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Agile Development

Why QA Is Such a Fundamental Part of Agile Software Development: Tech Club Podcast

by Dennis Junk
on September 26, 2016

Quality Assurance in Agile DevelopmentQuality Assurance in many people’s minds is little more than a hyper-caffeinated guy banging on the keyboard seeing if he can break the software. But the reality is that QA testing is an integral aspect of software development at nearly every stage of the process.

Especially when it comes to agile development methodologies like Scrum, the key is to identify bugs before they get baked into the mix. That’s why QA specialists have to get involved in projects as early as possible—banging on keys post-development wouldn’t really be that helpful (which isn’t to say it can’t be fun).

For this, our eighteenth episode, James and I interview Quality Assurance Practice Leader Rob Sandoz about the role of testing in agile software development projects.

Sandoz covers topics including:

  • How the role of documentation has been evolving
  • How you can track what you’ve done in exploratory testing
  • What tasks testers used to focus on in the waterfall era vs. what they look for now
  • What it means to outline a path of risks
  • Why development no longer occurs in a silo, separate from QA
  • How Scrum allows for an approach to QA that prevents bugs from growing out of control
  • What role unit tests play in Test-Driven Development (TDD)
  • What happens when the tester discovers a bug in the middle of a sprint
  • Why dog-fooding can be such a good way to test software without impeding users
  • What Automated Regression Testing is and what role it plays in agile development
  • Why Facebook’s model of testing isn’t applicable to most business situations
  • Why machines are good at checking base functionality while humans are necessary for testing aspects of user experience
  • How testing works with Software as a Service
  • Why testing has to be done with risk in mind as opposed to thinking every last element can be checked and double-checked
  • What Context-Driven Testing is and why Sandoz sees it as the key to successful quality assurance
  • Whether Sandoz has had any mysterious experiences since James and I interviewed him for our Halloween video last year

QA strikes most of us as a pretty arcane topic, but Rob’s enthusiasm really shows through whenever you’re talking to him about it. He’s fun to talk to on any topic really, but QA is his forte. It also happens to be a major factor in the success of any development project.

Send us any questions we missed addressing at techclub@apterainc.com. Or let us know what topics you’d be interested in hearing about in the future.

Here’s some more material on QA and agile development:

What It's Like Being a Client for Agile Custom Software Development Projects: Tech Club Podcast

Let the RFP Die Already: How to Recruit a Custom Software Vendor

What's Most Misunderstood about Quality Assurance in Custom Software?

If Unit Tests Were Seinfeld Characters

Download The 6 Qualities of Successful Scrum Teams

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Dennis Junk
I'm Aptera's Content Strategist. I've been writing about tech and marketing for 5 years and have certifications from HubSpot and The Content Marketing Institute. A big science and literature geek, I taught college rhetoric and composition while I was still busy going to school for way too long, earning bachelor's degrees in anthropology and psychology, along with a master's in British and American literature. Look me up on LinkedIn.
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