What should be the skills of an Agile Quality Assurance professional?
As Agile methodologies depend heavily on collaboration, communication, and interaction (between the team members as well as stakeholders outside the team) testers in an Agile team should have good interpersonal skills. Testers in Agile teams should:
- Have domain knowledge: The foremost aspect of testing. You can never test an application without putting yourself in the shoes of the end user. Because of this, domain know-how is essential. End-to-end domain knowledge gives you confidence while testing the application. From my experience, a good understanding of domain knowledge helps in the day to day life as well as you will be valued by your teammates/stakeholders.
- Have good technical proficiency: Don’t limit yourself to one kind of testing specialization. You need to have a different kind of testing knowledge such as security, performance, automation. Without adequate technical proficiency, you might not sustain in the industry for the long run. Upgrade your proficiency and evaluate yourself timely.
- Be positive and solution-oriented with team members and stakeholders.
- Display critical, quality-oriented, skeptical thinking about the product.
- Actively acquire information from stakeholders (rather than relying entirely on written specifications).
- Accurately evaluate and report test results, test progress, and product quality.
- Work effectively to define testable user stories, especially acceptance criteria, with customer representatives and stakeholders.
- Collaborate within the team, working in pairs with programmers and other team members.
- Respond to change quickly, including changing, adding, or improving test cases.
- Plan and organize their own work.
- have good process knowledge: Finally, competencies on processes and framework such as CMMI can help testers assess maturity levels of testing processes, drive business process improvements, and achieve results – all flawlessly.
Roles of an Agile Quality Assurance professional in a team
The role of a tester in an Agile team includes activities that generate and provide feedback. Not only on test status, test progress or product quality, but also on process quality. These activities include:
- Understanding, implementing and updating the test strategy.
- Measuring and reporting the test coverage across all applicable coverage dimensions.
- Ensuring proper use of testing tools.
- Configuring, using, and managing test environments and -data.
- Reporting defects and working with the team to resolve them.
- Coaching other team members in relevant aspects of testing.
- Making sure that the appropriate testing tasks are scheduled during release- and iteration planning.
- Actively collaborating with developers and business stakeholders to clarify requirements. Especially in terms of testability, consistency, and completeness.
- Participating proactively in team retrospectives, suggesting and implementing improvements.
Within an Agile team, each team member is responsible for product quality and plays a role in performing test-related tasks.
- Testers work so closely to developers that they might lose the appropriate tester mindset.
- Testers become tolerant of or silent about inefficient, ineffective, or low-quality practices within the team.
- It is not possible for testers to keep up with the incoming changes in time-constrained iterations.