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Top Agile Interview Questions

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Top Agile Interview Questions

Agile is one of the most widely used iterative approaches to project management and software development. It is a time-boxed method where the software development team builds and delivers software incrementally to clients or stakeholders, instead of delivering it once it is developed completely. 

The primary idea behind an agile approach is to split a project into small portions of user functionality, called user stories, prioritizing these user stories, and continuously delivering them within two-week cycles, called iterations. 

The Agile methodology has been tremendously popular in the software industry in the past decade. Being increasingly adopted by companies and enterprises globally, it opens up a large number of career opportunities. But before you ace those agile interview questions, you might want to choose the best agile certification. Having this agile certification on your resume strengthens your profile and increases your chances of getting hired. 

Agile methodology flow chart image

If you are looking for possible jobs in Agile and are preparing for your next Agile interview, you’ll need to be thorough in your understanding of it. Here, we present some frequently-asked agile interview questions along with the answers. 

Beginner Agile Interview Questions

These Agile interview questions and answers are split into two sections, one for beginner level concepts and the other for more advanced ones. We’ll start with the beginner level Agile interview questions. 

1. What is the Agile methodology?

Agile is an iterative and incremental approach to software development. It defines the project management process for developing software. The clients and the developers collaborate to work as requirements change over the course of development.

With the Agile methodology, the software development team divides the project into smaller parts and works on them incrementally for quick client feedback with continual improvement. The team uses these backlogs to understand the final product and help the development process move along. This approach is popular and effective because it also involves the clients and their feedback, which results in quick updates.

 

2. What is Agile testing?

Agile testing is used for testing the software for any potential defect, error, or another issue that could compromise its working. It is one of the most critical steps in the software development process. It asks for testers and developers to collaborate to boost performance and productivity. 

With proper agile testing, you guarantee the delivery of high-quality products. The testing is commonly performed to find loopholes in a software product so developers can resolve that issue for a better user experience.

 

3. What are the principles of Agile testing?

The following are some widely accepted principles of agile testing: 

  • Provide Continuous Feedback: Agile testers not only test constantly but also share the results of the test with end-users, gather their feedback, and share it with developers to produce a more robust product.   
  • Deliver Value to Customer: This principle is of the highest importance while developing any software product. The ultimate objective of any agile tester is to generate the best possible product for end customers. 
  • Decrease Feedback Response Time: With the business team also closely involved, testers should work on reducing the feedback response time
  • Keep it Simple: Agile testers keep testing extremely simple, i.e., they only carry out tests that are necessary. They try to deliver a simple product with the best value, and ensure that the bugs are corrected within the same iteration. 
  • Practice Continuous Improvement: Agile testers make continuous improvements to the product
  • Respond to Change: Agile testers always respond to the feedback they get from customers to each user story of a product. 
  • Less Documentation: The testing team should follow a standard set of practices to reduce documentation and streamline the process 

     

4. What are some advantages of the Agile process?

The following are the most significant advantages of the Agile process:

  • Enhances team collaboration
  • Adapts as per the changing client’s requirement
  • Helps in delivering a high-quality product
  • Involves continuous development
  • Entertains the client’s feedback for quick development
  • Eliminates the errors at the earliest stage of software development
  • Helps in managing complex projects by dividing them into sprints or iterations.
  • You can adapt agile methodology where the project’s goal is not defined
  • It helps in delivering the products quickly

     

5. What are some disadvantages of the Agile process?

Here are some downsides of using the Agile process.

  • No formal documentation
  • The teams cannot estimate the resources requirement and effort required to complete development in advance
  • Inadvisable for small development projects
  • More expensive than other methodologies
  • More time and effort is invested due to continuous feedback

     

6. What are the different types of Agile methodologies?

Software development teams can adopt any of the following agile methodologies for software development.

