Transitioning to Agile Testing

Monday, April 30: 8:30 AM – 4:30 PM

This full-day class is one of many focused professional development opportunities at QUEST 2012. Class tracks include Agile, Requirements, Process, Test Automation, Test Design, Testing Practices, CSTE Certification Prep, and CSQA Certification Prep.

Course Abstract

Projects using agile methods for software development are becoming more common. One of the greatest challenges project teams face in this environment is getting the testers up to speed. There are many books and articles for developers on the subject, but few for testers or the QA Team. How then, do testers learn what their role should be? What skills does the agile tester need? What changes does a QA team need to make in order to be successful in the new agile world? Janet will explain the new role of an agile tester and some of the skills needed to make them successful. Agile testers need to change their mindset from one of “How can I break this software?” to one of “How can I help the team deliver really good software?” Learn how this shift in thinking can help your team make the transition. Interactive exercises and discussions will be included to reinforce the learning.

Course Objectives

This class is for any tester who is struggling to understand their role on an agile team. Functional managers and other members of an agile team, developers, iteration managers, product owners, who want to know how to get all their stories, including all testing tasks, “done” by the end of each iteration, will also find value in this class.

Attendees will learn:

  • The role of an agile tester in a typical two-week iteration
  • How testers contribute during release and iteration planning
  • What a tester’s activities are during an iteration
  • What value a tester can add during an iteration
  • The tester’s role in a successful release including the end game, UAT, packaging, and documentation

Course Outline

What is agile testing – Presents an introduction to agile and what it means to a tester. Discussion of the challenges for testers and the necessary mindset change.

Introduction to release and test planning – Describes how a tester participates during release planning and how to think about test planning for the project release.

The role of automation – Explains the automation test pyramid.

Agile testing quadrants – Describes a different model for thinking about testing; it is especially important in agile teams where the focus is continuous delivery.

The iteration – This is where all the real work is done. In this section we will discuss the following:

  • Iteration planning
  • Slicing stories into testable chunks
  • ATDD – Acceptance test driven development
  • How you deal with defects
  • Retrospectives

The End Game


Janet Gregory, DragonFire, Inc.
Janet Gregory, DragonFire, Inc.
Janet Gregory is a consultant whose specialty is working with teams to build quality systems and promoting agile quality processes. She has helped introduce agile practices into a variety of companies as a tester or coach and has successfully transitioned traditional test teams into the agile world. Her focus is working with business users and testers to help them understand their role in agile projects. Janet is co-author with Lisa Crispin of Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams, and a contributor to 97 Things Every Programmer Should Know.