Waterfall project management separates development and testing into two different steps: developers build a feature and then "throw it over the wall" to the quality assurance team (QA) for testing. The QA team writes and executes detailed test plans. They also file defects when painstakingly checking for regressions in existing features that may have been caused by new work.

Many teams using these waterfall or other traditional testing models find that as the product grows, the amount of testing grows exponentially‚Äďand QA invariably struggles to keep up. Project owners face an unwelcome choice: delay the release, or skimp on testing. (I'll give you one guess as to which option wins 99% of the time.) In the mean time, development has moved onto something else. So not only is technical debt mounting, but addressing each defect requires an expensive context switch between two parts of the code base. Insult, meet injury.

To make matters worse, QA teams are traditionally rewarded according to how many bugs they find, which puts developers on the defensive. What if there was a better way for both developers and QA to reduce the number of bugs in the code while also eliminating those painful trade-offs project owners have to make? Wouldn't it create better all-around software?

Enter agile testing.

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