Welcome!

Agile Computing Authors: Peter Silva, Elizabeth White, Roger Strukhoff, Jeev Trika, Olivier Huynh Van

Related Topics: Microsoft Cloud, Java IoT, Microservices Expo, Linux Containers, Agile Computing, Cloud Security

Microsoft Cloud: Article

Reboot Testing for Modern Software Development

The testing industry must evolve and adapt to keep pace with modern software engineering.

Traditional methods of software development went over the waterfall in a barrel and smashed on the rocks below. The Agile Manifesto was written more than a decade ago. Agile adoption has worked wonders for software development. New products leap from concept to market faster than ever before.

Software updates are expected to roll out quickly into live products without disruption, the cloud is growing ever larger, and mobile technology is impacting heavily on how applications are developed. Feedback from the end user informs the design. Documentation and planning are sidelined in favor of flexibility and speed. It's a trend that has powered the app revolution, but it's so focused on developers that testing has been forgotten.

Clear Out the Old
New builds come thick and fast nowadays. It has become much tougher to estimate the required resources to properly test a project at the outset and, even if you could create an accurate estimation, it would soon be rendered obsolete.

It's not feasible to have small, fixed-size teams of testers covering an Agile project. As each new sprint introduces new features, the amount of work grows. Testers must check the new functionality, but they also have to verify bug fixes and complete regression testing. If you don't scale the team up as time wears on, or develop automated tests to reduce the workload, then things will start to slip.

Building a New Approach
The Agile mindset in the developer community has given birth to countless methodologies, supported by books and dedicated software tools. The discussion and support is lacking in the testing industry and that needs to change. Testers need software tools that are up to the job. Test management should cover the entire lifecycle of testing. An adjunct of the project management software designed for developers is not going to fulfill their needs.

The Agile age demands skilled testers equipped with tools that enable them to record tests step-by-step, link user stories and test cases, automate scripts where necessary, export and import bugs, and extract an overview of testing progress.

By developing exploratory testing skills and employing automation where it makes economic sense, testers can rise to the challenges of modern software development.

Employ Automation When Appropriate
The real value of testers is in their ability to test drive new features and validate bugs. You don't want them engaged in a regression testing slog. It means duplicating work and it's dull and repetitive for the testers. You won't get maximum value from your resources that way.

Automating regression testing can free up testers to focus where you want them. It's not easy, but with the right plan it can work. You can't create your test cases and scripts until the code is deployed. What you can do is record the testing process as your testers work through the new build and then use the steps captured to generate new test cases that can serve as the basis for automated regression testing on the next release.

Tester as End User
In the days of waterfall development, testers would have extensive documentation and requirements to pore over in order to create a detailed test plan. All the test cases would be prepared and ready to execute when the build arrived. That's often not possible with agile development. If the developers are going to adopt an agile mindset, then testers need to do likewise.

Exploratory testing can be employed to examine each new set of features when the build lands. Testers can record their steps and then edit them to create a solid base for regression testing. A core set of test cases can be fully scripted and automated. This process requires an evaluation of where the most value can be derived and that decision should be informed by what you know is coming down the pipeline from the developers.

For this to work testers must be included in the development process early and often. They need to be in Scrum meetings, they need to understand the user stories, and they must be empowered to contribute and ask questions. Testers can obviously learn a lot from developers on the project, but they should also be able to ask questions on the business side. If they can truly emulate the intended audience for the softwar, they can make a bigger contribution toward ensuring that it hits the mark.

Let's Make a Change
If we accept that the development landscape has changed irreversibly, we can really focus on ways to empower testers. Adopt an Agile mindset, but apply it from a testing perspective. Seek out new processes and new tools that really deliver the functionality and structure testers need in order to add value in a timely manner. Encourage more communication and deeper involvement in projects so that testers can emulate your end users accurately and help to ensure that expectations are met. Modern software development is still evolving and testing needs to evolve along with it.

More Stories By Vu Lam

Vu Lam is founder and CEO of QASymphony, developers of defect capture tools that track user interactions with applications. He was previously with First Consulting Group and was an early pioneer in Vietnam’s offshore IT services industry since 1995. He holds an MS degree in electrical engineering from Purdue University. You may reach him at [email protected]

