How to learn Agile from 0?

When I moved from a waterfall to an Agile environment it was a whole company decision. We contracted in some developers to help us learn about agile and how to adapt our practices to be more Agile. It’s only with hindsight that I realise how fortunate I was to get that experience.

Just yesterday on testers chat someone was advised to adopt some Agile practices (good advice given the issue they were having). But they hadn’t had exposure to the agile manifesto.

When I thought about it after it really got me wondering how we can help people in these situations. There are more than we imagine I believe. If your company isn’t on board with Agile or doesn’t want to work that way for whatever reason, how can you get experience or an understanding of Agile from 0?

It’s not easy to just change jobs to an Agile environment either. Many job specs say “previous experience in an agile environment is required”. This can be a blocker to changing jobs. Of course we can argue that companies worth working for won’t have it as a requirement but that, I feel, is for a different thread.

How can we help people with 0 experience of Agile prepare for such an environment?


I don’t have an answer, but I’d love one. Often I get told what the behaviours of agile are, or what the artifacts look like, but I rarely get told why. A good answer (which I want but don’t yet have), to me, would say why as well as how velocity useful, why use kanban boards, what use these things are and exactly how they reflect the values of agile. That way it’s not a tool we’re using because we’re told to, but a way of thinking and behaving and what tools we have to help us do that.


First thought - read the books:

  • Agile Testing: A Practical Guide for Testers and Agile Teams
  • More Agile Testing: Learning Journeys for the Whole Team

by @lisa.crispin and @janet_gregory.
Perhaps not free, but full of insights and experience.


@jesper - I can’t like this post enough. Those two books are worth every cent you spend on them.

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Turns out our office library has Agile Testing. It was sitting 2 meters away all the time. Ta muchly :slight_smile:


There’s also a couple of great little books - literally little books - which give you a very quick intro to Agile, Scrum and Agile Testing.
They are:

  • Scrum: A breathtakingly brief and Agile introduction

  • Agile Testing: An Overview

Both of these are a great intro to the concepts and language of Agile.
As someone who started out in the waterfall world, these have been very handy purchases and there’s nearly always one of them in my bag when working onsite.


Agile is mindset driven. I find people that exhibit a curious mindset, can self develop, share learnings from the self development, have passion, and a team player will grab the agile mindset and adapt to it quicker. There is no silver bullet to learning agile, but here’s some tips. Get to understand the manifesto and the principles behind it. Start attending agile meetups, and talk to people. Watch the Spotify videos, all 3 of them. Don’t copy them, it’s spotifys way of working, but draw inspiration. Try to learn about lean thinking, and the Phoenix Project book is awesome for this. Join the agile alliance, loads of useful stuff there. Open mind, and collaboration are key to learning


First of all Agile Model process is more effective as compared to waterfall modal and is used by most of the software testing companies now a days. Agile Process is followed because it allows us to have development and testing in good rhythm for complete development time period of a project. In this process, Testing and development process works in parallel which is not found in waterfall modal.

Key Elements to learn Agile process from scratch are Sprint, Sprint Planning, Daily Scrum Meet, Sprint Review Meeting, Sprint Retrospective Meeting.

Sprint is defined time period in which the development and testing work for decided stories and tasks has to be done. These stories and tasks are the features which we want to implement in our application.

Sprint Planning:
In Sprint Planning, stories that are to be worked upon are pulled into the Sprint and respective points as per their complexity are provided to them.

Daily Scrum Meet:
In Daily Scrum Meet, developers and testers update the Scrum Master about the progress they have made along Sprint.

Sprint Review Meeting:
In Sprint Review Meeting, developers and testers show their overall progress with the product. In this meeting, developers and testers provide the demo of the implemented feature to the Product Owner.

Sprint Retrospective Meeting:
In Sprint Retrospective Meeting, Scrum Master discuss all the points (including what worked well and what can we improve) related to the Sprint. Also, feedback for getting better next Sprint is taken from all the engineers.

So, these above written are the short steps for getting good knowledge of Agile process. Hope this information is clear and you can get back to us in case need more information.


Recently I did a presentation at a Bootcamp showcase on Agile. As Agile celebrated its 20th anniversary this year I decided to talk on what Agile is? I have covered few of the points in my blog below. What is Agile?

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Don’t go anywhere else! Start here:


My favorite spot on that link are the videos (wealth!)

The subway map is also a great place for a beginner to start exploring (