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May 22, 2018

How to Develop an Agile Testing Mindset and Automate Everything

3 mins read

Would you like to build a product with very few defects? Would you like to be able to ship a new version of your product every two weeks or even faster? Would you like to meet your customers’ needs more quickly? If you answered yes to any of these, then I would recommend taking Excella’s Certified Agile Testing and Automation training with Noura Saad and Sean Killeen. 

I took the Certified Agile Testing and Automation training recently and am so glad I did. What a great experience! Noura’s deep knowledge of User Story creation and the importance of testable Acceptance Criteria was obvious throughout. Sean’s “automate everything” attitude made me a believer. He’s consistently done it in his work and was able to demonstrate that it is immediately beneficial to automate everything. I was convinced that it is ridiculous not to be doing it RIGHT NOW, on any project! The graphic below depicts the typical cost differential between manual and automated testing over time.  


If you aren’t getting what you expect from working in an Agile way, much could be due to the lack of an Agile testing mindset or the absence of effective automation. If your teams struggle with creating a working piece of product by the end of their iteration (or sprint), the testing mindset and automation can help. This course gives you the motivation and confidence to develop the mindset and explains how to automate everything in an iterative and incremental fashion.

I had tons of takeaways, here are the major ones:

Testing is not about finding defects, it is about preventing their creation.

  • In the old days, testers and developers came into conflict over bugs. The Agile testing mindset prevents this by introducing a new perspective. The purpose of writing tests is not to find defects but to prevent them from being introduced into the code. When conversations about what to develop start with a testing perspective, this follows naturally.
  • Testers work to ensure that new features are testable. They write tests before development begins and work in parallel with the developers as development proceeds. This provides a feedback loop that helps the developers refine their understanding of what they need to build.

Take one bite at a time when beginning your journey to automating everything.

  • Don’t try to automate everything at once. Begin your journey to “automate everything” with small, incremental steps. Focus first on automating those parts with the highest return on investment. Typically, one of the best areas to initially focus on is the work involved in manual testing.

Testers still have a job after everything is automated.

  • Once automation is in place for unit, integration, and testing, testers can begin to shift their focus and have more conversations with the business and the developers about the overall quality of the product. They can also conduct more exploratory testing, a valuable exercise that can’t be automated. The course describes a variety of exploratory testing approaches.

Everyone should adopt an agile testing mindset.

  • The mindset shift is important for the whole team, not just testers. All members of the team should focus on building quality in and recognize that the job of testing is not to find defects but to prevent them from ever being introduced.

If you find yourself repeating something, automate it.

  • There’s a simple rule of thumb to understand what could be automated: If you repeat a series of steps more than once, then those steps can, and probably should, be automated. Let machines do the repetitive tasks; they excel at them.

I would highly recommend this training for Agile team members, regardless of job description or role. Product Owners, Business Analysts, Developers, and especially Testers stand to gain a great deal by attending this training.

Want to learn more? Join us for our upcoming ICAgile Certified Agile Testing and Automation class coming up on December 9-11, 2019 in Arlington, Virginia.

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