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7 Principles of Agile Software Testing

In software development, the word agile basically refer to any approach where the development process is guided by principles such as collaboration, flexibility, simplicity, transparency, and responsiveness to feedback, as well as bringing together every team members as a single unit. Similarly, agile software testing generally means the process of testing software for bugs within the context of an agile development workflow.

When it comes to agile workflow, it’s easier to view the process as an unstructured way of working with others, however, the term mostly suggests a focused yet rapidly iterative software development process, that promote the collaborative efforts of software teams and their customers or end users.

What is Agile Software Testing?

Agile software testing is the process of testing software for issues or bugs during an agile workflow, in which development teams strive to maintain a continuous, stable build that is suitable for release at any given time.

Agile development takes a test-first approach, rather than the test-at-the-end approach of waterfall model or traditional development methodology. Testing and coding are done incrementally and interactively, building up each part of the software until it provides enough value to release to production.

With an agile team, testing isn’t a role solely resting on testers alone, everyone in the team including developers, testers, business analyst, end users, customers, and stakeholders, are equally responsible for the quality of the software product or the success of the project. This means agile software testing is done by the whole team, not just designated testers or software quality assurance professionals.

Principles of Agile Software Testing?

In Agile software testing, unlike the Waterfall model that is done sequential, testing is continuous. Listed below are some of the underlining principle of agile testing:

  1. Continuous testing: Agile teams test on an ongoing basis and continuously, because it is the only way for the project to move forward and to ensure continuous progress of the product.
  2. Continuous feedback: In agile testing, feedback between the testers, developers, business analysts, Scrum Master, and Product Owner should be continuous. This will facilitate a high-quality product delivery.
  3. Testing is the responsibility of the entire team: in software development lifecycle, testers and quality assurance professionals are mostly responsibility for software testing, however, in agile software testing, instead of designating test team, developers, business analysts, and other stakeholders are requested to test an application before its release.
  4. Neat and simple code: any defects raised by the agile team in any iteration are fixed before moving to the next one. This helps in keeping the code clean and simplified.
  5. Fast response time: since agile testing function well with continuous feedback and because business team is involved in each iteration – this will reduce the time of feedback response.
  6. Less documentation: Agile teams or all the test engineers use a reusable specification or a checklist that emphases the test rather than secondary information.
  7. Test driven: unlike traditional model where testing is implemented after implementation, in agile testing, testing process are executed during the implementation. This helps decrease the development time.

4 Agile Software Testing Methods

Agile software testing can be divided into 4 different methods, each offering various benefits depending on the structure of agile team.

  1. Acceptance Test-Driven Development (ATDD): this method is a collaborative testing that brings together team members with different perspective where each team including developers, clients and testers, collaborate to write acceptance tests that represent the user’s point of view.
  2. Test-driven development (TDD): this methodology starts with tests, in which development agile team begins by discussing what to test and then creating a user story, then finally, they write the code until the unit test passes.
  3. Behavior Driven Development (BDD): this improve communication between stakeholders so that all team members have a thorough understanding of product features at the onset of product development. BDD often stems from TDD and ATDD – there will be user story but the user story needs to answer why (in business terms) this feature is being developed. And in BDD, tests are included in user stories as scenarios or specifications.
  4. Exploratory testing: this type of testing allow testers follow their intuition — rather than a predefined path. As testing begins, testers will identify a product’s functionality through exploration, learning the application as they go and designing and carrying out test plans according to their findings.


With a continuously shifting digital paradigm and customer behavior, software development team need to evolve to keep up with rapid advancements in technology and development processes. Enterprises are also on the lookout for the best approach that can bring about positive changes in their business environment.

Agile software testing is one of the vital elements of the software development lifecycle (SDLC) that enables the delivery of quality software in short timelines and tight budgets. Also, agile testing not only facilitates the early detection of defects but also reduces the cost of bugs by fixing them early.

For an organization that opts for Agile development methodology for their software development, in a bid to achieve a quicker and frequent release to the market, should first discuss with a software development expert, to determine if this methodology suits their project – this will bring in the full benefit of the methodology to the project and to their company as a whole.