Role of a Tester in an Agile Environment

 

Introduction

 

In an Agile Environment, the role of a tester is not only to just test the deliveries and logging the deviations in a bug tracker. It is more than that. In this blog, we will see how the role of a Tester plays a vital role in Agile Environment.

 

Skills Required

 

From my experience, I have listed the set of skills an individual should possess to become a successful tester in an agile environment, as mentioned below:

 

  • Efficient Communication
  • Technical Excellence
  • Interpersonal Skill
  • Detect Ambiguity
  • Automation Knowledge

 

Let us see each skill in detail.

 

Efficient Communication

 

Communication is one of the most important Agile principle. Face to Face Communication is the most effective and efficient way of sharing the information to and within a development team.

 

Compared to other members, testers are the ones who communicate more within the team in an agile environment, even without realising it. Usually, testers are required to be motivated enough to be proactive. Their proactiveness needs to involve everyone in the team who can add value to the process and the product which we develop.

 

Technical Excellence

 

“Continuous attention to technical excellence and good design enhances agility” is an Agile Principle.

 

In a cross-functional, self-organizing, and collaborative team a tester knows how relevant the technical skill is. Apart from preparing and positioning himself for any technical help when required, a tester also works with the developers and product owners. As mentioned earlier, a tester could be working either way in order to resolve issues and go ahead with the development. An Agile environment tester would be contributing in various ways ranging from review of code, grooming requirements, and also with coding. The tester is involved more because he knows he must be part of a core team that delivers value at the end of every sprint.

 

Interpersonal Skill

 

Agile Policy: Individuals and interactions over processes and tools

 

Apart from testing, there are no specific rules for the role of a tester in an Agile environment. The role of a tester, therefore, is attached greatly to the skill and personality of the tester. He could be a challenge for the team if he lacks Interpersonal skills although he possesses sound technical skills. The only thing which distinguish a tester from “just testing” is analytical and interactive skills.

 

Detect Ambiguity

 

The major responsibility of testers in Agile is to explain the product features. Before the feature or user story goes into development, the tester should discuss the features on a story card with the product owner to understand it fully. The purpose of the conversation is to create an opportunity for a good understanding of what the product owner wants.

 

Good testers come up with appropriate scenarios which will aid with the validation of acceptance criteria. Applying this skill in advance ensures the development team to focus on expected delivery for the sprint. At the end of the day, testers not only detect bugs and issues but they are the ones who help the development team to prevent such bugs and issues.

 

Automation Skill

 

It is always great to have a tester who possesses automation testing skills. This skill goes a long way in reducing the time of test execution whenever the team needs to do a regression testing. Automation testing is therefore an essential skill that a tester can have to distinguish him from other traditional testers who can do the manual testing.

 

Having a automation tester in a cross functional team also helps the programmers to build their testing skill.

 

Conclusion

 

The role of a tester goes on and on, and is not confined to just detecting the defects and logging the issues in trackers. To conclude, testers can be said to be doing more than “just testing” because,

 

  • They are interacting with product owners to discuss user stories
  • Their effective communication keeps the development team and product owner in sync
  • Their capability of finding the risks and mitigating them that could help to deliver a shippable product
  • They make suggestion on features to make the product more value.
  • Their continuous feedback to the entire development team regarding the product status.