An Agile Sprint: How QA Testing Helps Keep Up the Pace

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Marisa Campbell

SQA Engineer

Marisa Campbell

Testing and quality assurance is extremely important to any development process. However, when working in an Agile environment, the pace is usually faster and requires team members to be quick and efficient. This type of environment here at digital consultancy DockYard requires that the Agile quality assurance engineer be flexible to shifting priorities and client deadlines. Here is a step by step process that I follow for success.

Help with User Stories

Usually project managers or business analysts will create use cases for a new feature that a client is requesting even before a product development sprint starts. It would be wise for an Agile QA tester to work alongside them to help map out these scenarios as well. This gives you a jump on editing test cases if need be. Also, this can help engineers develop faster and more efficiently.

Separate Defects from New Features

During the sprint, you might find a defect for a new feature in development. But instead of holding up the new feature from being deployed, an Agile QA tester would open a new defect and allow it to be added to the sprint work. This allows for continuous integration for the development team and doesn’t hinder the team’s velocity. The only caveat to this is a BLOCKER element. New features that are blocked should be held from deployment.

Targeted Manual Regression

The traditional method for any development process is that at the end of a given sprint/iteration, a QA engineer would re-test all possible scenarios for a web application or piece of software to verify that nothing has broken as a result of newly added code. However, given the speed of an Agile environment, full end-to-end testing cannot always happen or may not even be necessary. Have discussions with the engineers on your team about what functionality will be changing or updated as a result of a new feature. If only a few functional requirements have been changed, an Agile QA tester can then conduct more specific testing around the functionality that has changed and still keep in time with the team’s velocity.

Run Automated Regression Suite

Running separate automated tests from unit tests for every deployment is very helpful in supporting the more targeted manual regression testing stated previously. This will maintain accuracy while still keeping up with a team’s velocity.

DockYard is a digital product agency offering custom software, mobile, and web application development consulting. We provide exceptional professional services in strategy, user experience, design, and full stack engineering using Ember.js, React.js, Elixir, and other technologies. With a nationwide staff, we’ve got consultants in key markets across the U.S., including Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Denver, Chicago, Dallas, Atlanta, and New York.


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