Agile software testing needs a rethink

JonathanKohlJonathan Kohl talks at length about the good and bad of the XP and Agile notions of software testing. Jonathan is a well known writer on software testing issues and has worked extensively as a tester on conventional software projects as well as scrum and extreme programming (XP) teams. He also shares his views on Ruby and the Ruby based Watir testing tool. Here are some key excerpts from the interview.

“XP notions of “100% test automation”, “no tester role”, etc. didn’t
always hold up when skilled software testing was applied on those projects”

Agile methods have some great things going on with regards to testing, but we’ve been set back by a lot of bad testing folklore that was rehashed under the “Agile Testing” banner in early writings. Sometimes ridiculous claims that software testers have heard for years were once again trotted out as “wisdom”, such as “manual tests are harmful”, or “every test must be automated”, or “testers are the Quality gatekeepers on a project”.

Recently, I’ve worked with more and more developers who were misled by the “Agile-Testing” folklore that automated unit testing encompasses software testing.

He also gives a nice quote about Ruby “I like to use Ruby because it works the way I think about programming in a scripting language. ”

You can read the full interview here: Agile teams miss out by having a narrow focus on testing

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  • samulchrist@gmail.com

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  • Guest

    ‘If Agile had to be successful, we would have seen widespread adoption by now. the fact that even after many years, very few and that too primarily small teams use agile, shows that the resistence from the software dev community is too big for Agile hype to overcome.’

    There are lots of possible explanations for that resistance. Some of it is healthy, some not terribly so. A lot of it throws the baby of pragmatic ideas out with the bathwater of Agile dogma.

    In my experience, Agile does indeed seem better suited to some contexts than others; nothing surprising about that. The trouble is this: absolutist statements–either in support of Agile, or against it, from inside or outside–tend to [I]ignore[/I] context, or [I]deny[/I] it. Most dogma ignores people and focuses on practice as the cause of or solution for all of our problems. It’s odd that dogmatic statements like the ones Jonathan cites–“manual tests are harmful”, or “every test must be automated”, or “testers are the Quality gatekeepers on a project”–come from a community that supposedly values people and interactions over processes and tools.

    Jonathan’s interview is a refreshing antidote to that stuff; there’s little cant, lots of personal experience, and lots of context to support what he says.

  • Guest

    Where is the article. I can only see ads by goooooooooooooooooogle

  • Guest

    Jonathan’s thoughts are a quality counter punch to the tons of Agile talk that tells us to get rid of QA and testers.

    If Agile had to be successful, we would have seen widespread adoption by now. the fact that even after many years, very few and that too primarily small teams use agile, shows that the resistence from the software dev community is too big for Agile hype to overcome.

    A clear division of work suits best for mankind. developers doing everything won’t sustain.