You probably already know that I offer an Agile Testing class. If the feedback forms from participants are any indication, it’s a pretty good class. Participants get a lot out of it. But something is bothering me about the class. It can be better. And I’m all about continuous improvement, so I want to make it better.
One participant summed it up when she said, “This is one of the best general introductions to Agile I’ve seen.” Initially, I took her words as a compliment. In fact, her words are one of the reasons that Dale Emery and I decided to adapt the Agile Testing class into Developing Agile Teams, our general Agile class.
But it recently occurred to me that those kind words are a double-edged sword. They suggest that the Agile Testing class covers Agile well, but they also suggest the class could emphasize Testing more.
It’s true that my Agile Testing class, in its current incarnation, emphasizes Agile practices and values over specific Testing techniques. That was deliberate.
When I set out to design the class, it seemed to me that an Agile Testing class should not try to cover testing basics like boundaries and other testing heuristics, testing from state models, equivalence class partitioning, all pairs analysis, and the like. If a tester needs to learn these kinds of general test design techniques, there are numerous resources available.
Further, many of the practices that interfere with succeeding at Agile Testing have to do with the tendency for test teams to be isolated, to over-document, and to emphasize plans, process, quality gates, and repeatability over adapting, whole-team collaboration, and rapid feedback.
Thus, I designed the exercises and simulation in the Agile Testing class to emphasize adapting, collaboration, feedback, and other Agile values, seen through the lens of Testing. The Testing part wasn’t absent; it just wasn’t presented as a specific set of Testing skills.
However, I’m realizing that my Agile Testing class would benefit from more emphasis on specific testing skills and practices. I think it should still emphasize Adapting, Feedback, Collaboration, etc. But I’d like to increase the emphasis on testing practices.
With all that in mind, I have a question for you, my reader:
What specific skills or practices would you expect or want taught in a class titled Agile Testing, and to what level of depth?