Continuous Testing at the speed of Agile and DevOps

A common objective to succeed in the fast-paced and competitive software product market is to achieve continuous delivery. It’s a means to deliver high-quality, user-appealing products rapidly and frequently. Continuous delivery has pushed organizations to adopt methodologies such as Agile, DevOps and Continuous Testing, which has led to the overhauling of people, processes and technologies.

What is Continuous Testing?

Continuous Testing identifies risks at all stages of the software development cycles via Test Automation as part of the CI/CD (Continuous Integration/Continuous Deployment or Continuous Delivery) pipeline. This augments the traditional manual testing, which is slow and resource-intensive. Continuous Testing aims to evaluate the software quality by testing early and often to minimize business risk and deliver continuously with confidence.

The Benefits

There are several pros to using Continuous Testing for your software product. It allows for: 

  • Reliable and consistent testing process
  • Predictable and reliable software delivery process
  • Confident and prompt release decisions
  • Accelerated and frequent releases
  • Improved quality with reduced cost

Continuous Testing in 4 Steps

Adopting Continuous Testing is not simply a transition from manual testing to automated testing. It requires a fundamental transformation that impacts people, processes and technologies. 

1: Assessment

The first step on the path of Continuous Testing is to assess where you stand, understand your short-term and long-term goals and what is needed to progress to the next level. One of the key assessments is the team’s skillset to select solutions that work best for the team. 

The options can be

  • Open source Test Automation framework, such as Selenium for web app and Appium for mobile app
  • Home-made Services and API automation solutions
  • Or partnering a trusted Testing Consulting company to evaluate, design and implement Continuous Testing strategies and solutions based on your circumstances to achieve the highest ROI

2: Design and implement CI/CD pipeline

For success in Continuous Testing, it is crucial to design and implement reliable, robust, low-maintenance and scalable test infrastructures as part of CI/CD to provide real-time testing insights and continuous feedback.

However, it is challenging to integrate many related but disparate processes – from development, build, integration, testing, deployment, report and collaboration to release. Choosing the right tools, processes and technologies which impact cross-functional teams and operational departments may seem daunting. Still, it will be worth time, effort and investment in the long run. 

Leveraging a testing consulting partner’s expertise and experience is a cost-effective and time-efficient approach. 

3: Increase Test Coverage

Once the CI/CD pipeline is in place and running reliably, the next stage is increasing test coverage. Automation tests should be fast, simple, reliable, and provide meanfuling insights about the Application Under Test (AUT). It should also have the ability to be run parallel.

The ultimate goal is to automate as much as you can. But bearing in mind that not everything can be automated. Though, considering the priority, time and technical constraints, you should start with tests which are:

  • Part of Smoke Testing suite 
  • Covering new features
  • Time-consuming to execute manually
  • Human-error prone
  • High value and low cost to automate

4. The optimized Continuous Testing CI/CD pipeline

At this stage, the CI/CD pipeline should be triggered at each code commit. The code is thoroughly tested with the unit, services and API, system integration and end-to-end automated testing along the way. After each successful automation run, the code is automatically promoted and deployed to dev, test, stage and even production environments. It is important to also have shift-right automation testing, preferably with canary deployment in place, to allow you to have confidence in your deployed product.

More advanced technologies are used to make the pipeline scalable and reliably, such as

  • Cloud-based automation tools
  • Infrastructure as Code(IaC), such as Terraform, Ansible and Chef
  • Canary deployments

The Right Choice for Your Software

Continuous Testing is critical for quality at speed and scale. It provides real-time insights into the business risk of each release candidate. However, the path to Continuous Testing is not simply a matter of adding more automated tests. It requires a deep transformation that impacts people, processes and technologies.

If you need further insight into how Continuous Testing might be right for your agile team, contact us at TRUSTiiN

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Jun Yang – Founder at TRUSTiiN

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