“Agile Software Testing” Increasing Creative – Reducing Risk

“Agile Software testing ” method is attracting much attention of world outsourcing. PC World Vietnam B magazine (PCW) interviews Mr. Michael Hackett, Senior Vice President of LogiGear Corporation, about the method.

PCW: Can you tell us about the concept of agile software testing

Hackett: Agile software testing is part of the agile software development process. Agile software development or flexible programming is the mechanism of developing software that encourages the evolution of the project life cycle. Agile programming method aims to minimize risks by shortening the time of the development, which is also called iteration. An iteration involves a team working through a full software development cycle including planning, requirements analysis, design, coding, unit testing, and acceptance testing. The success rate of these projects is quite high for Web applications development.

Agile software development helps to divide the implementation of multinational software development projects into several small-scale projects. The most important requirements for these types of project are trust, respect, clear workflow, as well as an open communication environment.

PCW: In this flexible environment, what is the requirement for a testing group?

Hackett: The testing group is  not required to test in the same country or company with the project owner, but the group needs a flexible environment that includes expertise, experience, good communication skills, inter-cultural understanding, and of course trust or understanding between team members and between various testing groups. Another necessity is a hosting enterprise that will provide social networking tools to ensure transparency and improve communication among the teams. In addition, the teams should find a method to make their communication more effective and not only share information once a day.

In order to collaborate efficiently, the development teams of different countries need to adapt to each other in order to build trust and respect. This is long term work and it cannot be forced. The traditional software development process might be used in the first few projects, but after team members get to know each other well, they can move to agile software testing. By doing so, the ability to be successful in this development methodology will be higher and the risk ratio lower.

PCW: Vietnam Software Testing industry is only in the development stage. In your opinion, can this method be applied in Vietnam?

Hackett: If Vietnamese testers have adequate skills and expertise, they can fully participate in developing these types of projects. They just need more training.
Indeed, skills and expertise can be trained easily. The re-training to adapt to the technology testing and automated testing will be essential. Experience in implementing various previous testing projects are also important. Experience does not only come from successful cases, experience can also be collected in cases that fail as well.

Keep in mind, no matter how many years of experience you have in field testing, it is not guaranteed that a flexible testing project will be successful. Even the concept of the traditional model of successful projects can make a flexible approach fail because it goes against the nature of continuous change and innovation within this method.

If there’s an advice for the testing group of Vietnam, I think it is that Vietnamese testing companies need to build effective communication environments. They should keep an open mind and they must be ready to accept change and learn something new. This will contribute much to the potential success of a test project with a flexible approach.

Michael Hackett is the Senior Vice President and co-founder of LogiGear Corporation. He also co-authored the book, Testing Web Applications, with Bob Johnson and Hung Quoc Nguyen. This is one of the best-selling books about testing, and it was translated into several languages and it will probably be translated into Vietnamese.

Michael Hackett and Hung Quoc Nguyen will attend the International Conference on Automated Testing VISTACON 2010, in 20-22/9/2010, in Vietnam as a speaker with seminars about  Automated testing. In addition, Jamie Tischart, director of McAfee products distributed, will present “How to transition to a flexible approach succeed?” in this conference as well.

LogiGear Corporation provides global solutions for software testing, and offers public and corporate software testing training programs worldwide through LogiGear University. LogiGear is a leader in the integration of test automation, offshore resources and US project management for fast, cost-effective results. Since 1994, LogiGear has worked with Fortune 500 companies to early-stage start-ups in, creating unique solutions to meet their clients’ needs. With facilities in the US and Viet Nam, LogiGear helps companies double their test coverage and improve software quality while reducing testing time and cutting costs.