In this competitive digital era, there has always been a constant demand for continuous digital improvement. Even if automation is a prominent keyword nowadays, a recent report says that only 30% of the organizations have adopted automation testing. Although the organizations invest a considerable amount of time and money in transforming their development processes, they fail to reap the benefits of the shift in the right direction by choosing only a few aspects of testing.
Change is inevitable in the software development lifecycle and in order to go hand in hand with the ever-changing dynamics and produce high-quality software, it is important to rely on implementing an effective Continuous testing Strategy. The development teams have to be focused on optimizing the delivery cycles and provide uninterrupted business experience.
What is continuous testing?
Continuous testing is a type of testing in which involves evaluating the quality of software often at multiple stages of the continuous delivery process for early detection of errors ultimately providing quality software and business continuity. It involves testing in multiple developments and QA phases to achieve continuous quality and improvement. Continuous testing plays a key role in DevOps using automation tools that help developers in getting quick feedback on the defects and make changes accordingly.
Challenges to an effective continuous testing
Organizations want to frequent deployments but the majority are unable to even reduce their software development cycles because of a lack of effective continuous testing delivery strategy. The success comes when there happens to be a mix of both manual and automated testing consistently throughout the delivery process. It becomes really important to automate every step to move fast in aspects like test design, test orchestration, execution, etc.
Test automation strategy is the backbone of the final product that a business delivers. It should be strong and flexible enough to bear the impact of any change and every variable of the testing process. Let’s discuss how optimizing continuous delivery testing strategy helps improving the testing process and to increase the software quality:
1. Thorough Test Automation Plan
Research says that the majority of the organizations mostly focus on specific forms of testing. For example, few businesses focus on API integration testing and UI testing and a few focus on both individually. But what they lack is a detail oriented automated continuous integration testing strategy that involves all of the above types of testing. Choosing a specific type of testing is right in some business scenarios but a business should always be equipped with a plan that can accommodate any type of testing which can be used whenever the need arises. The real comparison of continuous testing vs test automation will always persist considering the scale and requirements of the business.
2. Initial Trial and Testing
Introducing unreliable and lengthy test cases in the process leads to a huge wastage of time and effort putting the QA teams to get indulged in an ineffectual analysis of each code commit. Instead, the QA teams can do a bit of testing by adding nominal test suites in order to avoid big risks and check its impact along the way. Gradually adding stable test cases. It is important to have more stable test cases than counting how many were executed especially in DevOps.
3. Choosing the best test automation tool
Building a comprehensive continuous testing strategy is a mandate but choosing the right test automation tool is of critical importance for achieving complete stability. It is insignificant to even think of a failure caused merely because the test automation tool couldn’t perform on the assigned UI control on the application being tested. The acceptable reason for a failed test could be either bug or design change but not because of an automation tool. A good automation tool would always add value to the organization by activating continuous release and deployment, by reducing time and maintenance costs, by increasing the reusability of the code and by providing a higher return on investment.
4. Modularizing tests
In order to handle complex integrated applications, introducing modular testing is the best way to breakdown application functionality. Breaking down the app functionality into modules provides a road map and makes it easier to rearrange the functionality into testing representing different workflows. Amorphous tests can be easily redressed by introducing modular testing and decoupling test data, test flow and element locator mappings.
5. Automated Screenshots
When analyzing the test results to find out the causes of test failure, screenshots of the test execution is the best reference in order to dig deeper into the cause of the problem. A reliable automation tool automatically generates screenshots of all important interactions happening during the test run. Screenshot recording is not supported by all the automation tools; In that case, one should reconsider selecting another test automation solution to reap the maximum benefit of this feature.
6. Measuring Test Automation ROI
Major trends like Continuous testing, automation and DevOps and demand for faster continuous delivery have raised the standards for quality software so high that everyone is trying hard to stay competitive by optimizing their continuous testing and development strategy, that too while maintaining low costs. In this situation, balancing the test execution costs cannot be ignored. At some point in time, test coverage needs to be scaled up, teams have to opt for cloud usage which is expensive and acts as a major cost burden. The best idea would be to separate high and low level test requirements i.e performing more advanced integration and compatibility tests on cloud and executing the low level tests on-premise to maintain cost balance and getting the best automation ROI.
7. Track and Monitor
When the development and operations teams work together, they face many operational challenges. Developers are focused on pushing a new update and testers- on maintaining the reliability of the service delivery. Connecting these two points is challenging and these challenges are overcome by introducing continuous testing and DevOps. In the long run, a business should always invest in a system monitoring tool that will help to detect the causes of the gap and back outs more efficiently.
Outsourcing the QA process extends an additional support system, giving an extra edge in delivering quality service. The veto in the world of continuous testing is that it gives and extra nudge by providing an exposure to the more specialized areas of testing like impact analysis, performance and security testing etc. It acts as a source of energy given to a focused area of the development life cycle. As a result, it becomes a win-win situation for both developers and testers.
Continuous Testing and Delivery is not a luxury but a necessity in today’s era. A well designed continuous testing strategy is the foundation of continuous testing and quality service delivery. Although the journey is full of challenges if planned meticulously, the businesses would be able to streamline and reap the maximum benefits of test automation and continuous testing.
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