Agile testing: boosting IT effectiveness and transparency

Par Marie Krust

01 Jul 2015

Christian Baumann, Agile Tester Expert at q-leap interviewed by Stephen Evans for IT Nation magazine.

Software quality experts q-leap have many ways of finding out how to make your IT systems work as efficiently as possible. This includes “agile” testing where a cross-functional team takes a highly effective step-by-step approach that offers clients great visibility about a project’s progress. We spoke to Christian Baumann, one of q-leap’s “agile tester experts” about this technique.

“Agile is a mindset,” Mr Baumann explained. Traditionally, a project is defined, the IT experts get to work and after a period of time the client receives their new software package on a disk. “This is a perfectly good way of working, but using agile techniques enables the early identification of design flaws and bugs, ultimately making for a more useful and robust final product,” he said. “Moreover, the solution is delivered piecemeal, in an early, continuous fashion.” Thus the client can start using parts of the software soon after the project begins, enabling them to become acquainted with it and to be assured that progress is being made in the right direction.

Intensive, high skill teamwork

Agile breaks a task down into smaller chunks which are developed and then added to a larger whole. Over, say, a fortnight, a team of (normally) seven professionals work together to design, create, implement, and test a component of the whole system. This differs from the traditional step-by-step approach when requirements are first analysed, then the system is designed, then coded, then integrated, then tested and finally deployed. “This does leave the risk that if errors are found in the testing stage, a lot of the work may need unpicking and redoing,” Mr Baumann pointed out. “Because agile production cycles are shorter, the errors can be identified and corrected early.”

Q-leap are experts in testing, and they offer agile inspired methodologies as part of a range of options. “IT systems are becoming ever more complicated and ever more critical, and testing needs to keep up,” noted Mr Baumann. Q-leap offers traditional testing techniques along with automated tests. This enables them to cope with multiple layers of software, often written by different providers at different times, hosted on PCs, servers and the cloud. Whether they test whole systems or particular aspects, they examine where and why problems have occurred and suggest corrective measures. “The diverse nature of many systems lends itself well to agile testing, and we are finding increasing numbers of clients attracted by this gradualist approach,” he said.

Returns from high skill work

Agile is a great idea, but success requires a team of dedicated, experienced professionals. Mr Baumann points out that q-leap has what it takes: “our team has the business and technical knowledge thanks to the firm’s commitment to only hiring the best with extensive experience and a proven dedication to continuous self-improvement.” Everyone at q-leap has earned the prestigious ISTQB certification. Thanks to this end-to-end expertise they offer tailored, highly focused testing, consulting and training.

Christian Baumann’s professional profile fits the bill. He is a senior test engineer with q-leap thanks to extensive experience in software and systems testing, much of which involved the use of agile techniques. This enables him to manage projects and lead teams in using the methods which are the best fit for every project’s requirements. “Agile can be uncomfortable for some IT specialists, because it makes the process much more transparent for the client,” he noted. “However, we embrace this way of working because we have the skills and the desire to deliver.” Interview by Stephen Evans

(Source: IT NATION magazine – Christian Baumann’s interview on July 1, 2015)

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