Is TDD considered an agile development methodolotgy?

Is TDD considered an agile development methodolotgy?

Franco Brutti

May 15, 2023

May 15, 2023

May 15, 2023

Is TDD considered an agile development methodolotgy?
Is TDD considered an agile development methodolotgy?
Is TDD considered an agile development methodolotgy?

Have you started to work in software development and want to implement methodologies that allow you to achieve perfect results? Well, that's what TDD and the whole agile development methodology is all about and that's what we’re going to talk about right now. 

We know that if you are a beginner you may have doubts about the terms used in this field since most of them are composed of acronyms.

Among them, there’s TDD (Test Driven Development) which is one that many people use nowadays.

Now, when you have a first face-to-face encounter with it, it’s likely that you will have doubts about whether or not it’s considered an agile development methodology.

But don't worry, we’re here to help you and that’s why we will be explaining this topic bit by bit so that you are not left with any doubts.

What is an agile development methodology?

Before talking about TDD, let's define what an agile development methodology is.

It’s a working model applied to software development that aims to develop projects in parts so that customers can see how the software is progressing.

This creates a big difference compared to other work methodologies in which customers must wait until the software is finished to test it, and let's be honest, some software can take a long time to be completed.

That’s why to cover these shortcomings in this type of service, agile development is presented as a flexible way of working that is composed of a series of short work cycles.

This will also allow you to define the objectives to be met and create the teams that will be in charge of each of the necessary tasks.

Thanks to this type of development model, it’s possible to achieve better collaboration with the client, because, at the end of the day, he is the one who needs the software and who’s going to use it on a daily basis.

So it’s such a flexible methodology that it even allows changes along the process according to the customer's satisfaction or not with the progress that has been made.

This is even beneficial for you, as you can ensure that you deliver good final software.

Is it beneficial to work with an agile development methodology?

It should be taken into account that this type of work model has been in use since 2001, so everyone who has used it since its creation has had enough time to try it out and take advantage of it.

Of course, at the time it was a turning point in the software development process and presented a number of benefits compared to the traditional way of doing it.

And this is thanks to the fact that a series of values were established that would become the main characteristics of this type of methodology.

In it, people and their interactions with software development are taken as a fundamental factor, which places as a priority the collaboration that the client has with the project.

At the same time, instead of documenting all the changes that are made, the software is used in operation to provide better visualization of everything that has been done.

So, yes, wherever you look, agile development methodologies are beneficial and very useful for those who want to work in the creation of software today.

How to start working with an agile development methodology?

We’re aware that those who have not had the opportunity to implement this work model may have some doubts about its use, and this is quite normal.

That’s why if you’re already thinking about taking advantage of this type of methodology, it may be helpful to take into account the following tips:

1. Prepare your work team well

As we’ve already mentioned, if you want to apply the TDD methodology, you must take into account that you will need the participation of several employees and you will have to divide them into teams according to each stage to be fulfilled in the software development.

However, the fact that each one is in charge of one of the stages doesn’t mean that they will work in isolation.

On the contrary, it becomes essential that everyone is in constant communication so that everyone has clear objectives and can communicate with each other regarding the changes that each one has made.

So it comes in handy to work with project organization tools through which you can have fluid and continuous communication in which the client must also be included so that he is aware of everything.

2. Start with a project first that works as a test

Now, if this is the first time you are going to use this work model, we recommend that you do not go headlong into developing a large or complex project.

As with everything, if you’re going to do something for the first time, it’s best to start with something small that works as a test and allows you to identify whether it is what you need or not.

That’s why the second tip we’re going to give you is to start with a small project that allows you to test if it’s a methodology that will work for the work you want to do.

3. Choose a single structure to use

When you start researching the implementation of this type of methodology, it’s likely that you will come across many types (as is the case of TDD, which we will talk about later).

Given the wide variety of options, there are those who prefer to use some elements of each one to create a kind of hybrid work system.

While it is true that this is something that can be beneficial, it may not be the best option for those who are just starting out in this world.

