge 

Agile testers need to have a really good understanding and knowledge of the domain application so as to design effective tests. It is also important for agile testers to find bugs and execute a successful exploratory testing session. Good agile testers need to spend their time learning the terminology of the pertinent domain. He/she should understand architectural diagrams and help devise meaningful business case scenarios which can help them in many ways possible.  

Domain knowledge is already vital in agile testing environments because of the short time and huge workload. Nevertheless, good agile testers are highly skilled in the test profession. They can design fewer tests with more coverage and are also comfortable using techniques such as pairwise to design tests. Also, Domain knowledge can be obtained by talking to BAs and Developers, working with the application, and reading specifications. 

  1. Eagerness for learning and improvement 

An Agile tester must have all the necessary skills to build and deliver a good solution, encompassing technical and business skills. Team members in agile teams are multi-skilled. Developers know the importance of testing and write automated tests where appropriate and applicable. 

In the same way, good agile testers should keep pace with the ever-changing technologies. Apart from this, they should learn new skills like coding/programming, API testing, technical testing, to name a few, in order to help their peer developers to keep moving fast. A skilled tester can provide a lot of value to the agile team, however having technical knowledge acts only as a cherry on the top of the cake as it helps the team develop their career further and be in more demand. 

  1. Communication 

Communication is key for all the projects, and agile testing methodologies simply cannot be achieved without strong internal communication. It requires the tester to be working towards the same goal, which ultimately means that everyone has to be in the same boat all the time. The best test management tool for an agile project is one that integrates with a software development solution that can help by providing real-time tracking for projects; however, this is not enough. Testers should be able to work as part of a team, and this means they must be able to communicate effectively with programmers and developers.  

Being aware of other teams’ responsibilities can help dissolve barriers between traditional teams because it can foster a better understanding of different roles. They must also accept collaboration as a part of development, and this means ensuring that other members also have all of the information they need to perform their role with the end goal of providing the best user experience.  

  1. A good teammate 

Agile development emphasizes the whole team, which includes developers, testers, and business representatives as well. So, an agile tester plays an important role in the Scrum lifecycle. This can include: 

  • Committed: The tester should be well obliged to questions and should therefore believe in evaluating the product’s behavior along with characteristics with respect to the expectations and needs of the customers.  
  • Open to feedback: Feedback is a really important aspect of being successful in any project, especially in an Agile project. 
  • Credible: The tester must work on the credibility of the strategy for testing, its implementation, and execution.  

Conclusion 

Agile testing not only improves the overall product quality but also enables the development teams to release software in shorter cycles. Truly we can see Agile as becoming the future. 

However, sometimes the development of agile methodology is challenging. At the end of the day, agile development is all about collaboration. The more testers know about developers’ roles, and vice versa, and the greater the ability of this personnel to communicate effectively, the smoother the process and the stronger the final solution. 

Therefore, it is essential for companies to look for testers that acquire efficient skills for agile testing. It can be like this that sometimes a tester may not acquire any pertinent skill, but it’s never too late to get learned. A tester should be, most importantly, eager to learn and polish his/her skills.  

Kanika Vatsyayan is Vice-President Delivery and Operations at BugRaptors who oversees all the quality control and assurance strategies for client engagements. She loves to share her knowledge with others through blogging. Being a voracious blogger, she published countless informative blogs to educate audience about automation and manual testing.

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