Role of Testers in Agile?

GoRetro Team
August 22, 2022
Posted on
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What is an Agile Tester?

As a software developer or engineer, you know firsthand how important it is to deliver high-quality products to your users. One key factor in achieving this goal is having a strong agile testing process in place. In the Agile development framework, testers play a crucial role in ensuring that the software being developed is of the highest quality.

First, let's define what we mean by "testers" in the Agile context. Testers are responsible for evaluating the quality of the software by executing test cases and reporting any defects or issues that are found. This can include both manual testing, where a human is manually going through the software and verifying that it is functioning as expected, as well as automated testing, where a machine is executing test cases and checking for errors.

In the Agile framework, testers are seen as an integral part of the scrum team, rather than as a separate entity. This means that they are involved in the development process from the very beginning, working closely with developers and other team members to understand the requirements and design of the software being built.

What does the role of an Agile Tester look like?

  1. Testers should prepare their test plans/cases as well as automated tests for the user stories before they are implemented. The team will be able to see any confusion or lack of consistency within the chosen user stories and will have time to amend them before any code is even written.
  2. Testers also might have an involvement in unit testing. To save resources (mainly time), testers should only test code that passes all of the automated unit, integration and acceptance tests. Although the testers could be writing automated acceptance tests, unit tests should be written by the developers because they can write the tests in parallel to writing the code.
  3. A tester's workload will depend on how heavy the sprint is; however, regression tests still need to be run on these changes.

Although testers often have their workload high as a project matures and increases in size, these tips can also be internalized by testers working in the earlier stage of projects too.

Testers might take the first portion of each sprint testing the tasks from the previous sprint. However, keeping them on the present task at hand and developing the test plans for the development team can also be effective.

Things Agile Testers should keep in mind

One key aspect of the tester's role in Agile is the idea of "shift left." This refers to the idea of starting testing as early in the development process as possible, rather than waiting until the end. By starting testing early, defects can be found and fixed earlier, which can save time and resources in the long run. Testers in an Agile environment are also expected to be proactive in finding ways to improve the testing process, such as by suggesting new tools or techniques that can help to increase efficiency and effectiveness.

Another important aspect of the tester's role in Agile is the idea of "continuous testing." In this approach, testing is not a one-time event, but rather an ongoing process that occurs throughout the development lifecycle. This can include both automated and manual testing, as well as various other types of testing such as performance testing, security testing, and usability testing. By continuously testing the software, defects can be identified and fixed more quickly, leading to a higher quality end product.


In conclusion, testers play a crucial role in the Agile development process. They are an integral part of the development team, working closely with developers to ensure that the software being built is of the highest quality. By starting testing early and continuously testing throughout the development process, defects can be identified and fixed more quickly, leading to a higher quality end product.

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