The Who, What, When, and How of Pair Testing

Ideally, the two people would be equally skilled and would each have equal time at the keyboard. At Jama Software we have gained many benefits from pair-programming, but that doesn’t mean that it is an easy task to adopt it as a practice. For many software organizations, adopting an Agile Software Development methodology over a traditional waterfall project management approach can be a tough transition. Pair-programming is no different, and benefits from having a well-established Agile culture within an organization. For us, pair-programming was a ground-up initiative, but it also took the support and trust of our product and engineering leadership team.

What is pair testing in agile

There are benefits and drawbacks to pairing sessions, so a few GitLab team members shared their thoughts to help you determine whether pair programming is right for you. Due to these set of circumstances, individual contributors are often assigned to implementing the entirety of a particular feature or component on their own. Multiple engineers are assigned disparate tasks by theProduct Owner, with the goal of coming up with a Minimum Viable Product. Any combination can work effectively and efficiently in pair testing. The possible pairs could be – tester & tester, tester & developer and tester & user.

Boundaries and Challenges of Pair Testing

The process is performed by any two individuals, whose roles are interchangeable. The process is performed by two programmers, who switch their roles frequently. The team can consist of a tester, business analyst, developer, programmer, etc.3. The team members are known as driver and observer/navigator.4. The team is focused on testing the software and ensuring its compliance with specified requirements.

The collaboration between developers can be done in person or remotely. We have a lot of approaches to do testing, and it is a long time process. If your company does not have time, money, and employers to implement a good test process, an external testing team can be the viable solution. Your goal should be to change the culture that caused the problem in the first place. Well done pair programming can help that, but it will usually require a combination of things all pushing towards that end goal. There is no silver bullet for making people write good unit tests.


This proved to be a critical defect, necessitating a quick remedy for a back-end system. I could have solved the problem on my own, but partnering aided us in finding it faster. Learning from real-world examples in software testing can be more successful than learning from manuals. A walkthrough in which questions and answers are instantaneous might be extremely useful to both partners. Pair Testing is a good approach for individuals, particularly novices, to learn from their peers by seeing what they doing.

Pair testing may be less applicable to scripted testing where all the steps for running the test cases are already written. After the release stage, the product will move to the production stage. Delivering valuable software early and continuously is our highest priority. The best result can be achieved by the self-organizing teams.


This is an article about pair testing, maybe I going to create a presentation based on this articile. If you have any comments or remarks please let me know. Please also take a look at the sources at the end of the article, I have used their knowledge and opinions to form my own opinion and view on pair testing. In my experience as a tester, tracking down difficult defects on my own has taken much longer. Through collaboration, we found the cause more quickly and were able to ship the software with a high level of confidence.

What is pair testing in agile

It also provides a cloud Selenium grid for automated testing, which can be accelerated by 10X with parallel testing. The cloud also provides integrations with popular CI/CD tools such as Jira, Jenkins, TeamCity, Travis CI, and much more. Additionally, there are in-built debugging tools that let testers identify and resolve bugs immediately.

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While the driver writes the code, the navigator checks the code being written. The driver focuses on the specifics of coding, while the navigator checks the work, code quality and provides direction. For the record, forcing people to write tests might result in very poor tests, which is opposite to what you want to achieve. I think it might be good idea to pre-assign pairs, ie. Test-aware person with test-reluctant person, so the former can help out and explain why things are being dealt with in a certain way to the later. No code was allowed to be committed if not created in pairs.

  • It can be difficult for testers on one team to know what’s happening on another team.
  • Essentially, a single task is divided between two individuals who exchange ideas, discuss test scenarios, take notes, and generally collaborate to test software functionality.
  • The team members are known as driver and observer/navigator.4.
  • Confirmatory testing concentrates on verifying that the system fulfills the intent of the stakeholders as described to the team to date, and is performed by the team.
  • When two developers shift roles regularly, it is unlikely one programmer will control the workflow.

The main benefit of pair programming is to spread or combine knowledge to solve some problems. If your projects are big, a separate test team is the way to go. Pair programming can be good for spreading knowledge about the code, but can slow down development by focusing too much on irrelevant details. For the moment let us assume the ideal scenario where everyone supports the “best” solution with out any ego issues.

What Combination work’s Best for the Pair Testing?

The outcome of the pair session is information about whether the issue is a bug, and the tester is the person in control. Sometimes, instead of black box testing together at a machine, we collaborated on automated unit test ideas. We began by working on test cases that involved permutations and combinations. From the large number of possibilities, we determined a sample size and chose a set of test cases for automated unit test development. In addition to these tests, I suggested other testing ideas for developers to implement when writing their automated unit tests. When I tested the same feature, I complemented the developers’ unit tests with scenarios they had not covered.

What is pair testing in agile

One potential problem with pair programming is that most managers don’t like it. They think they are paying two people to do the work of one. Given the success of pairing, teammates might be tempted to join forces a little too often.

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The pair session yields information on whether the problem is a bug, and the tester is in command. Breaking Down Silos – When things are moving fast in Agile development teams, testers can often end up in siloed roles — especially if they’re working on a small or single team. When you ask a developer to look into an issue you have encountered in his code, you’re determining together if this is just a test error or a real problem.

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