  • Scrum: It creates hypotheses, tests them, reflects on the experience, and makes adjustments. It primarily focuses on feedback, self-management, managing small teams, and work divided into small and equal sprints. 
  • FDD (Feature-Driven Development): It helps in creating software models in a time frame of two weeks. It is a lightweight and incremental software development process that ensures the development of a stable software on time.  
  • Lean Software Development: It minimizes waste and maximizes value. 
  • XP (Extreme Programming): It creates high-quality, low-risk software, ensuring clients’ needs. The software is tested from day one and works on feedback to improve the development process. 
  • Kanban: It uses the Kanban board to measure progress, adding details about the product and making it accessible to all other team members.

     

7. What are the qualities of a good Agile tester?

The following qualities define an excellent Agile tester:

  • Good communication skills
  • Can adapt to a client’s changing requirements
  • Can prioritize appropriately
  • Strong problem solver
  • Focus
  • Creative 

     

8. What is the biggest difference between sprint backlog and product backlog?

Sprint backlog: The sprint backlog is used to store all the required details necessary to complete a particular sprint. These backlogs hold all the necessary features and requirements regarding that specific sprint. 

Product backlog: The product backlog comes with the essential details and features for a particular product. It is created and maintained by the project owner. It holds everything required to complete the software development process, and breaks down the items into several steps to reach the end product.

 

9. What is refactoring?

Refactoring flow chart image

Refactoring changes the internal structure of a software product without impacting its external behavior. Red-Green is a commonly practiced Agile refactoring technique. It only takes a few code tweaks to make the changes.

 

10. What are the resultant challenges of adopting Agile methodology?

The following are some critical challenges that comes as a result of adopting the Agile methodology:

  • It primarily focuses on rigorous testing and customer involvement
  • Developers need to complete every feature before moving on to the next one
  • It impacts management to a large extent
  • Code needs extra attention for the software to work as intended
  • It requires a good deal more of planning before development begins

     

11. What is the difference between Agile and traditional methodologies?

The following table highlights the key differences between Agile and traditional methodologies:

 

Agile Software Development

Traditional Software Development

Focuses on teamwork, customer collaboration, communication, and other features

Focuses on upfront planning and costing, scope, and deadlines

Testing is conducted simultaneously with development activity

Testing is generally conducted at the end of the development activity

Features are tested as and when they are developed

Post-development, a complete application is tested 

It engages stakeholders and customers during development

It does not engage stakeholders

Testers and developers work together as a team

Testers and developers work do not collaborate as much

Continuous interaction with customers during each sprint

Collaborate with customers only at the requirement phase

Flexible

Not as flexible 

Suitable for large or complex projects

Suitable for small or less complex projects

 

12. What is “velocity” in Agile?

The term “velocity” is used to measure the work done and the time required to complete a single sprint. The teams use velocity as a calibration tool for creating an accurate and efficient timeline to complete the sprint. It helps team members identify issues and measure improvements. 

 

13. What is a sprint in Agile?

Sprints are the core feature of the agile method, and having an excellent sprint helps the team deliver a product quickly and efficiently. Sprint is considered a short period required by the scrum team to complete a specific amount of work. Each project is divided into sprints that break down into small phases. The result of one sprint impacts the success of the next. 

The team is responsible for deciding the number of sprints at the start of the project. Also, they can increase or decrease those numbers accordingly. Make sure that each sprint is of equal length.

 

14. How does the agile team maintain requirements?

The agile team uses a product backlog to manage the customers’ needs. They have an agreement signed between the stakeholders and product managers to deliver the software quickly and ensure high quality.

 

15. Can you explain incremental and iterative development?

Iterative Development: The software development cycles keep repeating until the final product is achieved. The feedback that customers or users provide is used to make improvements in the cycles, resulting in new functionalities added iteratively. 

Incremental Development: This process divides software development into increments or pieces. The incremental development process provides a new set of functionalities with each increment. The change can be either small or large, and is tested thoroughly and merged together in the end to form a single piece of software.

agile scrum fundamentals udemy

 

16. What are the differences between Agile and Scrum?

Agile is a software development approach where complex projects are broken into small sprints. Scrum is a particular kind of agile methodology that shares the same principles and values of Agile, while adding some of its unique features on top of it.  

