Traditional Quality Assurance to Agile:

Making the Move as a Tester!

The majority of software development organisations have switched to an Agile approach for product delivery and more and more are implementing DevOps to compliment the Agile approach.

But as a Tester what if your organisation has yet to make the move to either Agile or DevOps?! What is the recommended approach you should take when it comes to preparing yourself for working in these types of environments?! Well, you could benefit from the lessons learned from other people that have made the move before you.

Traditional Quality Assurance Agile

The first step is to empower yourself. Embrace the opportunity to learn new skills and be part of the development team as opposed to historically critiquing it. In a nutshell, its now time to learn how to write some basic software and begin your journey with Test Automation. Testers have a keen sense of risk and ability to see the bigger picture. This skillset can be invaluable if it is taken into account at an earlier stage of the development process. Matched with newly acquired skills in Test Automation will enable you to become even more effective in the organisation than you would have been before.

The transition

For making the transition, the following are recommended initial steps based on my experience:

  • Start with some basic programming training, use online tutorials to learn the basics of a programming language. The most common programming languages in this area are Java, Python & Perl. Complete some research into organisations that you would be keen on working in (or your own current organisation) and pick a language that is of use to them.
  • Begin by utilising your access to OpenSource tooling such as Selenium and Cucumber. Pick a tool that is aligned with the technology and area that you are interested in.
  • Build/Integrate Test Results to a Reporting engine.
  • Build upon your Framework to create dynamic testing capability using Parameterisation from a Data Source. This could be as basic as Notepad, to Excel or a MySQL Database.
  • Share your experiences by attending meet-ups that are linked to the tools and technology that you are learning about. Read, comment and create you own Blogs on your experiences. As well as learning through others, another Tester could benefit from your lessons learned.

Those who cling to the manual only testing approach are now obsolete and rapidly heading to redundancy. From Mark Knopfler’s “Monteleone” song, “the keyboard is calling, its time to Automate”

Bio, James is a Director of Exactest ( an independent Software Quality Assurance provider in Ireland and the UK. He has delivered senior test management capability up to Programme Test Management and Test Director level on multi million euro programmes. He has expertise in large and complex test solutions in both on and offshore test delivery models.