The role of a tester has drastically changed as teams moved away from legacy development strategies. Agile testing methodologies focus on giving teams the tools, practices, and values to successfully navigate projects in the future. In the age of digital transformation, organizations are moving a number of their processes over to virtual platforms. In this type of environment, there are a few tips to follow to succeed as a tester and fully support the digital transformation age:
1. Use a Reductionist Approach
Applications are often seen as builds with complex interworkings, but teams are no longer making monolithic versions that are bulky and hard to manage. Instead, a project is broken down and worked on in segments. This is very akin to the reductionist approach. According to retired software engineering professor Ian Sommerville, reductionism understands that a complex system, like an app, is nothing but the sum of its parts. These divisions are easy to understand and construct, enabling teams to better define interfaces, build the parts and integrate them to create the overall system.
Testers must understand and follow this approach in order to get the most out of agile strategies and their capabilities. Reductionism assumes that the system's creator has total control, the system is developed based on criteria and it's being created to solve a definable problem. While all of these sound reasonable, it's not a perfect world, and there are a number of obstacles to consider. However, the reductionist approach lends itself nicely to agile practices and can help drive testers to boost their efforts.
2. Observe Changes in the Testing Models
When comparing waterfall testing and agile testing, it's easy to see that they are vastly different in practices, values, and workflows. Transitioning from the legacy processes to agile is unsurprisingly complex. Teams must adopt and incorporate a major culture shift and use quality test management tools to support their transition into the digital transformation age. Testers must understand what this shift means for their own operations.
Instead of testing taking place at the very end of a project, it now is continuously executed throughout a project's lifecycle. Testers are involved from the very beginning when the requirements are defined. Because testers now get a first-hand account of what is expected, they can begin creating tests based around various functions before a line of code is even entered on the development side. All of this leads to a faster time to market, better quality products and a more agile team that can easily respond to necessary changes.
"Testing isn't an afterthought – it's an integral part of the development process," industry expert Carl Johnson wrote on LinkedIn. "Your testers, likewise, shouldn't be part of a separate team but integrated among the developers. That way, potential issues can be raised (and fixed) earlier in the development process. QA and testing aren't just for apps. They should be integral parts of your enterprise digital transformation."
3. Integrate Test Automation
Digital transformation is primarily devoted to moving legacy process to virtual platforms. Manual testing is arguably one of the biggest obstacles to agile operations for QA teams. While manual testing is still useful and necessary for exploratory and one-time tests, there are countless repetitive scripts that would lend themselves well to automation integration. Test automation ensures that if teams have to run a test case after every change or on a scheduled basis, it will execute by itself. This brings a lot of peace of mind to teams and can save a significant amount of time which can be devoted to other tasks.
The digital transformation is not something to take lightly, and testers should prepare themselves for now for the changes. By following these tips, testers will be able to succeed in the digital age and support delivering better quality applications.