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Strategies & Benefits of Pair Testing

Pair Testing-ACCELQ
Posted On: 23 March 2023

What Is Pair Testing

Pair Testing is one of many Software Test Types that are important in the Software Development Lifecycle (SDLC). It confirms an application is working as expected by meeting the intended purpose like the other top Software Test Types.

The difference between Pair Testing and other test types is Pair Testing cannot be performed by one person. It’s a process when two people, who are a pair, work together to test an application at the same place and time. Generally, Pair Testing is used in Agile projects but can be implemented with any project or functional team.

Strategies For Pair Testing

Pair Testing is a strategy like Pair Programming where two developers team up on one workstation. The goal is for both developers to design, code, and test their assignments together. If they find a bug in their code, the developers devise a resolution to fix it. Pair Testing and Pair Programming is a straightforward and effective practices to enhance the application. It’s a valuable approach that involves constant communication.

Who Performs Pair Testing

Normally, testers pair up with other testers to carry out Pair Testing. However, a tester can collaborate with anyone to evaluate the software product. The following are a few alternative partner considerations outside of Tester & Tester:

  • Tester & Developer
  • Tester & Product Owner
  • Tester & Business Analyst (BA)

A tester and developer combination are advantageous because the developer can provide expertise regarding how the functionality was built. Product Owners support testers by helping them recognize what problems need to be identified and understand the project scope. The tester and BA are acceptable because the BA can add insight on requirements.

Who performs pair testing- ACCELQ

When To Perform Pair Testing

Pair Testing is performed when testers desire to exchange ideas about the Application Under Test (AUT). In addition to exchanging ideas, Pair Testing can also be used as a form of knowledge transfer. That’s an opportunity for a Subject Matter Expert (SME) to present information to someone learning about the product.

For example, a new tester can pair with an experienced tester to grasp various functionalities concerning the application. A walk-through of the AUT, for the new tester is constructive since they can get answers to their questions as soon as possible (ASAP).

Furthermore, Pair Testing is performed when discovering a bug. The tester collaborates with a team member to reproduce the bug or to verify if the system actually contains a bug. In return, demonstrating the bug can help explore new problems or areas of concern.

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How To Perform Pair Testing

The objective of Pair Testing utilizes a principle called Four Eyes. It’s a requirement that promotes two individuals approving an action before taking it. Another name for the Four Eyes Principle is Two-Person Rule.

It starts with one workstation. The workstation can be in a remote location or in the same physical location. This model is a structure designed to increase transparency and facilitate delegation of authority.

Pair Testing protects processes by making sure the processes are efficient while making dependable decisions. Each process begins with both parties agreeing on a defined task. After agreeing on the task, they establish small goals to complete. The ambition of Pair Testing is to

  • Find A Suitable Person
  • Determine Roles
  • Take Notes

Finding a suitable person consists of two people who work well together. Ultimately, the choice is self-assigned or assigned by a leader. However, a favorable connection leads to a comfortable relationship with each other.

How to perform pair testing-ACCELQ

The roles for Pair Testing are driver and navigator. A driver is the individual testing the product, while the navigator focuses on directing the test. Drivers have the responsibility of executing the test. The navigator checks the quality of each test.

The roles are allowed to remain uninterrupted or rotate between driver and navigator. Both have their pros and cons. One of the pros for not changing roles is that one person could be more competent at a certain role. If that’s the case, then it’s probably best not to interrupt the Pair Testing flow.

A pro of rotating roles is to keep both testers occupied with different responsibilities, so a particular role does not become tedious. Notes are taken so they can share the test results, challenges, and solutions with other stakeholders. If a bug is observed, then the navigator reiterates the details while the driver writes the bug report.

Benefits of Pair Testing

Pair Testing contributes to testers understanding several parts of the application. A person can lack knowledge or mistakenly overlook an issue if they thoroughly know the functionality. As a result, the testing team will not rely on one person if something is incorrect.

Combining people in pairs permits project leaders to collect material for the entire group, especially if both people are experts with diverse skills. A very technical person may gain awareness from an individual who uses the application on a day-to-day basis.

The consolidation of diverse skills encourages an appreciation and respect for team dynamics. In addition, Pair Testing infiltrates a person or team that is isolated from others for exceptional collaboration to deliver a quality software application.


Pair Testing is significant and deserves attention from companies operating in an Agile environment. The first step is to understand who’s going to perform Pair Testing. After deciding the Pair Testing partners, then the team transitions to when to perform Pair Testing and how to implement Pair Testing.

One of the keys for implementation is thinking about the driver and navigator roles. A driver executes each test while the navigator concentrates on directing and validating the quality of each test. They can arrange between rotating their roles or keeping the same role.

A benefit to Pair Testing is gaining an understanding of multiple application features. Knowledge is spread among the pairs to accomplish a target objective. Pair Testing is an effective approach that provides productivity. Also, it grants the ability to make informed decisions while monitoring control and accepting cultural change.

Rex Jones

Rex is an author, trainer, consultant, and former Board of Director for User Group: Dallas / Fort Worth Mercury User Group (DFWMUG) and member of User Group: Dallas / Fort Worth Quality Assurance Association (DFWQAA). In addition, he is a Certified Software Tester Engineer (CSTE) and has a Test Management Approach (TMap) certification.

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