How To Become An Agile Tester
- August 2, 2017
- Posted by: Juan van Niekerk
- Category: Technology
An Agile Tester is a professional who is able to follow the principles and values of Agile in order to achieve effective software testing. Therefore, this role requires knowledge of both software testing and management best practise. So how does one become an Agile Tester if it’s a role that crosses over into two fields?
When it comes to certifications, it can be difficult to know where to begin if you are aiming for a career as an Agile Tester. If you’re new to Agile or software testing, the Agile Tester jargon can be a lot to understand. This latest post aims to clarify some basic Agile Tester terminology and go through the steps that are involved in becoming an Agile Tester.
As I mentioned earlier, being an Agile Tester is a role that involves both IT and management skills. Therefore this involves terminology that may be difficult to understand. Before we look at what steps are involved in becoming an Agile Tester, lets unpack some of these terms to get a better understanding.
What is Software Testing?
Software Testing is a process or way of finding problems in a software application or program. The reason for this, is so that when the application or programme is handed over to the client, it will function according to the client or users’ specifications.
Therefore a person who is a Software Tester is someone who is in charge of making sure that the product meets the needs of the consumer/client by doing various tests and research.
What is Agile?
Agile is an approach which focuses on complex projects with unclear and changing requirements. It can be seen as a guideline for teams to follow to deliver the best possible outcome by collaborating with team members throughout the project.
Agile started as a movement in software development after it was discovered that there was a need for organisations to master continuous change. According to the Agile Manifesto of 2001, this would require some changes in the assumptions of 20th Century management
It therefore is an approach characterised by iterations or sprints that allows for a workplace to draw on all the talents of those doing the work. What this means, is that by constantly engaging and reporting on new activities, each team member is involved in the project from start to finish.
What is Agile Testing?
So now that we understand what software testing is and what the Agile approach is, let’s talk about what an Agile Tester is.
Agile Testing is a software testing practice that follows the principles of Agile software development. An Agile Tester is someone who is expected to:
- Work with team members
- Collect information
- Ask relevant questions
- Discover faults
- Learn about the product
An Agile Tester therefore is a professional who understands how Agile projects are organised, knows how to apply development practices as well as the testing tools that are commonly used.
Before the implementation of the Agile approach, Software Testers were not quite as much a part of the development team as they are today. Traditional Testers were seen as professionals who came in at the end of the product development stage. This however caused problems such as delays, over budgeting and therefore ultimately customer dissatisfaction.
Today Agile testers are part of the development process from start to finish, by continuously testing to ensure that the clients requirements are met. The role of software testing in the organisation is changing, and as a result the role of the Software Tester has changed to.
To Be the Best Agile Tester
An Agile Tester is a professional who understands that testing is a continuous activity. Gone are the days of testing being a phase in the software delivery. Before, during and after each sprint, testing is continuously in progress.
Basically, a good Agile Tester is someone who:
- Has technical knowledge and the ability to carry out test automation
- The ability to provide continuous feedback
- Is well versed in Agile Methodologies
- Has good domain knowledge
What Training Do I Need to Become an Agile Tester?
In order to become a certified Agile Tester there are two courses that need to be completed. The first course being the ISTQB (BCS) Certified Tester Foundation and the second being the ISTQB (BCS) Agile Tester Foundation Extension.
Image courtesy of ISTQB
Step 1: ISTQB (BCS) Certified Tester Foundation
The ISTQB (BCS) Certified Tester Foundation course is the first step towards becoming a Software Tester.
In order to gain the Certified Tester certification, you need to find an authorised training centre to obtain the relevant training to pass the Certified Tester exam. Here at ITonlinelearning, we offer internationally recognised training for the Certified Tester course as well as access to experienced tutors to guide you along the way.
What the course will cover
This course can be seen as a foundational course for Software Testers. It does not however cover any of the Agile methodologies.
This course curriculum includes :
- Fundamentals of Testing
- Testing through the lifecycle
- Static Techniques
- Test Design Techniques
- Test Management
- Tool Support for Testing
This is an entry level course with no pre-requisites. However in order to enter the next stage of the certification process, students are required to have completed this ISTQB Certified Tester Foundation to enter the Agile Tester Foundation Extension exam.
What exams do I need to complete?
In order to obtain the Certified Tester Foundation qualification, students must pass the Foundation exam.
Step 2: ISTQB (BCS) Agile Tester Foundation Extension
The ISTQB (BCS) Agile Tester Foundation Extension course is the second step towards becoming an Agile Tester.
In order to gain the Agile Extension certification, you need to find an authorised training centre to obtain the relevant training to pass the Agile Extension exam. Here at ITonlinelearning, we offer internationally recognised training for the Agile Extension course as well as access to experienced tutors to guide you along the way.
What the course will cover
This course is for those with already existing software testing knowledge and skills, and aims to cover the Agile Methodology so that students can be effective Agile Testers.
This course curriculum includes:
- Agile Software Development
- Fundamentals of Agile Testing Principles, Practices and Processes
- Agile Testing Methods, Techniques and Tools
Students must have completed the ISTQB (BCS) Certified Tester Foundation course and exam in order to gain entrance.
What exams do I need to complete to be an Agile Tester
In order to gain the Agile Tester certification students must pass the Agile Tester exam.
Therefore in order to become an Agile Tester, it’s imperative to have knowledge and skills in both software testing and the Agile approach. By completing the Agile Tester Foundation Extension, you will be well on your way to a professional Agile Tester career. As one of the most in-demand careers right now, being an Agile tester is sure to open many doors.