Agile Testing for Rapid Feedback

Paul Carvalho is dedicated to helping development teams deliver high levels of quality with confidence. He inspires collaborative, agile, test-infected teams with a holistic approach to quality. Paul launched the company, Quality Driven Inc, to bring his quality development experience and knowledge to individuals and organizations through consulting, training, coaching, writing and speaking internationally. Paul is passionate about understanding human ecosystems for delivering great products that satisfy and delight customers, which he finds to be a natural fit with the agile community. Connect with him through Quality-Driven.com and say hello on Twitter @can_test.

Development organizations are often attracted to agile development practices with the promise of increased test automation to help their teams to deliver higher quality faster. There’s more to it than just automating tests, but that’s basically a fair statement. It’s not just any tests though: We look to automate the kinds of tests that provide rapid feedback to tell us if we have built the product right.

You’ve likely heard the terms verification and validation (V&V) when talking about different kinds of tests. Verification tests check that you’ve built the product right. Validation tests help you understand if you’ve built the right thing. Although there are many ways to categorize tests, when we talk about automating tests we generally focus on the verification checks.

Brian Marick, one of the Agile Manifesto signatories, once proposed a way to look at all the kinds of agile testing activities in one chart. He called it the Agile Testing Matrix. Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory expanded upon this model in their “Agile Testing” books (2008, 2014) with respect to the Agile Testing Quadrants [1]:

Much has already been written about these quadrants, so I encourage you to research more into this topic. Here I’m presenting some of the highlights to quickly step you through the diagram:

  • Think of the…

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