The following table draws some key differences between Agile and Scrum:

Agile

Scrum 

Suitable for projects with a small team of experts

Suitable for projects where the requirements keep changing

A long-term process

A short-term process

It has a straightforward design

It requires innovation, creating designs, and execution

The project head handles each task

The entire team handles every task

17. Why is continuous integration in Agile important?

The following are the reasons why continuous integration is essential in Agile:

  • You can maintain a proper schedule by detecting bugs on time and fixing them at the moment of discovery
  • You can ensure the stable quality of the product irrespective of the frequent agile code delivery
  • Ensures the quality of the codebase
  • As the complex project is broken down into smaller parts or, say, branches, with continuous delivery, you can find out the impact of work on those branches has on the main branch. It also takes care of the automatic building and merging function.

18. What are some reasons for choosing the Agile methodology over others?

The following are the main reasons that can influence the decision to choose agile for software development and testing:

  • It helps reduce technical debt. This refers to maintenance tasks such as refactoring, resolving defects, testing, etc. In traditional methodologies, debts accumulate quickly as the primary focus is on adding new features. However, in agile, every defect and feature change is logged in the backlog, referred to in every sprint to determine what to do and achieve next.

     

  • With agile, you can quickly adapt to new changes in project requirements. It allows the team members to work at a specific time and manage the customers’ needs, so they do not have to wait long to make a change, approve, or review. 

     

  • Agile methodology enhances work transparency by facilitating collaboration between the tester, developers, and stakeholders. It helps everyone take part in the development of a product and produce a more stable product, leaving little to no space for error and miscommunication. 

     

  • Agile methodology helps in minimizing risks as the team gets consistent feedback from their customers or clients. It allows everyone to be on the same page and reduces unnecessary effort on the part of the team. Each sprint is customer-focused and, as such, team members can develop a product as expected by customers.

     

  • With agile methodology, the team will define a tentative date for the release, which is not possible with traditional methods. This is only possible as the work is done in time-boxed sprints. This allows the customer to judge the progress of their product.

     

  • Agile methodology engages customers throughout the development process. This is important for everyone to be on the same page and helps in the review of development at the end of each sprint. 

     

19. What is pair programming and what are its advantages?

In agile, pair programming refers to when two people write code together, either on the same machine or different ones. One person is dedicated to writing the code, and the other reviews each line of that code. 

The following are some significant benefits of pair programming in agile methodology: 

  • Facilitates higher quality code
  • Eliminates the risk of errors
  • Allows you to share knowledge
  • Improves productivity
  • Encourages collaboration

     

20. What is your understanding of the Agile Manifesto?

The Agile Manifesto is an important document that declares the essential values and principles that are characteristic of an Agile software development cycle.  Introduced in 2001, it has four values and 12 principles aimed at improving the development process. It helps the team members work more efficiently, enhances collaboration, iterative development, and much more.
 

21. What are the core values of the Agile Manifesto?

There are a total of 4 essential values mentioned in the Agile Manifesto, as listed below:

  • Individuals and collaboration over processes and tools: This emphasizes consistent client communication and collaboration.
  • Working software over comprehensive documentation: This encourages project completion and final deliverables rather than investing time in creating lengthy documentation.
  • Customer collaboration over contract negotiation: This encourages customers engagement in all project phases, so everyone is on the same page.
  • Adapting to frequent change over following a plan: This motivates the entire team to adapt to changes quickly rather than being fixated on a specific plan. 

     

22. What are the principles of the Agile Manifesto?

Every organization using the agile methodology has to adhere to the below principles for effective results. The following are the core principles stated in the Agile Manifesto:

  • Customer Satisfaction: The priority to fulfill customer demands.
  • Welcome Change: Changes are essential for improvement; thus, it has to be  addressed throughout the development process.
  • Deliver Frequently: High-quality products have to be delivered within a short  timescale.
  • Work Together: The stakeholders and team members communicate throughout the development process.
  • Motivated Team: Motivation is essential for delivering high-quality products, so they should be given an environment to perform well.
  • Face-to-Face:  Effective conveying information. 
  • Working Software: Helps measure the progress towards the final product.
  • Constant Pace: Ensures everyone should work at a constant pace to deliver working software.
  • Good Design: Having good design and technical details helps to improve agility (quick and graceful).
  • Simplicity: Dividing complex tasks into smaller ones to make development easier.
  • Self-organization: Agile teams should be cross-functional and self-organized without dependence on a manager to assign work. 
  • Reflect and Adjust: Reflecting on how to become more efficient and assessing the working style regularly. This helps the team learn from their mistakes and try to address them in the next sprint.

