Implement continuous testing into DevOps Pipeline to deliver better softwareLast updated on April 6, 2020
Why should any business-IT adopt continuous testing into its DevOps Pipeline? In our previous blog, we briefly touched upon how the frequent and quick release cycle allows development organizations to deliver better quality and more innovative software products to the clients. With time, DevOps practices, processes, and tools have become an important part of the software development life cycle. An essential DevOps element amongst the DevOps adoption list for you to lead the continuous delivery race – is continuous testing.
Continuous testing speed-up, support, and optimize the DevOps CI/CD pipelines, including processes, practices, and tools for testing and automation. Gartner’s 2018 Magic Quadrant for Software Test Automation defined continuous testing as an integral DevOps activity, existing in different forms through all areas rather than testing confined to a stage of delivery.
Unlike the traditional approach, continuous testing is an all-new way to testing and QA. Many businesses are trying their hands on embracing continuous testing and getting rid of the conventional testing, performed at the last phase of the development cycle. This kind of testing optimizes the continuous delivery pipeline by testing at multiple stages of the software development lifecycle, from covering development to integration, pre-release, production, delivery, and implementation. Continuous testing ensures to deliver quality into the DevOps pipeline by constantly running manual and automation tests.
How Continuous Testing is different from Test Automation
Taking off by busting the myth around continuous testing and test automation to be the same or an interchangeable process. No, these are not the same things. Let us dive deep to understand both the terms.
‘Continuous testing’ is the execution of automated tests as a part of the software delivery pipeline to get an instant feedback at the business perils pertinent to a software release candidate. Whereas ‘test automation’ is a crucial part of continuous testing; hence, both the processes are not the same. Continuous testing is the new normal, empowering developers with low-friction testing capabilities and tools to unit test new or updated code.
While continuous testing is gaining momentum, it also presents several execution challenges that can be resolved by implementing the best continuous testing practices.
A Thought Leadership Paper by Forrester and Tricentis suggests five best ways to implement continuous success testing. These practices are based on a survey of over 600 respondents from businesses worldwide who formulate DevOps strategies for their organizations. The research cited that enterprises to attain DevOps maturity, invested in the mentioned-below testing practices to modify their testing into continuous testing.
- Companies allocate adequate testing budgets while they focus primarily on upgrading the skills of testers to deploy efficient DevOps practices across the firm.
- Companies deploy continuous testing to meet the demand for frequent, shorter, and faster release cycles.
- Companies adopt automated end-to-end functional testing.
- Companies involve testers in the integrated delivery team to leverage their skills and experience. 72% of organizations admitted that testers involvement is crucial for the success of continuous delivery.
- Companies shift left testing and deploy it in the initial stages of the development life cycle.
How continuous testing add value to DevOps
Deploying continuous testing in DevOps can rewarding in myriad ways:
Early feedback to stakeholders
Implementation of continuous testing ensures early feedback to the development team regarding every possible issue that code may cause to the current features. With constant actionable feedback at each development stage, continuous testing helps expedite the release of software app into production with the least chances of errors. Hence, early feedback allows business risk analysis while helps achieve faster time to market.
Optimize the release cycle
Businesses respond better to market dynamics with continuous testing as updates are developed faster and released more frequently. Automated testing rigorously tests developed codes, fixes errors, and ensures clean code delivery, swift integrations, and apps production. According to research, Continuous testing in DevOps speed-up software delivery up to 40% while enhancing developer efficiency by 25%.
Enhance test coverage
As continuous testing is deployed at the early development stages, it analyses all features and potential errors. Thus, developers can ensure that all the major errors in the app are detected in the initial stages before integration. According to Forresters, organizations running continuous testing achieve 64% better technical quality.
Cuts down cost of defects
Continuous testing is key to ensure an error-free output. Defects ought to occur when codes are created or updated. This is where continuous testing assures a faster turnaround time by detecting and eliminating errors in the initial stages of the development lifecycle. This cuts-down the overall cost of fixing defects as the cost of change is considerably less when identified at the early stage.
Simple to implement
Easy implementation of continuous testing is the most important factor considered by businesses. The continuous testing process seamlessly integrates with the prevailing CI/CD pipeline without requiring new tools. Therefore, businesses without an existing CI/CD deployment should consider having it immediately to attain quantifiable advantages. Initiate by mapping out an effective DevOps strategy while considering continuous testing.
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1. Gartner’s 2018 Magic Quadrant for Software Test Automation
2. Forrester Report
3. Forrester Report
4. Forrester Report