Agile Testing Pyramid

Agile Testing Pyramid Simplified For Beginners!


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Product testing is viewed as a very essential step before the product is released for the end customer. Depending on the nature and complexity of the product, you should utilize the best testing approaches to find issues and improve product quality with each release.

Automation testing has numerous advantages over manual testing because automation test frameworks such as Selenium can save a significant amount of time while also lowering overall costs and improving test coverage. The Agile Testing Pyramid idea might be useful in developing a solid plan for implementing automated software testing. The Agile Testing methodology is a great way to distinguish between standard software testing and testing for iterative development.

In this article, we will learn about the Agile testing pyramid.

Detailed Look at the Agile Testing Pyramid

The Agile Testing Pyramid was first suggested by Mike Cohn in his book, Success with Agile. Below is a simple representation of the Agile Testing Pyramid.

From the above figure, you can estimate that the Agile Test automation pyramid is nothing but an inverted ice cream cone. Unlike the traditional approach, the base of the pyramid is stronger since Agile testing quadrants are dependent on automation. As there is more enrichment from the developer team working on the project, there is enhanced engagement between the teams. The core agenda of the testing activity also shifts from finding bugs to the prevention of bugs.

Adopting this approach requires a shift in mindset at every stage within the organization. In Agile methodology, complicated user requirements are classified into various user stories. The whole idea behind creating a user story is looking at a requirement by wearing the shoes of the customer and then looking for ways to achieve it simplistically.

User stories always include details about a feature, technical and non-technical requirements, business requirements, etc. Experience and effective Agile teams code facilitate the entire testing procedure by reducing the time required to convert acceptance criteria for user stories to automation tests.

Layers of the Agile Test Automation Pyramid

Here are the different layers of Agile Testing Pyramid:

1. Unit Test

The unit test forms the base layer of the pyramid. Normally, unit tests are written by developers to write test code to validate functionalities developed by them. As the test concentrates on testing a particular feature or functionality, a good developer could come up with a good number of unit test cases in a short period.

Unlike other tests, unit tests are also written to discover bugs, but the data that a developer can derive from unit tests is more when compared to other types of tests. The developer could get information about a particular side effect that the code could have on other features, the origin of the issue, or details about where in the code the fault issue has occurred.

2. Service/API Layer Tests

Most modern applications support third-party developers to develop an ecosystem around the product or application. It is possible by exposing APIs and Web services to third-party developers. This is because APIs have no dependency on the UI layer. Testers can make use of this API to come up with unit tests to verify underlying features of the product. Although the scope of API testing might vary depending on the type of project or application,

3. User Interface (UI) Tests

In this layer, you would be testing the product from the perspective of an end-user. As a tester, your top priority will be ensuring that UI design flow is in line with design requirements. There are chances that your product will have a service or middle layer, in which case you will have verified the functionalities from the perspective of the product.

Advantages of the Agile Testing Pyramid

Now that you are informed about the blocks that constitute the pyramid, let's have a look at some of the high-impact advantages of this model:

  1. Unlike the traditional approach to testing, testers who use this Agile Testing methodology won't work in a silo and have a perfect view of the product. They get an opportunity to interact with other key stakeholders in the project. There is more team bonding as far as this method is concerned. As the automation test cases are implemented in coordination with the development team, providing better automation code quality and code coverage could be much better when compared to the traditional testing approach.
  2. Code coverage automation coverage is an important key performance indicator for a developer working on test code. When the test code is written by embedding more importance in the user interface layer, there are fewer chances to verify the core business logic or backend functionality of the product. as the turnaround time of testing is less coverage, even via automation. It is contrary to what you achieved by deploying the test automation pyramid model for your testing activity.
  3. Even in the latter stages of a project, project requirements can change. Along with the code used for development, test code also needs timely maintenance. The cost of code maintenance in the traditional model could be significantly higher as compared to the Agile model. In the case of the Agile approach, user requirements are broken down into different user stories, and a user story isn't considered to be complete till it's time. The overall maintenance is much better in the Agile testing process and there is better ROI as well.


With fast-changing business scenarios, time to market is crucial and any delay in project deadlines could result in a significant amount of loss to the organization. Instead of the traditional testing model, the Agile Testing quadrants could be used to enhance overall productivity, reduce time to market and improve the overall quality of the end product.

As the goal is to cut costs and improve quality, using the Agile Test automation pyramid could be helpful to achieve the best results from every layer in the pyramid. The productivity and turnaround time could be additionally improved by making use of a cross-browser testing platform that can minimize the time required for various tests. It is suggested that you carefully chart out each user story while planning to implement an Agile testing process.

Also read: Agile Testing Best Practices for Increasing Productivity

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