Advanced Agile Interview Questions

23. What are burnup and burndown charts in Agile?

  • Burnup Chart: This chart represents completed work, as well as the total amount of work that needs finishing for a specific sprint or iteration.   
  • Burndown Chart: This is used to represent the remaining work for the project’s completion.

     

24. What are the different types of burndown charts?

The following are the different types of burndown charts: 

  • Product Burndown Chart: Displays each completed sprint’s story points and its accomplishment requirements. It mainly displays the achieved product goals and remaining work. 
  • Sprint Burndown Chart: Displays the remaining work for a particular sprint. It represents the team’s progress and the remaining work. 
  • Release Burndown Chart: Displays the team’s progress against the total work for a specific release. The scrum team updates the chart with the required changes made during the sprint at the end of each sprint. 
  • Defect Burndown Chart: Displays the total number of defects that are being identified, and subsequently fixed or removed.

     

25. What are the different types of sprint meetings?

Since the agile methodology emphasizes collaboration, it calls for various meetings for each sprint to determine what needs to be done, changed, or improved. The following are the different types of sprint meetings conducted:

  • Sprint Planning Meeting: The features and product backlog items are discussed (user stories) here. The product owner, Scrum Master, and Scrum Team together conduct this meeting to discuss the major points of a sprint. This meeting takes place every week. 
  • Sprint Review Meeting: Here, the Scrum team demonstrates the product. This meeting is useful when the team is required to review the product and make the required changes. The product owner states which items are completed and which remain. He or she can add items to the product backlog if the requirements change. 
  • Sprint Retrospective Meeting: This meeting takes place after the Sprint planning meeting to inspect decisions, and discuss past mistakes and review ways to resolve them. This meeting is necessary for the improvement of the development process and lasts a few hours. 

     

26. What are some commonly used metrics in Agile methodology?

Agile metrics are essential to keep track of the work done and pending work. It helps the team and stakeholders develop a progress report and improve their pace through collaboration. To quantify these concepts, the agile methodology has enumerated certain metrics, as mentioned below:

  • Velocity: Measures the amount of completed work during a sprint.
  • Cumulative Flow Diagram: This is a flow diagram that measures the current status of ongoing work and manages flow stability. 
  • Defect Removal Awareness: Measures the ability of the development team to remove defects to ensure quality products. 
  • Work Category Allocation: Defines the prioritization of tasks. 
  • Defect Resolution Time: Measures the total time taken to identify and fix the defects. 
  • Time Coverage or Code Coverage: Measures the time taken to test the code. 
  • Business Value Delivered: Measures the team’s efficiency.

     

27. What do you know about the “zero sprint” in Agile?

In agile methodology, Zero Sprint refers to the first step carried out before the first sprint. It is also referred to as the pre-step to the first sprint. 

Zero Sprint includes activities that need to be completed before starting a project, such as setting up the development environment, preparing backlog, and other tasks usually done before beginning the actual development process. 

 

28. Can you explain what safe agile is?

SAFe stands for Scaled Agile Framework. It is a collection of planning and workflow patterns that uses agile practices. SAFe encourages teamwork, collaboration, and delivery to large numbers of fast-moving teams. 

 

29. How do agile teams create estimates?

You can use estimates to calculate the budget for your project. The following are the top three levels used by agile teams to create estimates:

1) The project level uses the Quick Function Point Analysis at the early stage of project development.

2) The Release Standard assigns the story points to user issues to prioritize them. It also specifies which issues are taken from the current release.

