Agile Context: Strengthening QA & Developer Relations

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Increased involvement between QA teams and developers can greatly expedite testing on the technical side of things when working in an agile context; ultimately speeding up development life cycles for faster releases. Test Expert, David Dang, explores various ways as to how QA can get more involved when working in agile.


QA & Development Involvement in an Agile Context

“When adopting to agile you want collaboration between development, QA, and other team members. Part of the collaboration is to involve QA with any of the activities they can help the development team with.”

QA teams can work closer with developers to:

  • Assist in creating a much more robust set of unit tests
  • Define and validate the unit of code created by the developers
  • Help with code review
  • Assist in writing the unit tests themselves

Phase 1: Assist in Creating Robust Set of Unit Tests

Many share the perception that QA teams are not technical enough, in an agile context, to get involved with development to help with unit testing. However, they don’t necessarily have to be technical, for instance QA can help development think of all the permutations and combinations needed to come up with for the unit of code to test. Grouping development with the QA mindset provides guidance to developers by helping them to develop more direct unit testing and create an efficient method for doing so. In return, QA can come up with hundreds of tests pertaining to the method(s), the developer has created, that will cover positive flow, negative flow, and the boundary of that testing method.


Phase 2: Define/Validate Units of Code & Assist with Code Reviews

If QA personnel are more technical they can easily be involved in code reviews or to help define the scenario and validate the functions of that method, class, or unit of code the developer has created. For instance, as a developer when you create something you usually have a particular mindset of what it does and how it shall perform. QA can then easily go in and say, “yes, you’re right, you have created a valid method to complete the needed function” or QA can handle the code that needs improvement, i.e. error handling.


Phase 3: QA to Assist in Writing Unit Tests

If you have a QA member who is well versed in development then you can have them work as a liaison between QA and development and involve them in helping write unit tests. If he or she has that technical understanding as well as the QA mindset they can easily help to create, validate, define and test the units of code. So, when working in an agile context, be sure to involve QA with development to create better code.

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Does your organization have a formal QA process in play?

Read our blog, A Case for Quality… We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ QA, by Andrea Galicia.