Testing for agile teams: Tests that review the product (#5)

Agile Testing Book Part 3

This post is part of the “Testing for Agile Teams” series.

All that’s left is to possibly find some obscure or interesting bugs. And to avoid things like “that’s what I said, but it’s not what I meant.”

Business-Facing Tests (Q3)

  • All about trying to recreate actual experiences of the end users.
  • This kind of testing relies on human creativity, experience, and instinct.
  • Consider Soap Opera Testing or scenario testing. Use it together with workflows to test the system end-to-end.
  • Exploratory Testing combines learning, test design, and execution. You test just a little more to see if the “done” stories are done to your (users’) satisfaction.
  • Exploratory testing is about looking for and following the “smells”. You review and redirect a test into unexpected directions on the fly.
  • Assign a time slot for this type of testing and measure it. It’s easy to off track and end up chasing a bug that might not be important.
  • To test usability create personas. For some, your app just needs to do it right rather than intuitively.
  • Check out the competition, research how their apps work and compare.

Technology-Facing Tests (Q4)

  • Not all projects are concerned about nonfunctional requirements, but it is a good idea to have a checklist to make sure you at least think about them once. And clients usually assume the dev team will just take care of issues like security, performance, etc.
  • PSR testing is answering “How fast?” (performance), “How long?” (stability), “How often?” (reliability), and “How much?” (scalability).
  • The sooner technology-facing tests are created, the cheaper it is to fix issues.
  • This should be done by security expert: static analysis tools, SQL injection, cross-site scripting, remote code inclusion.
  • To increase maintainability develop standards and guidelines and share code ownership. Avoid duplication. Refactor.
  • Test end-to-end functionality between two or more communicating systems to ensure interoperability. Stubs and mocks simulate the behavior of other systems. Test with multiple OS, Browsers, Servers, Hardware.
  • Reliability is about “How long will it run before it breaks?” (mean time to and between failures). Think about how your application will be used all day, every day, over a period of time. Run simulations. Recovery from power outages?
  • Performance testing identify bottlenecks in a system. Load testing evaluates the system’s behavior as more and more users start using it at the same time.

You will need time to obtain the expertise needed — either by acquiring it through learning and practicing the skills or by bringing in outside help.

Tools: Nessus, JUnitPerf, JMeter, JProfiler, JConsole


This post is a personal summary of a chapter from the book Agile Testing: A Practical Guide For Testers And Agile Teams. I’m sure you’ll find that book useful too.