3) The sprint level separates the user issues from tasks, states the person responsible and the status of the jobs, and the average hours for tasks depending on their severity.

 

30. Can you explain the “planning poker” technique in Agile?

Planning poker explanatory diagram

Planning Poker, also referred to as Scrum Poker, is a consensus-based tool that helps in estimating the time and effort required to complete each task mentioned in the product backlog. 

It helps the team identify issues in advance. It is mainly used to avoid too much external influence and encourages each member to think independently with their opinion. This makes meetings more productive and creates potential estimates with respect to the whole team’s involvement.

 

31. What do you understand about the term “user story” in Agile?

In an agile framework, a user story is considered the smallest work unit that describes the features of the software from the user’s perspective. These stories are simple words describing the expected results. The user can later add new requirements to the user story.

 

32. What is Scrum and what are its advantages?

Scrum is a lightweight process that encourages teamwork and manages product development to ensure the delivery of high-quality products in time. It helps in the managing of the entire development process until all the customer’s requirements are met. Like the general agile process, the product is developed in the shortest period known as a sprint that allows team members to manage development tasks.  

The following are some significant upsides of Scrum: 

  • Make quick releases and make them available to users and customers
  • Ensures effective management of time and money to save cost
  • Well suited for fast development projects
  • Quickly adapt to rapid changes within the project
  • Enhance creativity and innovation
  • Divides complex projects into manageable sprints

     

33. What are the different roles in the scrum?

The following are the three different roles in the scrum: 

  • Scrum Master: A Scrum Master is the team’s supervisor, and is responsible for making sure that the team executes their tasks efficiently
  • Product Owner: A Product Owner is the project’s stakeholder, and is tasked with managing the product backlog and defining what to build for the team
  • Development Team: The development team involves the entire team, who collectively work to deliver the final software product

     

34. What are the Scrum Master’s responsibilities?

The following are the responsibilities of the scrum master:

  • Keeping their team motivated and focused on their tasks
  • Guiding all team members so that they achieve the sprint goal efficiently
  • Building an organized and motivated team
  • Ensuring that the team delivers as expected
  • Making sure that all values, practices, and principles of Scrum are followed
  • Eliminating external obstacles for the team
  • Resolving general issues

     

35. What is timeboxing in Scrum?

Timeboxing is a critical time management tool that limits the time spent to complete a specific task. It simply allows a specific amount of time for each task, known as a time box. 

The maximum length of any timebox is 15 minutes and it can be changed as required. Timeboxing helps improve focus and increases productivity. There are some events in Scrum that are timeboxed, which are listed below:

  • Sprint 
  • Sprint Planning 
  • Daily Scrum 
  • Sprint Review 
  • Sprint retrospective 

     

36. What do you know about impediments in Scrum?

Impediments are simply distractions that hinder the team’s progress. It reduces the performance and productivity of the team, which, in turn, reduces the velocity of the project. The scrum master must try to eliminate the impediments to improve performance. 

Some common impediments are listed below:

  • Resource crunches
  • An unhealthy work environment
  • Technical or operational issues
  • Power or server outages
  • Lack of knowledge about agile or scrum
  • Business-related issues, like those related to a company

     

Use These Agile Interview Questions to Prepare Well

Agile methodology has changed the development and testing environment by improving the performance and productivity of the team members. It encourages team collaboration and consistent communication with the stakeholders. 

Therefore, developers, testers, and stakeholders are all on the same page throughout the development process. The immense benefits of the agile methodology is now widely accepted and has proven to be one of the best project management and software development approaches. 

We hope that these agile interview questions will help you prepare for your interview. There is much more to be learned about Agile, but these questions serve as an excellent starting databank for Agile methodology interview questions. 

 

Interested in expanding your knowledge?

Learn the Agile Methodology

Related Reading:

 

Sameeksha Medewar

Sameeksha Medewar

Sameeksha is a freelance content writer for more than half and a year. She has a hunger to explore and learn new things. She possesses a bachelor's degree in Computer Science. View all posts by the Author

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