The Biggest Misinformation in the QA-Testing Discipline

by | Nov 13, 2020

The QA/Testing discipline has gone through some misinformation over the past few decades. Up until recently, the big one that was floating around was “Manual” Testers and “Automation” Testers. Previous blogs go into that argument, yet for a high-level view of it: A tester is a tester. How they do, the testing is a tool to get the results.

On October 7th, Agile Testing? Blog going over details how information out there can mislead people into thinking that there is a difference. Recently this article came up, and there needs some attention needed to what is stated.

Traditional Testing vs. Agile Testing – Should You Replace the Old Testing Approach? by Mutil Makadia

Going through the article, the third paragraph starts the misleading information with its definition of “Traditional Testing.”

The advantages and disadvantages that are detailed are those that explain a Waterfall approach to delivery. With some noticeable concerns:

In advantages:

  • It helps in the identification of the maximum number of defects.

There are a couple of issues with this. There is no information to back it up, and perception is a key factor. When using agile methodologies and the right agile mindset, issues are discussed during the team’s development to iron out issues. Hence, there is clarity of what is needed. Are issues like those documented as defects? No, the team handles it through the story to get develop the right outcome.

  • It ensures a quality product.

This is misleading as there is a lot of information out there that states, through research, that clients never use a lot of the product developed in Waterfall because it does not meet a need. So is it really a quality product if a fair amount is not used?

There are disadvantages stated. They all relate to the pain organizations experience in Waterfall delivery, has nothing to do with testing.

The definition of “Agile/Modern Testing” is a definition of agile, iterative delivery. Here are a couple of misleading comments in this section:

  • Can be performed using automated tools

True Automation is a crucial part needed in an agile environment. That doesn’t mean it is the “Silver Bullet” to all testing needs. A lot more testing is done, and they fall into two categories: Static and Dynamic.

Static is all the reviews, collaboration and confirmation that what is documented in the story/requirement is what everyone expects and is on the same page.

Dynamic: Is any form of testing that gives an actual output by exercising the code.

  • With limited documentation, it makes it difficult sometimes to specify and communicate individual testing components of large projects.

In an agile environment, there are metrics and burndown charts that are used to communicate the progress. Testing work is included in this as it is a part of the entire team performance.

When people want to define the difference between agile and traditional testing, as with this article, they fall back on defining the difference between agile frameworks and waterfall. In the end, how testing is done is the same. Recently there was a good debate on does TMMi works with agile, and in the end, it was determined it was. It is all about how things fit in.

Could you take a tester from a waterfall environment and have him/her move to an agile team and succeed? Yes, and the same goes in the reverse order. There will be a transition time needed for each to get used to the flow difference, yet in the end, they will still be testing.

Want to make your QA team more efficient and effective, regardless of delivery methodology? Want to transform or enhance your team, department or organization? Contact us and we can help you achieve great success.

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