Agile software development is usually described as a collection of principles under some requirements that lead to collaborative cross-functioning, usually self-organizing teams bringing to life robust software solutions. Its basic features are the provided evolutionary development and flexible planning and continuous improvement. It’s basically created to be working in the environment when the response from the customer or client is quite flexible and rapid. The term itself originated in 2001 and Agile development methodology is widely used worldwide nowadays.
Usually agile projects refer to engineers and testers who are sensitive and responsive to feedback alongside with the development process. And if we speak specifically about Agile testers, it means that they try to implement the testing practices into the main Agile workflow.
The Agile development cycle is often described as ‘unstructured’ and ‘dynamic’. The Agile Manifesto basically holds the 68-word document outlining the methods of its work. The main idea is to make customers, developers, and testers work together in an inclusive and collaborative way and it’s considered to be quite an effective approach nowadays.
Using Agile approach the developers and testers should realize that they are involved in the same process but from two other sides of ‘the barricade’. The developers are usually striving to refine their lines of code and make it better and better and testers can’t help but keep breaking the code and report on the bugs or weak spots it might have. With the Agile development cycle there is no more separation between the developers and testers, so this two-step model is basically eliminated. The developers tend to be more like testers and vice versa, taking into consideration that both parts pay respect to each other’s work. It is believed that such attitude lets the two teams be more creative and reach the goals of development easier and faster.
Of course, Agile development model has its share of skeptics, especially the representatives of traditional approaches to the workflow. The main line is that switching to Agile is hard: not every manager is ready to face a speedy circulating feedbacks and reports throughout their whole working day. Some may not like Agile to the extent of calling it even counterproductive, that is, actually, not true.
What any company should realize is that Agile is not magical powder that could fix any broken process of communication between the teams. It requires a systematic shift and deep changes in the ways developers and testers treat each other and think of their working environments and goals. Anyway, Agile development was brought to life by solely pragmatic reasons to improve the software chain development and delivery, and its effectiveness is proved much more than once.