The agile tester (ˈadʒʌɪl/ ˈtɛstə/) is a mammal member of the family “Exploratoris”. He lives in the wild in small groups named cross-functional agile teams.
Besides communication and technical skills, his main traits are curiosity and empathy.
Curiosity helps the agile tester in finding opportunities to improve the product. The agile tester questions everything.
Empathy allows the agile tester to interact and collaborate with the other members of the agile team smoothly.
The agile tester has an overwhelming interest in delighting customers.
His customers are the product owner and the final users.
He strives in balancing his efforts between making his company successful and delighting the final users by delivering a continuous flow of value to both.
The agile tester spends most of his time having numerous conversations with other members of the team .
He will often speak to and question the product owner and the final user in the quest of real value. The agile tester knows that if he doesn’t understand perfectly what the value to be delivered is, he won’t be able to do his job. He builds a strong understanding of the business context he lives in, to be able to help the product owner identify more valuable solutions. This aspect is extremely important to the agile tester, he strives to contribute to building a better product.
Often he will be found having a conversation with the product owner and a developer. This group of animals also known as “The 3 Amigos”  feed off each other’s knowledge, different perspective and passion for value to resolve all sort of problems and design lean solutions.
Other times he will be seen pair testing while coaching his partner developer or supporting a developer writing checks, or even writing some checks himself.
Some agile testers have been seen speaking to final users to better understand their experience with the application.
He is also sometimes found alone at his desk testing, softly talking to the application under test.
During the night the agile tester studies and researches his craft, sometimes he blogs and if you watch attentively you might spot a lone agile tester engaging in passionate testing conversations on twitter or in a bar in front of a beer.
The agile tester’s’ life would not be possible without the team. He works and lives with the team and for the team, the team is an organism that functions with the agile tester.
The agile tester is a pragmatic animal and doesn’t like the company of moaners that do nothing to improve their condition. The moaner is the nemesis of the agile tester 
The agile tester believes in sustainable development and will not work overtime except for very special circumstances. He will push for process changes to remove other overtime occurrences.
The agile tester and waste
In general the agile tester refuses the concept of waste.
He will not under any circumstance do something “because that’s how we do things here” or “because the boss said so”. He will ask “why?”. If he cannot get an answer that clearly explains what the value is, he won’t do it. He’d rather be fired than spend time doing things that don’t produce value.
On this subject he is known for using lean documentation, he generally enjoys documenting the application he is helping create through executable specifications.
He rejects the waste of bureaucracy and signoffs , in fact it is common seeing agile testers signing off by high five in groups of Three Amigos rather than negotiate contracts.
The agile testers understands that producing, finding and fixing bugs is a wasteful activity and he will strive to help the agile team prevent them and do the thing right the first time as much as humanly possible. The agile tester, not only understands this, but he coaches the developers members of the team on this concept and trains them in learning techniques that help them prevent bugs.
The agile tester believes that his skills are wasted performing regression checks, in fact he employs tools for this menial task.
The agile tester prefers cards and conversations to large documents. He plans his activity just in time and helps build the next parts of the product using discovery.
Some agile testers believe predicting the future is a waste of time and prefer building predictable process rather than estimating, they have been known for insistently using the tag #NoEstimates
Some extremist agile testers even got to the point to say that bug management is waste and have removed bug management tools from their organizations with a positive impact.
The agile tester is a continuous learner.
He believes in agile principles and he studies the impacts of agile software development on his industry trying to learn new approaches to improve his own company and the whole agile community.
He believes that continuous improvement (as in kaizen) means everybody in the agile team is empowered to drive it. He helps other team members bring out their solutions and support them in convincing the team to try and measure results.
He does not believe in best practices but in good practices that can be improved
NEW! Continue reading with Agile Tester part 2, questions and answers !
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