Celebrating Unpopular Agile Software Testing Opinions

Celebrating Unpopular Agile Software Testing Opinions

In the Agile TD Zone community, we celebrate diverse leadership styles, perspectives, and team processes. We recently asked our global members, what are some unpopular agile software testing opinions that they stand by.

Read on for some surprising (and inspiring) conversation starters to bring back to your teams. 

Unpopular opinions about agile teams and processes

“Testing can be done by anyone on the team. The tester is not the bottleneck, your unwillingness to test is the bottleneck….The devs on my team are always helping out with testing.” - Heather Reid 

Bi and tri directional traceability are foundational and every test team should use traceability.” - Jenna Charlton 

“No idea if it's unpopular, just not well known enough…yet I keep repeating this in every team and company [that] culture is the foundation for everything. For people to thrive and quality to have a chance to emerge.” - Lisi Hocke.
Subscribe to Lisi’s blog to learn more invaluable team and leadership lessons. 

“...All testing, test automation, documentation, release documentation etc are part of the Definition of Done. A story/pbi is not done if that work isn’t also done.” - Anne Colder 

“There are no best practices or answers that apply to every context…Instructions that are context-oblivious or context-imperial are potentially harmful.”. - Eric Proegler  

“Maybe it's just unpopular in my team, but even if there's a dedicated tester on the team, that person doesn't have to test everything. Which also applies to new features.” - Tobias Geyer


Unpopular opinions about software testing and test automation

“…Sometimes a lot of testing is exactly what you don’t need.” - João Proença 

“In general I think most of the principles of the agile manifesto are pretty unpopular and should be respected more. In many organizations, a lot of questions could be answered, and a lot of problems could be solved by simply looking at those principles and applying them.” - Christian Baumann 

“Documentation…needs to be tested/accepted ideally by those who (will) need it…if there's nobody who (will) need it, it is not important.” - Michael Kutz

“I'm stuck thinking that my 'unpopular' opinions are probably actually popular…like, you're probably wasting too much time and energy on regression testing (whether manual or automated), and likely automation in general…I've been seeing too many job postings where basically the entire role is ‘write us a truckload of test cases and then automate them and spend the rest of your time doing regression testing and being the gatekeeper for release.’” - Joanna Denni 

“Accessibility testing is a must and not [just] a good to have.”  - Eduarda Loureiro

“Unpopular opinion…so many teams fail to even want to try learning it: TDD will prevent about 80% of bugs that most teams experience, [per] Dave Farley…the unpopular opinion [here] is that teams should practice TDD….and yes, TDD is not a testing activity, but it sure does help build quality in and prevent bugs.” - Lisa Crispin

“Testing is like traveling.” - Emna Ayadi.
Learn comparisons between testing and traveling in a popular leadership resource from Emna. 

“While Exploratory Testing is not necessarily unpopular, it can be overshadowed by more widely-used Agile testing methods, such as Test-Driven Development (TDD) and Behavior-Driven Development (BDD).” - Abhishek Giri

Unpopular opinions about software quality 

“You don’t need traditional test cases + test case execution to release high quality software.” - Butch Mayhew

“...Bug reports are awesome! Documenting the conditions under which bugs are observed help people understand & fix problems.” - Eric Proegler 

“Visual QA should be done by the designer.” - Hassaan Momin

“If quality was a relative, it would be the mad uncle in the corner arguing with himself.” - Anne-Marie Charrett

We love celebrating unique learnings and perspectives in the AgileTD Zone community. In addition, if you want to meet many of our leaders cited in this resource in-person, be sure to check out pricing and team discounts for upcoming conferences, including AgileTD USA 2023.

As an ambassador, you can leverage my 15% discount code of Tristan_15.


About Tristan Lombard


Tristan believes in bringing value to organizations by building inclusive online communities, transforming rising engineers into software quality stars, and creating continuous opportunities for his customers to impact the product roadmap. Tristan has held past leadership experience building global community programs at Provar, Testim and Sauce Labs. Tristan graduated from UC Berkeley with a BA and a Masters at Columbia University.