What is Testing Pyramid? How Does It Benefit Agile Teams?

April 25, 2024Yamini Priya
What is Testing Pyramid How Does It Benefit Agile Teams

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Consider you’re building a house, and you start by laying a strong foundation before adding the walls, roof, and other finishing touches. Just as a house needs a solid foundation to stand the test of time, software development needs a reliable foundation of testing to ensure that the final product meets the needs of users and the business. And that is where the testing pyramid comes in.

In this article, we will explore what the testing pyramid is, how it works, and how it benefits agile teams. Let’s dive in!

What is a Testing Pyramid?

The testing pyramid is a testing strategy that can help developers and testers create high-quality products. It lets developers quickly identify whether their code changes have caused any issues, thus saving them time. Also, it helps QAs to build a powerful test suite.

It was introduced by Mike Cohn in his book “Succeeding with Agile.” It is one of the popular strategies in software testing that illustrates the distribution of different types of tests in a test suite.

Testing Pyramid
Testing Pyramid

Test Automation Pyramid Functions at Three Levels

The test automation pyramid is usually divided into three levels, with each level representing a different type of test as follows,

  1. Unit tests
  2. Integration tests
  3. End-to-End tests

Let’s talk about these tests in detail below,

Unit Testing

Unit testing is the base of the test pyramid. It helps test the individual components of a large codebase. They are essential as they identify code-level issues that could cause problems down the line. According to a recent survey, 97% of businesses consider unit testing as extremely important in their testing strategy.

It helps developers ensure that each unit of code, such as function or method, is working as intended, thereby helping them detect bugs in the initial stages of software development.

Overall, unit testing helps improve code efficiency, thereby helping developers build a robust product.

Who Performs Unit Tests?

Software developers do unit testing. They are responsible for determining if their code works or not.

When is Unit Testing Performed?

Unit tests are typically performed during the development phase.

Best Practices for Unit Testing

  1. Do not test anything that can not fail
  2. Keep your tests simple
  3. Ensure to use relevant test data
  4. Create readable tests
  5. Test one scenario per test
  6. Automate your unit tests
  7. Write independent tests
  8. Have a proper naming convention for your test cases.
  9. Make sure your unit tests are repeatable and scalable

Top 5 Tools for Unit Testing

Though there are several tools available in the market, the following are the top 5 unit testing tools:

1. NUnit NUnit is a popular open-source unit testing framework for .NET applications.

2. JUnit JUnit is a popular open-source unit testing framework for Java applications.

3. TestNG Similar to JUnit, TestNG is also an automation testing framework that supports Java.

4. Mocha Mocha is a JavaScript-based testing framework that supports unit testing. It runs on Node JS and offers multiple features like browser support, test coverage reports, etc.

5. Unity Test Tools It is a free testing framework to create and execute automated tests.

Integration Testing

When it comes to software testing, it is important that you understand the differences between unit testing and integration testing. Integration testing is usually done after unit testing. Here, the individual components will be tested in a group after developers complete unit testing. The aim of this testing is to identify bugs after integrating different software units.

Simply put, these tests focus on how different units of code work together. It helps ensure seamless interactions between different software components and how well they work as a single entity.

Integration test

Who Performs Integration Tests?

Integration testing is usually performed by testers.

When is Integration Testing Performed?

Integration testing is typically done after development is completed but before the software is released. It is usually followed by unit testing, which is performed during development to test individual units in isolation. Once the individual units have been tested, they are integrated together to form larger components, and then these larger components are tested to ensure they work together properly.

Best Practices for Integration Testing

  1. Start integration testing early
  2. Automate your integration testing
  3. Create a detailed test plan
  4. Test in small batches
  5. Include both positive and negative testing
  6. Do not test the business logic of your application with integration testing
  7. Understand the difference between integration testing and unit testing
  8. Keep your unit and integration test suites separate
  9. Perform integration testing as part of your CI/CD process

Top 5 Tools for Integration Testing

Here is a list of the powerful tools for integration testing,

1. Testsigma

Testsigma is a cloud test automation platform that allows you to automate various tests like integration tests, GUI tests, and API tests for mobile, web, and desktop applications in one place. It lets you automate complex workflows using simple English. It also supports record and play, where user interactions can be recorded as test steps.

2. Selenium

Selenium is a widely known open-source test automation platform for automating integration testing of web applications. It supports multiple programming languages like Java, Python, PHP, and more. It provides a record-and-play feature that is best suited for beginners. But for complex scenarios, testers will have to use programming languages to create test cases. It is important to note that Selenium only lets you automate for web browsers.

3. Ranorex

Ranorex is another popular testing platform for web, desktop, and mobile testing. It supports cross-browser testing of applications as well. It supports record-and-replay and also supports languages like C# or VB.NET for code-based testing.

4. Katalon

Katalon is another powerful automation test platform for integration testing. It supports a wide variety of devices and browsers for cross-browser testing. Katalon supports record and playback for basic tests and lets you work with Java and Groovy for complex ones.


TOSCA is a great choice for continuous testing. Also, it supports different types of testing, such as regression testing, SAP testing, and more. TOSCA supports model-based testing.

End-to-End Tests

End-to-End testing, aka E2E testing, helps test the entire functionality of the product from start to finish. It involves testing the entire product’s flow, from the user interface to the backend. Here, the QAs will have to test the application from an end-user perspective using real-world scenarios. Let’s understand this with an example. Consider that the tester has to test the login page of the application.

