Pair testing in an agile world

10th November 2016 in London at CodeNode

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In all my years of being a tester, I mostly conducted testing all on my own. Why? I don’t really know. It’s what I have seen others do, and what I did myself. Sure, I will go and ask someone else to review my findings if I couldn’t come to a conclusion. But it never occurred to me that I could pair with someone whilst testing. Until fate took over and presented an opportunity for me to do so.

I was a sole tester on a feature team and after a few months, we had another tester (let's call him John) join us. John had wonderful product knowledge and knew the basics of the project we were working on. Initially John and I started pairing whilst testing to bring John up to speed. However during this process we started talking and asking each other questions. We realised that by our testing was of better quality when we paired. This experience has made me take a step back and re-evaluate my skills as a tester. I now consider ‘being able to pair’ as one of the key skills a tester should possess. My testing style has changed considerably after I started pair testing. I now pair with others during various phases of development.

We have all heard of benefits of pair programming and see it frequently being applied in agile teams. However I haven’t heard quite as much about pair testing! I have read a few papers and blogs on this topic, and have also heard of a couple of talks at conferences. Pair testing can be very beneficial to teams when applied correctly.

I would like to share my positive experience on pairing a tester with you at Agile Testing and BDD exchange in a simple session.

You will be able to use my tips and suggestions to identify opportunities for pairing with others. You will be armed with advantages that pairing can present to their team using which they will be able to convince other team members to pair. You will discover new ideas on running little experiments on pairing. Results of these experiments can help then evaluate if pairing is right for you or if you are doing it right.

Key points covered during the session:

• Advantages and disadvantages of pair testing

• Identifying when to pair and when not to pair

• Common problems faced during pair testing and how to overcome them

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Pair testing in an agile world

Raji Bhamidipati

Raji is a scrum master at NewVoiceMedia who helps build outstanding, self organized teams. She has worked primarily in agile teams as tester and as a Scrum Master. She brings expertise and experience from both roles and has a keen interest in agile practices that help create and empower amazing teams. Raji presents at local meetups, peer group conferences, national and international conferences.