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The New Tester in Agile Teams

Updated: Mar 3, 2022

Testers in an Agile team shouldn’t see themselves as the team’s quality authority, protecting the customers from the programmers, as they did back in the old days when they worked in a dedicated test department.

There is no difference between tester and developer, they are equal and should follow the same team culture, mindset, and principles. Great testers who really succeed in Agile teams are those who are willing to share their knowledge and test experience. They work hand in hand with developers and the Product Owner to promote the team and the overall quality of the product, using a collaborative approach that states that the entire team is responsible for quality.

Testers that have the right soft skills, technical skills and mindset promote the team and themselves by providing continuous feedback about the overall quality of the product. This allows the team to see the big picture and what should be done to increase quality.

In addition, Agile testers are always searching for new ways to help the team increase efficiency and produce high-quality products. Here are three examples of this search:

  1. Testers can search for new technology tools that will improve the efficiency of testing and reduce manual effort, such as automated frameworks that shorten regression cycles.

  2. Testers can create local group meetings or roundtables with other teams to learn and adapt success stories that worked in their teams.

  3. Testers can share their knowledge with the rest of the team to increase quality ownership. During this process, the tester acts as a quality consultant that helps other members remove barriers to quality that they are unfamiliar with.

Testers in Agile teams should have a different mindset than in traditional software development. They must understand that their Agile teammates share the same goal. Testers should get along with their teammates and enjoy learning from them. Testers should never limit themselves to solving only quality issues.

Testers should also help the team address issues that arise during the sprint and afterward, especially regarding technical aspects of the product. In addition, testers should know that the team trusts them to understand the big picture of the product, rather than concentrating on a specific component.

Great testers are the ones the team relies on because they know that they have knowledge and an instinct for where and how software might fail and what solutions the team should implement to reduce the risk of failure.

In addition, testers should use their expertise, knowledge and experience in testing to help the team in other layers of the development process. A great tester isn't afraid of being involved in design discussions, making suggestions that improve testability and reduce future risk.

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