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Quality Assurance in Agile Software Development

The approaches to and opinions about quality assurance in an agile software development are varied and contentious. Some teams would argue that there is no role for quality assurance in a properly run agile software development team. Others would push back and state that it’s impossible to guarantee quality without having dedicated quality assurance agile team members.

Quality assurance in agile software development can be considered a grey area. There is no definitive – do this, don’t do this, and always make sure this. Just like everything in agile, quality assurance and how it does or doesn’t happen is up to the team and company. But one thing is guaranteed – quality has to happen – it’s how this is achieved that makes the discussion about quality assurance a hot topic.

You don’t need to be told that you need people on your agile software development team who are responsible for ensuring a quality product. You don’t need to be reminded that agile tries to minimize processes and tools and focus on the individual. You don’t need to be told over and over again that done has many different meanings and applications.

There is no right or wrong way to succeed with quality assurance. It’s in the doing, adjusting, and calibrating that your team will find the right approach to quality assurance. It could be a variation of pair programming, a focus on test driven development, a complete focus on test automation, end-to-end testing, or a combination of the best of each approach.

Since we can’t tell you exactly what to do, we want to give you some ideas on how to use quality assurance within your software development team. Whether you’ve got a new team or are new to agile or are struggling with defining roles within your agile software development team, use this article as a conversation starter, jumping-off point, or blueprint of quality assurance ideas.

The Agile Manifesto and Quality Assurance

At first glance the principles of the Agile Manifesto appear to be in polar opposite of quality assurance methodologies. However, as with all things agile, the Agile Manifesto is open to interpretation.

  • Individuals and interactions over processes and tools. Team, team, team – this is the very essence of agile software development. When your quality assurance specialist are part of the agile software development team they can be involved, collaborating, and communicating – all with a focus on ensuring quality.
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation. Traditional waterfall quality assurance relies on heavily detailed test plans and documentation. In an agile team, this translates to the quality assurance experts spending their time doing testing and providing feedback, rather than writing test plans. Of course, there does need to be a way to track testing, but this can be done with one-line test scenarios, error checklists, risk-based testing, exploratory testing sessions, or user stories with integrated test markers.
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation. In an agile quality assurance team, the focus is 100% on the customer – both external and internal customers. Often times because the quality assurance expert knows the product better than anyone else on the team, this person becomes an advocate for the customer. Think of the quality assurance team as a customer and you’ll get some real insight into the software quality.
  • Responding to change over following a plan. Change can be hard for anyone on an agile team, but with a well-organized approach to quality assurance, change is welcomed and encouraged. After all, it’s through quality assurance that areas for improvement are identified, blockers are found, and in some cases the need for a complete redesign – all of which drive change in the product, iteration, and company.

There is a reason why the Agile Manifesto remains relevant – it is the foundation for how agile companies think, respond, communicate, and thrive. The key is in making sure that there is flexibility in how these guide posts are interpreted and applied. There is nothing absolute or rigid in the Agile Manifesto, making it an ideal springboard for thinking about how quality assurance fits into your agile software development approach.

Four Ways to Integrate Quality Assurance in Agile Software Development

Your team is asking for advice on how to improve the role of the quality assurance team. Your managers are asking why you need to hire more quality assurance staff. You want to make sure that quality is still the focus and driving principle of your entire agile software team.

Sometimes it takes knowing how to do quality assurance better – the following four points can serve as a way to get your team thinking about how quality assurance can and should be integrated.

  1. Understand agile software development. As we highlighted above, team is integral to agile success. Make sure your entire team understands agile software development – the intentions, foundation, and guiding values. Knowing this helps keep the focus on the team, communication, and quality.
  2. Remember to collaborate. In waterfall, testing and quality assurance happens at the end of the development cycle. The opposite is the case with agile software development, quality assurance can happen concurrently and from the very beginning when requirements and user stories are defined. Keep your developers and quality assurance people working together to support communication and collaboration.
  3. Flexibility to different approaches. All too often teams get stuck in doing development and testing with one prescribed methodology. Agile software development is designed to allow for more – support your quality assurance team in being involved from the beginning, in testing features before they’re code complete, getting quality assurance involved in UX reviews, and in any other area. Be flexible in how you think of the role of quality assurance in your team.
  4. Nothing is perfect. You’re not going to get it right every time. Just because the last iteration was a success, doesn’t mean this one will be. Just because pair programming helped eliminate defects on another project, doesn’t mean the same will happen for your project. Remember, to be open and ready for change, challenges, and rooms to improve. Learn to look for the root causes rather than focusing on the obvious glaring problems.

Successful agile software development is a journey. There are twist and turns, missteps, and second chances. Don’t get caught up in getting things done perfectly – people are going to react differently to change, people won’t want to try pair programming or end-to-end testing, people won’t want to collaborate freely – this is all part of figuring out how to make agile work for your team.

