Do you have the necessary attributes to adopt an agile testing mindset?

To understand the agile testing mindset, we first need to define what makes a team “agile”. To me, an agile team constantly focuses on becoming self-organized and cross-functional in order to complete any challenge that may be encountered during the project.

In addition (and based on the agile spirit), the team must put the customer first and ensure that the customer receives the best possible product at the end of each iteration.

In my experience, some aspects distinguish “agile” teams from other teams, such as:
Continuing education. As in any other area of ​​life, agile team members must grow as individuals in order to contribute to the success of the team effort. They must learn agile practices, new technologies, tools and technical excellence and master all aspects of the product.
Discipline ensures that each team member will follow the agile manifesto and the organization’s rules and guidelines (as every organization has its own rules, boundaries, and goals).

  • Excellent soft skills allow team members to work with each other, help each other in times of trouble, and most importantly, allow for a team dynamic that focuses on both the team and the individual.
  • Embracing continuous improvement will allow the team to improve the process and product in each iteration.
  • Knowledge sharing promotes team members who do not have the appropriate skills, knowledge, or experience needed to accomplish their goals.
  • Trust and respect are fundamental aspects we want to see in any team and agile team. Team members who do not trust and respect their colleagues will become a hindrance to the team.

Now that we understand the characteristics of a great agile team, we can see that successful agile projects are the result of teams built by great people who have the freedom to use their skills to create great work.


Agile teams are made up of developers and testers working together towards a common goal. (The best teams I’ve built were built without testers at all, but that’s for a more advanced article.) Now that we’ve discussed the characteristics of a great agile team, it’s time to define the same thing for testers and ask what makes someone successful. as a tester on an agile team. The basic answer is that what makes a tester successful on an agile team are usually the same qualities that make a highly respected tester on any other team.

new tester in agile teams

An agile tester does not see himself as the team’s quality authority, shielding the customers from the developers, as he did in the old days when he worked in a dedicated test department, usually in a separate physical location from the development teams.

For me, there is no difference between a tester and a developer. they are all equal and should follow the same team culture, mindset and principles. Based on this, I can say that great testers who succeed in agile teams are willing to share their knowledge and experience with other team members. They want to work hand-in-hand with developers and the product owner to drive the team and overall product quality using a collaborative approach that states the entire team is responsible for quality.

Agile testers (and probably any other testers) with the right soft skills, technical skills, and mindset contribute to the team and themselves by providing continuous feedback on the overall quality of the product. This allows the team to see the big picture and what needs to be done to improve the quality of the software.

In addition, agile testers are constantly looking for new ways to help the team increase their efficiency and produce high-quality products. What does it mean to seek new ways? Here are three examples.

  1. Testers can look for new technology tools that will improve the efficiency of the testing process and reduce manual effort (eg, automated frameworks that will shorten regression cycles).
  2. Testers can set up local group meetings or roundtables with other teams to learn and adapt success stories that have worked on their team.
  3. Testers can share their knowledge with the rest of the team to increase quality ownership. During this process, the tester can act as a quality consultant to help other members remove quality obstacles they are not familiar with.

The bottom line is that testers on agile teams need to have a different mindset than the one they had in a traditional software development environment. They need to understand that their agile teammates (including more developers than testers) have the same goal. Testers should like their teammates and enjoy learning from them (especially coding skills that will help them add more value). Testers should never limit themselves to only solving quality issues.

But wait, there’s more. Agile testers should also help the team resolve issues that arise during and after the iteration, especially related to the technical aspects of the product. Additionally, testers need to know that the team trusts them to understand the big picture of the entire product, rather than focusing on a specific component.

Great testers rely on the team because they know they have the instinct and knowledge of where and how software can fail, and what solutions the team should implement to reduce the risk of failure.

However, I think the testers could do more. Testers should use their experience, knowledge and expertise in testing and assist the team in other layers of the development process. A great tester is not afraid to engage in design discussions and make suggestions to improve testability and reduce future risks.

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