“Continuous testing”, as the term explains itself, is a process of testing at each step of development. Today’s businesses require faster delivery of software to the end-user. Newer the software, better the marketing and higher the revenue. But high revenues and good user experience cannot be achieved at the cost of underestimating the importance of testing. Testing requires time and QA teams want the software to be tested for flaws before it reaches the next stage of development. This is how the concept of continuous testing shapes up. Continuous means of undisrupted testing done continuously. In a Continuous DevOps process, a software change is continuously moving from Development to Testing to Deployment. The code is continuously developed, delivered, tested and deployed.
Continuous Testing strategy initiates a change within the company and its culture to achieve four capabilities: Test early, test quicker, test regularly and automate. End-to-end test automation practices integrate QA into existing fast-paced Dev and Ops processes to maintain continuous flow while also maintaining faster development cycles. The role of automation is important in Continuous Testing. Automation alone is not sufficient for continuity in testing, but it provides a qualitative assessment of risk and helps minimize these risks throughout the SDLC. Automation testing services help detect software issues and prevent defects, whereas Continuous Testing addresses the wider challenge of improving the effectiveness of these detection sensors.
Key Elements of Continuous Testing
- Risk Assessment: Covers risk minimization tasks, technical debt, quality assessment, and test coverage optimization to guarantee the software is prepared to advance towards the next stage of SDLC.
- Policy Analysis: Ensure all processes line up with the evolving business and compliance demands. Primary objectives include:
- Identifying trends associated with injection of dangerous patterns within the code
- Enhancing defect prevention for high-risk areas
- Eliminating risks in target areas
- Requirements Traceability: Ensure requirements are catered and rework is not required.
- Advanced Analysis: Using automation in areas such as static code analysis, change impact analysis and scope assessment/prioritization to prevent defects in the first place and accomplishing more within each iteration.
- Test Optimization: Ensure tests yield precise and actionable outcomes.
Why is Continuous testing demanded?
- It helps determine software defects. Detecting and resolving the defects early minimizes the costs. Involving tests in the early stages of development allows faster recovery in case of unexpected defects in the product.
- Enables companies to test quick, test early, and automate.
- Helps coordinate QA efforts to balance the speed of DevOps, assisting developers to deliver unique software features quicker in a matter of weeks.
- Reduces test efforts significantly.
- Eliminates the disconnect between development, testing, and operations teams.
- Seamlessly integrates into DevOps Process
Challenges in Continuous Testing
- Manual testing is still required in regression & exploratory testing at the UI level.
- Test environments & configuring an automation framework needs a lot of expertise & efforts.
- It requires time and significant cost plus finding the right skilled automation expert, which is a challenge of its own.
- It requires a lot of coordination between developers, testers, and product managers.
- The traditional process restricts cultural shift among Development & QA teams.
- Insufficient DevOps skills and tools for testing in Agile & DevOps environments.
- Heterogenous test environments will never reflect production environment.
- Conventional testing process and loosely defined test data management.
- Longer code integration cycles create integration issues and late defect fixes
Continuous Testing, when implemented properly, allows impeccable continuity in the delivery cycle. Incorporating a fully automated Continuous Testing process into the SDLC results in a successful Continuous Delivery process. So yes, Continuous Testing is worth it.