Agile testing methods are based on incremental, short-term deliveries that allow flexible responses to perpetual feedback.
The rapidly changing marketplace places rigid demands on product development, and the Agile methodology encourages adaptability, responsiveness, and most importantly speed. The entire app management process, from coding and testing to release, therefore, relies heavily on the Agile methodology.
Now, for Agile development to function at its best, it needs to be enriched with automated unit testing.
An explanation of unit testing
Individual software units, related data, and various use procedures are all tested to assess the tightness of their operation. The unit test basically tests the behavior of the unit (a small piece of code), and informs the tester whether the test has passed or failed. The tested function is performed on a previously known value, and the unit tests tend to use mock objects in order to bring about predictable simulation of dependencies.
The chief objective of unit testing is to ensure that developers identify and locate as many issues as they can at an early stage of development, and then to automate the process for every change in code.
The obvious result here is that the responsibility for creating the functional code lies on developers before it proceeds to the quality assurance team, which allows the whole system to run at a faster pace.
The importance of quality code – and therefore, the importance of automated unit testing
When bugs are discovered in the later stages of a project, it is usually very expensive to fix them and get rid of the glitches. If a certain testing procedure fails to identify bugs, fixing the product retroactively can hugely damage a company’s reputation. For example, many car companies have had to bear reputation and financial damages because of recalled vehicles whose parts were not properly tested.
The importance of unit testing in Agile projects
- Unit tests identify issues in the very first stages of the app development cycle. Early resolution of glitches saves an enormous chunk of money down the line. Unit testing can discover problems well before the app reaches the QA team.
- Developers will be more flexible with regard to implementing changes in preexisting code. Automated unit testing allows them to perform refactoring in order to update the software with new features while maintaining design integrity and overall quality.
- For a finished product in a customer’s hand, unit testing can play a critical role in providing quick-fixes in case a bug or two still manages to appear in the final release.
- A robust unit testing suite also makes it significantly easier for developers to deal with a relatively unfamiliar piece of code. Any code written by other developers becomes more manageable as the unit tests will point out errors.
- Unit tests also cut down on the need for manual testing methods, even though they are still important, given human ability to discover bugs that even an automated program might neglect. In such complex cases, QA teams can focus all their energy on finding a solution while the unit tests carry out the more routine testing operations.
Ultimately, automated unit testing is essential in Agile testing projects because the whole software development process becomes far more predictable and easy to repeat. This introduces an “assembly line” approach to testing that does not impede the original creativity of design, but rather ensures that the more mundane processes are handled with accuracy, precision, and efficiency.
Gallop is a front runner in providing agile testing services. Our expertise in various agile methodologies like Test Driven Development (TDD) and Behavior Driven Development (BDD) combined with the benefit of co-located test services can help you get the maximum benefit out of your agile projects. Contact us today to see how we can help you.