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Decoding the ‘Pair Testing’ in Agile ! Presented by Krishna and Rama


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Software projects, especially the product development teams, today are fast moving away from the traditional development methodology and adopting Agile for obvious advantages that it brings to the table. However, as always, advantages are accompanied by a number of challenges. The session emphasised on ‘The Power of Two’

· Practical testing challenges in Agile

· Deep dive into Agile testing technique – Pair Testing

· Pragmatic approaches & applicability of Pair Testing

· Factors for successful implementation

· Pros & Cons of Pair Testing

Published in: Engineering
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Decoding the ‘Pair Testing’ in Agile ! Presented by Krishna and Rama

  1. 1. Decoding the ‘Pair Testing’ in Agile ! Mr. Krishna Mohan K & Ms. Rama K
  2. 2. Challenges especially to the testing team • Agile projects introduce time-boxed development • Agile brings in faster pace of development • The test scripts need to be kept updated with changing requirement • Development spill overs • Insufficient unit testing • Risk of regression In short, time available for testing is limited; use whatever is available efficiently & effectively !
  3. 3. The power of two • The well-known proverb in English states it all – “Two heads is better than one”… • Krishna-Arjuna pairing in Mahabharata … • This notion is also expressed in the New International Version (NIV) of the Bible. The two verses 9 & 10 of the Chapter 4 from the book Ecclesiastes (Ecclesiastes 4:9-10) quote, • 9. Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work • 10. If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!
  4. 4. The power of two
  5. 5. The power of two
  6. 6. The power of two
  7. 7. Pair Testing • It is a technique in which two people test an application at the same computer by continuously exchanging ideas • The pilot, who is in charge of the keyboard and mouse, will be responsible to perform the actual testing tasks, • Whilst the co-pilot analyses, reviews and guides the pilot. The two members involved could take turns to be pilot and co-pilot at alternative instances.
  8. 8. Applying Pairing - Activity • Balloon Game - 3 Volunteers required • 1 alone (Team A) and 2 in pair (Team B) will demonstrate • Duration of activity - 3mins • Scope - Blow the balloon, Tie the thread, Write any name on it • Establish a goal – Measurable – 10 / 15 / ?? Balloons • Identify pilot and the co-pilot (Team B) • Execute • Stick to the scope • Ensure that you do not deviate from the scope of your activity It is quite possible that you may get newer ideas resulting in increased of scope of activity.
  9. 9. Applying Pair Testing Contd. • Determine the duration of testing • Identify scope of testing • Establish a goal • Determine who would be the pilot and the co-pilot • Execute the tests • Stick to the scope Our advice is not to overcomplicate and follow the KISS principle
  10. 10. Pros of Pair Testing • Better knowledge • Inherent test case reviews • High creativity • Increased productivity • Improved testing methodology • Time saving • Better bug reporting • Effective training technique • Better coordination • Better reproduction of bugs
  11. 11. Cons of Pair Testing • If the system under test is not complicated and has a limited number of test cases • You have completely automated your testing process • Testing of application that does a number of things in the background (for example Windows Services) or executes long running processes that span hours • Issues if documentation is compromised and pair testing stops • Especially if new people have to take over testing tasks • Negative costs with 2X cost for same activity
  12. 12. Factors for successful Implementation • Time saving • Time, practice and adaptation • Social inclination • No Jealousy/ego factor • Team work • Don’t measure individual performance, at least not in the beginning
  13. 13. Conclusion • On closing note we would also like to caution you that Pair Testing is not a magic wand for all your testing problems • It is complementary to the other testing techniques that you may already employ within your organization • ‘Pairing’ works even better if 2 people are from different disciplines – e.g. dev & test, Dev & program manager etc. that is when different strengths come together • Use it wisely and carefully
  14. 14. Mr. Krishna Mohan K & Ms. Rama K