What will QA test in E2E testing – They will test all the user scenarios. That is, the testers will have to perform both positive and negative testing to test if the application can handle different data. For example, a user might perform any of the below actions on a login form,

  1. Enter a valid username and password
  2. Enter a blank username and password
  3. Click on login with Google/Facebook button
  4. Enter an invalid username and password
  5. Click on the signup button

These tests are typically automated, providing a reliable way to ensure that the product is working fine after any changes or updates.

Every test is important to verify that the product is stable and works as intended. It is vital to understand the difference between unit and end-to-end testing and how they fit into the overall testing strategy.

Who Performs End-to-End Tests?

End-to-End testing is performed by QA teams. This is done after functional and system testing.

When is End-to-End Testing Performed?

End-to-End testing is usually performed after integration testing.

Best Practices for End-to-End Testing

  1. Automate your end-to-end tests
  2. Use codeless test automation to speed up the test automation
  3. Make sure you have proper test data
  4. Prioritize your tests
  5. Always test from an end-user perspective.
  6. Design tests to be realistic that resonate with real-world scenarios.

Top 5 Tools for End to End Testing

Here is a list of the top end-end-testing tools available in the market,

1. Testsigma Testsigma is a powerful end-to-end testing platform that enables QA to automate web, mobile, desktop, and API tests in one place. It is an AI-driven test automation platform that lets you quickly run tests on the cloud in less time. You can easily write test steps in plain English using the NLPs and make your testing 10x faster.

2. Avo Assure It is a scriptless test automation tool that allows you to test applications across the web, windows, mobile platforms, and more.

3. testRigor testRigor is another popular E2E testing framework that lets you create robust end-to-end tests.

4. SmartBear SmartBear is an end-to-end testing framework that lets you build and run tests for desktop and web apps.

5. Selenium WebDriver Selenium WebDriver is an open-source test automation platform built on JavaScript. It is one of the easiest tools to test web-based apps.

How is the Software Testing Pyramid more beneficial for Agile teams?

  • The testing pyramid helps agile teams ship products faster to the market by promoting faster feedback, improved quality, and reduced costs.
  • Using agile methodologies like Test-Driven Development (TDD) for unit testing helps ensure the code is simple, reliable, and bug-free. This approach involves writing tests before writing any production code.
  • This approach helps agile teams manage their time better and achieve great results as the pyramid is built in a way to run the most accessible tests first, beginning with unit testing.
  • It helps agile teams prioritize testing based on the risk associated with each type of test.

Performing these tests manually will consume more time, cost, and effort. But, automating the tests enables efficient testing and faster feedback on all levels of the pyramid.

Best Practices for Testing Pyramid

Follow the below best practices,

  • Prioritize your tests based on risks, as it highly helps accelerate the software testing process.
  • Identify what test cases to automate and the scope of the automated tests. A survey from Kobiton shows that 55% of companies that use automation testing have cited a great improvement in their product quality.
  • Select the right tool for automating the testing. Instead of using multiple tools for various testing purposes, it is best to automate tests using Testsigma as it allows you to automate various testing like integration testing, end-to-end testing, GUI testing, API testing, and more in one place.
  • Always write clean test code.
  • Put tests into your deployment pipeline to speed up product delivery.
  • Prepare test cases using various test data, so all the user scenarios are verified.
  • Avoid test duplication to improve test efficacy and save time.
  • It is best advised to use exploratory testing to detect the issues that your testing pipeline didn’t identify. This helps the team to think outside the box. That is, the “What if I didn’t do that? What if I tried this?” scenarios.

Testsigma – Get the Best Out of Your Testing Pyramid

Testsigma is a robust cloud-based test automation platform that can help agile teams to get the best out of your test automation. With Testsigma, QAs can easily automate integration tests, end-to-end tests, API testing, and more.

  • Its simple and intuitive interface lets you create complex test steps in simple English, as it supports Natural Language Processing (NLP).
  • You can automate your web, mobile, and APIs from one place.
  • The AI-powered built-in features streamline test maintenance.
  • It lets you run tests, in parallel, across different devices and browsers.
  • It helps reduce the overall cost and effort required for testing.
  • Allows fast and efficient test execution on the cloud.
  • It lets you create customized test reports according to your needs.
  • Integrates with all popular CI/CD, collaboration, bug tracking, and product management tools.
  • It enables remote work, as you can access your tests from anywhere and anytime.
  • With Testsigma, you get extended 24×7 tech support via chat, call, email, and community.
  • It supports more than 3000+ browser/OS/device combos for all your cross-browser and cross-device test automation needs.

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The testing pyramid is a powerful strategy for software development teams, particularly for those working in agile environments. It provides a strong foundation for quality assurance and can help teams catch defects early in the development cycle, ultimately leading to better product quality.

If you’re looking to accelerate your testing process and deliver high-quality software products, look no further than Testsigma. With Testsigma, you can automate integration and end-to-end testing of web, mobile, and desktop applications in one place. So why wait?

Frequently Asked Questions

Why should agile teams use the testing pyramid?

Testing Pyramid is an effective testing strategy that can help agile teams ensure that their software is thoroughly tested while minimizing the overall cost and effort required for testing.It also offers tons of other benefits, like,

  • Efficient use of time and resources
  • Better test coverage
  • Faster feedback
  • Fast and efficient testing
  • Improved product quality

What does the test pyramid emphasize?

The test pyramid emphasizes a balanced and clear approach to testing, where tests are written at multiple levels with a focus on detecting defects early in the development cycle.

What is pyramid automation?

Pyramid automation, also known as the test automation pyramid, refers to a testing strategy that emphasizes a hierarchical approach to test automation. It is usually divided into three levels,

  • Unit Testing
  • Integration Testing
  • End-to-End Testing
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