A scrum in Croke Park
I'm attending the SQS conference on Software Testing in Croke Park, Dublin. I thought it was appropriate to go to an Agile Testing session involving Scrum amongst other techniques in the same hallowed ground where not to recently a game of Rugby was played out between England and Ireland. As our trainer Mike Scott was English, we tried not to gloat too much.
I won't bore you with lots of analogies on how Agile is similar to rugby, besides after a day of Agile, I can't think up too many, I'm sure someone out there can....
But here is what I enjoyed about Agile and its techniques
I liked the concept of the balloon pattern and testing so early that no code has yet been written, only your installation packages. I think thats really smart. You can iron out all your installation and configuration issues up front.
I like the concept that we as testers need to ask lots of questions and not make assumptions, though I think this is not unique to Agile. A course on Rapid Software Testing by James Bach also stresses this point. However, Agile demands intelligence in testing, where perhaps more traditional methods are less exacting?
There seemed to be a heavy dependency on Test Driven Development (TDD) which I am a big supporter of, though I do question the use of 100% Acceptance Test Automation. I think in every software testing exercise there is room for both manual and automated testing. Its a question of intelligently planning out what percentage ratio works best for that particular project or environment.
Is Agile faster and cheaper as its sometimes portrayed? I suspect not, but it does offer a customer greater flexibility and visibility and I like the sound of that!