It is important through-out the discussions on how quality assurance fits into your agile software development team that you remember that the customer and quality must be the focus. How you get there is up to you – just make sure you’re doing it in the way that is best for your team, your customers, and your organization’s goals.

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Use Internet for Your Healthcare Needs

How often would you say you use the Internet for your healthcare needs?

For many individuals, the web is their go-to source for many different things. One of those can of course be healthcare.

Whether dealing with chronic pain or you have a child or other relative battling issues, use the web.

In turning to the Internet, you can gather worthwhile info on a myriad of healthcare issues. By doing this, you increase your knowledge of how best to deal with the situations at hand.

So, are you using the Internet for your healthcare needs?

Be Informed on How to Improve Your Health

No matter the healthcare battle you or a loved one have, the web can provide you with worthwhile info.

As an example, is chronic pain always getting the best of you? If so, good kratom powder may be what you’ve been searching for.

If you did not know this, kratom powder is a herbal remedy. 

One of its benefits is in helping relieve some of the discomfort chronic pain dishes out. Now, would you have known about kratom powder without doing some Internet research? Chances are the answer would be no.

Another example where the Internet can come in handy is if you have one or more small children at home.

For instance, what do you do in the middle of the night if your child wakes up and is in some discomfort? If not an emergency and a trip to the hospital, you will look to treat them at home. 

While some illnesses are rather easy to discern, others can be more of a challenge. 

You could turn to the Internet and type in the symptoms your child is exhibiting. In doing this, you may well get some valuable information on the web. It can lead you to better understand why your child is feeling the way he or she is.

Reach Out to Others with Similar Health Matters

Also; put the web to work in communicating with others exhibiting similar issues.

An example of this would be going into group discussions and forums.

For instance, what if you live with chronic pain or debilitating healthcare issues? Are you of the mindset that no one else knows what you go through on a daily basis? As it turns out, plenty of people know what you are dealing with.

Don’t be afraid to go online and start a conversation on such matters if you are unable to already find one. By doing this, you can learn about your healthcare issues and better treat what it is that is bothering you.

Last; look for blog and video tips from healthcare experts on how to improve your health.

Among some of the more common and important ones would be:

· Exercise – Make sure you get the needed daily exercise that your body can use to fight chronic pain.

· Eating – Having a well-balanced diet can also be a plus when dealing with one or more healthcare issues.

· Attitude – Last, having a positive attitude can go a long way in helping you get the better of problems.

In opting for the Internet to help with healthcare, you will increase the chances of success.

How Glass Fences Make Tiny Backyards Appear Larger

The problem of small backyards in cities is a pervasive one. Almost every homeowner in town has adopted the mantra that good things come in small packages and then they stay in cramped backyards, unable to enjoy the luxury of life. Thanks to research and modern technological breakthrough, you can turn that problem around.

Why are Glass Fences Good for Tiny Backyards?

A tiny backyard is only as tiny as it appears. This means there are ways to minimize the tiny appearance and make it seem bigger than it really is. This technique should be tried when selling homes or when you have guests over. Here’s how you can achieve this with a glass fence.

Glass Fences are not Cumbersome to Install

A tiny backyard is cramped because the available space after installation and other construction activities is not enough for certain activities. When you install wood or metal gates in an already cramped space, they take up more space. You might even need to change the landscape totally to accommodate the new installation and this further consumes space.

On the other hand, glass is only a few millimeters thick. There’s no extra space to be created, just the region where the glass fence can be placed strategically. There’s no need for excavation, drilling, ground preparation, etc. and this makes considerably easier to install.

Glass Fencing Systems Create that Optical Illusion

Glass has reflective properties and with this, it is able to trap light and then use it advantageously. You can mimic this experiment by putting mirrors in your room and then observing the effect. The installation of glass fences also means that you can easily see the outer environment (as a result of transparency). This is another way by which glass fences make tiny backyards appear bigger.

Glass Fences easily fit Your Budget

No one says it is inexpensive. However, there’s always something to suit your taste and budget. The flexibility of glass fences are unparalleled and this ensures that everyone can partake and enjoy the innumerable advantages. Don’t forget that when you install glass fences, you do not spend on painting, repair of worn-out parts, lubrication, fixing termite-infested parts, etc.

Why Should You Create Space in Your Backyard?

There are 3 reasons why you should use glass fences to expand the tiny space in your backyard.

2.You Increase the Value of Your Home

There are several home renovation techniques which raise the price of a house for sale. Of all, glass fencing ideas are the best to execute.

3.Your Children can Play Around Safely

Children love to play in open space, even if there’s no assurance of safety. They will play even if that means they’ll fall and injure themselves. You can avoid this though.

4.You Demonstrate Your Style and Panache

Your home is one sure way to express your creative intellect and assure the world of your genius. You can use well-designed glass fences to prove your point.

Conclusion

Tiny backyards have nothing on you now. Now you can make the most of the space you have and get to enjoy your outdoor living area in ways you never imagined.