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Book Excerpt: Agile Testing

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Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams by Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory is a practical book is for testers who find themselves on an agile team, test and quality assurance managers in organizations transitioning to agile development, and agile teams learning how to approach testing. InfoQ presents a pdf download of Chapter 21- Key Success Factors, which is the last chapter of the book and presents 7 critical issues for successful agile testing.

The book starts with an introduction to agile testing, how it's different from testing on a traditional team, and what makes agile testers different. The book contains dozens of stories from real people on real agile teams about the various testing-related issues they faced and how they resolved them.

A section on organizational challenges covers cultural issues that agile testers face, team logistics, metrics, defect tracking and test planning.

One central part of the book uses the Agile Testing Quadrants, originally developed by Brian Marick, to help teams discuss and plan all the different types of testing needed on an agile project, who does it, how to approach each type, and what tools might help.

The test automation portion of the book looks at barriers to successful test automation, ways to overcome them, and how to develop a sound test automation strategy.

Another core section of the book takes the reader through an iteration, and more, in the life of an agile tester, from release planning to successful delivery.

The book answers questions such as:

  • As a tester, what is my role on an agile team?
  • How do I transition from a traditional phased/gated development cycle to agile?
  • How do we get testers engaged with the rest of the agile development team?
  • What tools do I need?
  • Who does what testing on an agile team?
  • How can testing "keep up" with short iterations?
  • How do we know if we're doing a good job of testing? How can we improve?
  • What do testers do the first few days of an iteration, before any stories are done?
  • None of our testing is automated. Where do we start, and how do we find time to do automation?

This book teaches by example. It presents many testing challenges faced by real agile teams, including the authors', and explains how those teams solved their problems. You'll learn how apply different types of agile testing to your unique situation in order to guide development, learn about the product and apply that learning to the development and testing process.

Uncle Bob Martin, of Object Mentor, Inc., says of this book: "Refreshingly pragmatic. Chock-full of wisdom. Absent of dogma. This book is a gamechanger. Every software professional should read it."

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Community comments

  • Interesting article.

    by Sameer Nambiar,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    A year and half ago we switched to using Agile-Scrum in our product release cycles with great success. Interestingly, all the aspects we addressed and what we have in place today, can pretty well be summarized in the "chapter 21" attached to this article.

    I am looking forward to laying my hands on this book. Agile thinking seems to naturally drive teams (mostly driven by need) to incorporate these aspects into their development processes.

  • Great book

    by Corey Haines,

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    I'm currently working through this book, and I heartily recommend it. I am a programmer, and, despite the name (Testing), it has an amazing amount of insight for all members of an agile team.

    Lisa and Janet's emphasis on whole-team emphasis, rather than just the testing roles holds true to the agile principles surrounding team-oriented development.

  • Very recommended book

    by Franco Martinig,

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    In my opinion, this book is a must for everybody involved with software testing, agile or not. Some authors are good at presenting theories but unable to connect them to practice. Other are good at telling stories from the trenches, but without being able to produce an analysis of the situation and propose some solutions. On the less examined domain of agile testing, Lisa Crispin and Janet Gregory are, luckily for us, presenting a book that covers both the personal experience of being a tester in agile projects and a conceptual vision of the place of quality assurance in software projects. Thus you will find in this book “stories” that comes from past projects and “mind maps” that helps to have a high-level vision of the material of each chapter.

  • pdf file download seems corrupted

    by Hendrik Ballegeer,

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    I downloaded the pdf file. Acrobat reader version 9.3.4 reported that the files is damaged.

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