Therefore, in order for you to test the benefits of this methodology, it is best to choose a single framework and use it throughout the software development.

4. Analyze the results to determine if they have been positive

When the first project you’ve developed with this methodology is completed, it’s time to analyze the results obtained to determine whether they have been positive or not.

If you’ve followed these tips, it’s likely that you’ve found it amazing to use this methodology and your results have been positive.

But, we know that we cannot generalize and we are well aware that work methodologies will have satisfactory results as long as they are adapted to what you are trying to achieve.

That is why, after finishing, you should carry out a business analysis that will allow you to determine whether it’s a methodology that you can continue to use or not.

What is TDD?

Now that we’re clear about what this type of methodology is about, it’s time to get into the subject and talk about TDD.

Its acronym refers to Test Drive Development, so it’s a type of process that focuses on the idea of testing first, then writing the code and, finally, refactoring it.

Thanks to this, we have a new way of developing software that allows us to experiment better with the whole process and helps us to work according to a trial-and-error philosophy.

It should be noted that TDD is based on a three-part cycle that is repeated each time a specific program is to be developed.

The first phase is the red phase, in which code testing is performed. It is assumed that failures will occur in this phase because it is the first attempt and therefore it is categorized as red.

After this, we move on to the green phase in which the code is written as such, but with the intention of passing the test. In other words, after the first failure phase, the passing phase would follow.

Therefore, the final phase would be the refactor phase, which is usually represented with the color blue and refers to the moment when the code is refactored.

That is to say, it will be when the code is clean after passing the test in order to obtain the final result of the project.

working with an agile development methodology

Why is TDD considered an agile development methodology?

It’s likely that after knowing what TDD is, you’ve been able to find the answer to this question on your own, but we are here to tell you that, in fact, it is.

TDD is considered an agile development methodology and, as if this were not enough, it is one of the most widely used today.

It falls into this group of working models because it allows the testing process to be supported throughout the development. Therefore, it will allow you to be sure that the final result will be effective and fail-safe.

So, if you want to start focusing your work under the magnifying glass of an agile methodology, you could start applying TDD when it’s your turn to create software.

Aspects to keep in mind when using TDD as an Agile Development Methodology

If you’ve not yet developed any software under this methodology, it’s important that you take into account some aspects that will allow you to prepare yourself in the best possible way so that you can put it into practice and obtain good results.

As you can imagine, being part of such a thorough group of methodologies, it’s necessary to have good previous preparation before getting down to work.

Therefore, some points you should be clear about before starting are the following:

  1. You must be clear about the requirements of the code to be developed, taking into consideration the functions you want it to fulfill.

  2. Establish which are the acceptance criteria for the software operation.

  3. Take into account the customer's needs for the test design.

  4. Be willing to go through as many tests as necessary to ensure that the final result is adequate.  

What do experts think about TDD as an agile methodology?

As with everything, the topic of TDD and agile development methodologies in general cause a stir and make several people have mixed feelings about it.

If we’re talking about expert developers, you are going to find two groups: those who are for and those who are against.

Of course, those who are in favor are all those who have implemented this type of methodology and it has allowed them to obtain many benefits at work.

On the other hand, those who are against it are usually those who have not given it a good try because they are not convinced of how it works and dismiss it as something "too complicated".

The truth is that, if you are not willing to dedicate the necessary time to try new things, you are going to continue working with outdated methodologies that, in the long run, could make you spend a greater amount of time in vain.

So, if you want to take into account the opinions of experts, we recommend you be guided by those who have tried them and can offer more concrete judgments on the matter.

Now that you are more than clear that TDD is an agile development methodology and that, indeed, it has been used by many programmers, it will be your time to use it to test everything it is capable of doing.

We hope that the tips we gave you about TDD have been useful for you to take advantage of it.

Remember that if you want to become a programming professional, we have several educational programs and surely some of them fit your academic goals.

Also, if you find the information valuable, don't hesitate to share it with your co-workers.