Continuous Testing and its Evolution
Today, for an organization to succeed, organizations need to have a quick go-to-market process set up. Developers and testing teams need to test products not in weeks, but hours. The challenges in software testing being faced by organizations however distract them from paying the much needed attention to improve the QA and Dev processes. Adopting next-generation testing practices provides the ability to test automatically, continuously, early, and often.
The process of executing automated tests continuously is known as Continuous Testing. The advent of DevOps has helped establish Continuous Testing as an integral part of the SDLC. Continuous Testing synchronizes Testing and QA with Dev and Ops processes and optimizes them to achieve business and development goals, thereby encouraging a systematic approach toward process improvement.
Continuous Testing helps to continuously monitor and check the performance and quality of products. Continuous Testing assesses the business risk and provides clear, actionable feedback on whether or not the software is functioning normally. This is business-critical information that helps decide when to release the product.
Salient Features of Continuous Testing
1) Implement and improve QA practices as required
Integrating effective QA and testing practices in your system helps define and layout robust Continuous Testing strategies. That is why it is required to first define a comprehensive agile QA testing strategy for driving development. A robust QA architecture helps build and implement adequate testing techniques, develop better applications, establish defined processes and guidelines, and a robust technical architecture for seamless software/application development. All of these lead to the creation of a seamless continuous testing environment.
2) Collaboration requires collation of required data
To make a software/application development process more efficient, what is required is a change in mindset to try and adopt a new way of doing the same thing. However, the new process must be well-aligned with the business objectives. Continuous Testing philosophy is to establish the importance and need of testing a lot earlier in the SDLC. This ensures that a product is tested thoroughly multiple times, which will save a lot of extra costs if performed at the end. To be successful in this entire activity, however, organizations must collate all the required details related to the project before the development process begins – else it will still lead to chaos. In essence, QA teams need to work very closely with testers and business analysts to eliminate any confusions or doubts related to the product.
3) An agile dev-test process
Continuous Testing requires a dynamic environment to thrive. It cannot be operational in a traditional development model. It needs a more flexible environment for implementing the practices. Most importantly, the ideology has to be in sync with the business values and objectives. So, in spite of focusing energies on developing testing artifacts, the emphasis has to be on organizing the pattern of testing.
Particularly, the teams need to follow a lean pattern of testing and development, where the testers are paired with the developers to ensure effective unit testing. Likewise, the teams should avoid extensive test cases and test plans to cut down on any delay in testing the code. At the same time, an investigative approach should be followed in the testing approaches, where manual testing can be combined with automated testing.
Why Implementing Continuous Testing Is Required?
Implementing Continuous Testing Transforms Legacy Processes
In today’s fast-paced competitive environment, organizations need to ensure a continuous development process in place for the new software product. This inevitably calls for continuous testing of the software. Instead of performing tests at a later stage or just a few days before the product release like in legacy methods, conducting continuous tests during the SDLC ensures quick removal of the detected bugs or mismatches and a high-quality product.
How Can Automation Assist During Continuous Testing?
Automated testing is an inherent part of the development cycle that provides the following advantages:
- Improved unit testing.
- Thoroughly tested continuous integration server.
- Accelerated & simplified feedback process that’s critical for effective continuous testing.
- Automated regression, manual, and non-functional tests that save a lot of time and effort.
- An option to create regression test suites and conduct them every time a product is modified.
- Ensured high quality of the auto tests resulting from collaboration between testers and developers.
Beyond Continuous Testing with Artificial Intelligence
Though organizations are going all out to adopt Continuous Testing, it’s interesting to note that even Continuous Testing will not be sufficient for sustained growth in the future. It may not be able to compete with increasing technical complexity, shrinking delivery cycles times, and accelerating rates of change.
To ensure quality in an era where software will be processing an unimaginable number of data points in real time—for example, both figuratively driving the internet of things and literally driving “self-driving” cars—we need all the help we can get. Continuous Digital Testing helps provide the required acceleration and support to meet the quality needs of a future driven by IoT and robotics.
Continuous Testing, Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery, and DevOps
Software today is key to being successful in a competitive market. Enterprises cannot afford to choose between ‘speed’ or ‘quality’ - both are business-critical. Continuous Testing (CT), Continuous Integration (CI), and Continuous Delivery (CD) are key catalysts that enable quality at speed. However, among CT, CI, and CD, CT is the most challenging.
While Continuous Testing involves individuals, services, teams, and tools, CI is mainly based on tools, and Continuous Delivery depends on both tools and teams. Though building and integrating code changes is important, the increased frequency and speed of CD and CI may as well become an impediment to success in case the automated delivery process is unable to identify how are the suggested changes going to disrupt the end-user experience or impact business risk.
Continuous Testing acts as the backbone of the agile downstream process. It helps execute automated tests to provide high-frequency risk-based feedback which is essential for controlling business risks.
CSS Corp Continuous Testing Framework
Gartner estimates that “By 2020, DevOps initiatives will cause 50% of enterprises to implement continuous testing using frameworks and open-source tools.”
CSS Corp is recognized as a “Key Player” in Forrester Vendor Landscape for Continuous Testing and we have specialists who understand the nitty-gritties of continuous testing by means of effective end-to-end automation leading to Quality and Speed. We help enable seamless automated test orchestrations and also ensure rapid product development and deployment by means of CI, CD, and CT.
Our experts have an in-depth understanding of how to incorporate the shift-left approach of DevOps. This has helped multiple organizations develop a seamless development and production environment, made possible through continuous testing that provided continuous feedback for improvement.
Contact us for any Continuous Testing related requirements.