Testing in Agile: 5 Tips for Building your Test Team in Agile

Testing in Agile is not easy. Everybody is talking about test engineers as part of Scrum teams, but what happened to the test team? Is there a place for a test team in the Agile world? Although there is no discrete test team in the Scrum framework, you still have some options for organising your test engineers, supporting them and helping them exchange knowledge and best practices.

But let’s go back to the beginning …

1. Build the Contact Info List First

It’s basic but it can save a lot of time.

The first thing to do when starting with your new team is to create a page with contact info (name, e-mail address, Skype/Lync usernames, etc.) and positions. Even though this is basic stuff, it is often neglected and leads to time wasted on searching for some basic information.

2. Record the Training & Gather Basic Documentation

Once you start building your team a lot of documentation and training will be generated. Make sure to have all the training recorded and shared. Gather all the documentation that’s needed for new test engineers – for example, a list of tools needed for work, instructions on how to set up the environment and the skills one should improve during the adjustment period. Links to pages with domain knowledge needed for the project you are working on should also be documented. You should even prepare suggested online courses with the knowledge required for the project (SQL, Java, JavaScript, etc.). You should start collecting this information from the very beginning of the project. Always think about the people who will join the project after you. You will save them a lot of precious time by storing and organizing information for the people new to your project.

3. Reorganise Things into Folders

The next step is to organise all that stuff into folders – put one day of work into one folder. Day One folder, for example, can hold some domain knowledge training and documents with information about setting up a local environment, and so on. This will help new people be almost independent in learning (although you should stick around to provide support if needed).

4. Periodically Check for the Documents’ Updates

Also, don’t forget to periodically check if there’s the need to update one of the documents. Always ask new people if they feel like something is missing from the prepared materials. Once you have the week one material sorted out you will get engineers almost ready to start with work on week 2 and if a material is good you will lose very little time in providing support. Even better, you will know where the newcomer is (which day of preparation) each day and how much material they still have to cover.

5. Check for the Appropriate Online Certificates

One thing I have found to be very useful during the training period is getting an appropriate online certificate (Java, JavaScript, SQL). You can find many of them for free online (example: if your new colleague is still learning JavaScript, which is required for automation on your project, let them complete a JavaScript course at Sololearn, Guru99, or Codecademy.

Once everyone is on board, it is important to keep the knowledge sharing moving along. And good communication is the key to doing that the right way.

And how are you building test team in your company?


About the Author


Extensive Automated and Manual testing experience with several projects across various industries (storage, telco, gaming, education). Specialties: Experienced with Mercury’s Quick Test Pro (QTP), Test Complete, Rational XDE Tester, Selenium, Watir, Sikuli, SOAP UI and Protractor. QA in gaming.
Find out more about @acoristic

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