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
Major trends and emerging technologies – from virtual reality and IoT, to Big Data and algorithms – are helping organizations innovate in the digital era. However, to create real business value, IT must think beyond the ‘what’ of digital transformation to the ‘how’ to harness emerging trends, innovation and disruption. Architecture is the key that underpins and ties all these efforts together. In the digital age, it’s important to invest in architecture, extend the enterprise footprint to the cl...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
In his keynote at 18th Cloud Expo, Andrew Keys, Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise, provided an overview of the evolution of the Internet and the Database and the future of their combination – the Blockchain. Andrew Keys is Co-Founder of ConsenSys Enterprise. He comes to ConsenSys Enterprise with capital markets, technology and entrepreneurial experience. Previously, he worked for UBS investment bank in equities analysis. Later, he was responsible for the creation and distribution of life sett...
Fact is, enterprises have significant legacy voice infrastructure that’s costly to replace with pure IP solutions. How can we bring this analog infrastructure into our shiny new cloud applications? There are proven methods to bind both legacy voice applications and traditional PSTN audio into cloud-based applications and services at a carrier scale. Some of the most successful implementations leverage WebRTC, WebSockets, SIP and other open source technologies. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Da...
SYS-CON Events announced today that ReadyTalk, a leading provider of online conferencing and webinar services, has been named Vendor Presentation Sponsor at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ReadyTalk delivers audio and web conferencing services that inspire collaboration and enable the Future of Work for today’s increasingly digital and mobile workforce. By combining intuitive, innovative tec...
Vidyo, Inc., has joined the Alliance for Open Media. The Alliance for Open Media is a non-profit organization working to define and develop media technologies that address the need for an open standard for video compression and delivery over the web. As a member of the Alliance, Vidyo will collaborate with industry leaders in pursuit of an open and royalty-free AOMedia Video codec, AV1. Vidyo’s contributions to the organization will bring to bear its long history of expertise in codec technolo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Bsquare has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For more than two decades, Bsquare has helped its customers extract business value from a broad array of physical assets by making them intelligent, connecting them, and using the data they generate to optimize business processes.
If you’re responsible for an application that depends on the data or functionality of various IoT endpoints – either sensors or devices – your brand reputation depends on the security, reliability, and compliance of its many integrated parts. If your application fails to deliver the expected business results, your customers and partners won't care if that failure stems from the code you developed or from a component that you integrated. What can you do to ensure that the endpoints work as expect...
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace.
The vision of a connected smart home is becoming reality with the application of integrated wireless technologies in devices and appliances. The use of standardized and TCP/IP networked wireless technologies in line-powered and battery operated sensors and controls has led to the adoption of radios in the 2.4GHz band, including Wi-Fi, BT/BLE and 802.15.4 applied ZigBee and Thread. This is driving the need for robust wireless coexistence for multiple radios to ensure throughput performance and th...
Enterprise IT has been in the era of Hybrid Cloud for some time now. But it seems most conversations about Hybrid are focused on integrating AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google ECM into existing on-premises systems. Where is all the Private Cloud? What do technology providers need to do to make their offerings more compelling? How should enterprise IT executives and buyers define their focus, needs, and roadmap, and communicate that clearly to the providers?
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management solutions, helping companies worldwide activate their data to drive more value and business insight and to transform moder...
The Internet of Things can drive efficiency for airlines and airports. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect with GE, and Sudip Majumder, senior director of development at Oracle, will discuss the technical details of the connected airline baggage and related social media solutions. These IoT applications will enhance travelers' journey experience and drive efficiency for the airlines and the airports. The session will include a working demo and a technical d...
There is little doubt that Big Data solutions will have an increasing role in the Enterprise IT mainstream over time. Big Data at Cloud Expo - to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - has announced its Call for Papers is open. Cloud computing is being adopted in one form or another by 94% of enterprises today. Tens of billions of new devices are being connected to The Internet of Things. And Big Data is driving this bus. An exponential increase is...
Digital innovation is the next big wave of business transformation based on digital technologies of which IoT and Big Data are key components, For example: Business boundary innovation is a challenge to excavate third-party business value using IoT and BigData, like Nest Business structure innovation may propose re-building business structure from scratch, as Uber does in the taxicab industry The social model innovation is also a big challenge to the new social architecture with the design fr...
The many IoT deployments around the world are busy integrating smart devices and sensors into their enterprise IT infrastructures. Yet all of this technology – and there are an amazing number of choices – is of no use without the software to gather, communicate, and analyze the new data flows. Without software, there is no IT. In this power panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the protocols that communicate data and the emerging data analy...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place Nov 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 19th Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long dev...
SYS-CON Events announced today that China Unicom will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. China United Network Communications Group Co. Ltd ("China Unicom") was officially established in 2009 on the basis of the merger of former China Netcom and former China Unicom. China Unicom mainly operates a full range of telecommunications services including mobile broadband (GSM, WCDMA, LTE F...
Data is an unusual currency; it is not restricted by the same transactional limitations as money or people. In fact, the more that you leverage your data across multiple business use cases, the more valuable it becomes to the organization. And the same can be said about the organization’s analytics. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bill Schmarzo, CTO for the Big Data Practice at EMC, will introduce a methodology for capturing, enriching and sharing data (and analytics) across the organizati...