Mon. Oct 3rd, 2022
software testing company

With all the talk in the agile and testing communities about collaboration and ensuring testers get out of their silos to work with developers, we still hear horror stories from companies that have tried this new approach to software delivery. However, despite these failures, specialist in software testing company have successfully integrated their QA organizations into their development methods while avoiding the pitfalls that lead to failure. 

 

Here are some of these successful methods for integrating QA teams into agile development teams:

 

1) Prohibit test-driven development (TDD) without a tester involved.

It isn’t easy to justify having developers test their code if they don’t have an experienced developer on the team who can write good unit tests. A QA professional can provide this expertise to the team without forcing developers to write code they have no reason to believe will work. Furthermore, without this experience on the team, TDD can result in an increasing amount of re-work as red bars propagate up the backlog until a tester can uncover them and resolve them.

 

2) Create a cross-functional team composed of developers, testers and customers.

This team frequently meets to discuss product capabilities, the backlog and progress. The objectives are to ensure that QA professionals or real customers validate development work done by developers before it can be accepted into the main branch. This validation should include work done against user stories in the backlog and spikes or story elaborations that are done outside the current iteration.

 

3) Ensure QA professionals have end-to-end ownership of a feature and not just test it.

QA team members should be involved early on and throughout all aspects of a product’s development — from design to testing planning —and should never be restricted to a test role alone. The goal of QA professionals at this stage is not to find bugs but to identify risks associated with the design and create a design space that maps out scenarios for testing. You should also seek to ensure you have a test plan for all acceptance criteria associated with each user story or epic.

 

4) Ensure developers write automated tests alongside their code.

It can be a challenge for a developer to write good unit tests. Professional QA engineers can provide the expertise needed to ensure that developers write high-quality unit tests. This investment is important because it helps prevent defects from making their way into production code, reduces regression testing and speeds up development time overall by reducing the need for manual testing.

5) Ensure testers are trained in test automation.

QA professionals need to be able to write automated tests. Without testing automation engineering skills themselves, QA engineers will never be able to keep up with the pace of technology change and continue delivering value to their teams – or afford any developers who may want to leave for a test automation job.

 

Even though we hear about companies successfully integrating their QA and development organizations and some of the strategies they use, we still frequently hear about companies that try to integrate QA too early or without giving them real ownership. Avoiding these pitfalls is critical for success.

Conclusion

Tightly integrating QA and software development teams is today’s new reality. Companies still believe testing can be successful even if left in a separated silo, but this new trend of allowing collaboration shows the future of agile companies that test and deliver high-quality code on time and with no regressions. In addition, allowing and training testers to have a more active role in development can benefit both the team and the company by creating a better product faster.

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