"Agile Testing" is the news buzz word in the Embedded world
By Suman Ravikumar, SiliconIndia | Monday, 23 May 2011, 06:17 Hrs
Bangalore: "Agile" is currently the buzz word in the software development world. Software developers are currently having a "passionate affair" with Agile and are adopting the methodology at very fast pace. You would have no doubt heard somebody in your organization mention about it or read about the aspects of Agile on a number of software development related or technology related websites. Agile testing is a software testing practice that follows the principles of agile software development. Agile testing does not emphasize testing procedures and focuses on ongoing testing against newly developed code until quality software from an end customer's perspective results. Forrester Research reports that Agile software development processes are in use at 14 percent of North American and European enterprises, and another 19 percent of enterprises are either interested in adopting Agile or already planning to do so. XP, SCRUM, DSDM, FDD and Crystal are some of the products that provide Agile methodologies. The Agile software development methodologies have flipped the idea of waiting for a fully built system to be available on test. Instead testing from the start of the project and throughout the project lifecycle is what Agile provides. Every practice, technique or method of Agile concentrates on one single goal, to get a feedback on the code that is written and how the quality of the code can be optimized. This practice leads to the use of continuous build and integration practices which provide feedback every time code is written which then checks in the code repository. Bruce Powel Douglass is the Chief Evangelist for IBM Rational with over 30 years specializing in the development of real-time and embedded systems and software describes Agile as a collaborative, incremental, and iterative approach to software development that can produce high-quality software in a cost effective and timely manner. Unlike traditional software development, agile development emphasizes flexibility, continuous testing and integration, and rapid delivery of functionality. Bruce is a well known speaker and member of the Advisory board of the Embedded Systems Conference and UML World Conference. He is also an invited speaker at many other conferences, such as Embedded World (Germany), Embedded Systems (Japan), SET (Switzerland), OOP (Germany), and Software Development. On Saturday, May 21, at the Embedded Conference organized by SiliconIndia, Bruce demonstrated on how UML Rational Harmony for Embedded RealTime Development eases the transition and improves communication between systems engineering teams and software development teams. He said that that the whole team would be involved and not just the testing team. He said the entire team would be responsible for the quality of the project. Embedded software is a unique specialty within the broader software field. Effective management of software development risks is very much essential for producing software with high quality and with optimal cost. Embedded systems can be termed as resource constraint systems. So the quality in embedded systems is centered towards platform specific testing tools that are geared towards debugging. Application of agile testing methodology in embedded projects reduces, defect count, increases product quality and also working on a clean and highly stable code base makes new development faster and optimizes the cost of production. Besides, this strategy helps to avoid unpleasant customer negotiations.