Quality is a constant in modern software development. However, maintaining consistency demands an effective approach toward quality engineering that could complement effective, accurate, and sustainable development.
Since attaining such precision in QA is vital to yield relevant feedback, automated continuous testing was introduced as a solution to reform software development lifecycles or SDLC. Continuous testing not only allows testers and developers to exchange quality-related feedback but ensure every change introduced to the existing code or functionalities is automatically verified for quality through automation.
Besides, continuous testing backed through automation allows rapid releases with a focus on the quality of products and instant bug detection at every stage of development. Also, the continuous testing process involves an improvement-driven focus allowing the removal of potential bottlenecks through the timely execution of test cases.
Nevertheless, the entire process of pursuing continuous testing through automation is actually very consuming and demands an active focus on test case planning, selection of tools, execution strategy, and deployment of the same.
In this blog, we will dive through the details of continuous testing, learning how it complements the test automation strategy while allowing a dynamic digital transformation of the test process. Besides, we will underline the necessary considerations and key strategies that could complement seamless continuous testing.
Continuous Testing: A Reformed Approach
Moving back in time, the development companies, as well as businesses taking the digital leap, had an entire focus on building software technologies that could streamline their operations. However, the expanding need for scalability and sustainable solutions amongst users called for a shift that made quality engineering essential.
Continuous testing not only helps add speed to the development process but allows for enhancing the scope of the organizations. It allows early testing at an improved speed through automation which helps to save cost and yield high-quality end products. Thus, it would be nothing wrong to say that continuous testing has emerged as a revolutionary approach to QA.
From improved monitoring capabilities to fostering a data-driven approach, Continuous testing works as a contemporary technique that overcomes the flaws of conventional testing. Above all, it can be harnessed as a progressive move towards futuristic consumer journeys while complementing the growing needs of the business landscape.
Essentials to Effective Continuous Testing
- Allocation Of Responsibilities: When you need to yield maximum value from your continuous testing strategy, it is necessary that people with specific skills are aligned.
- Planning The Process: Secondly, it is crucial that your software testing lifecycle must consider a process pipeline that can deliver maximum stability with top-tier feedback.
- The Tech Backup: Lastly, it is vital that testers and developers should work on careful selection of the tools to ensure a productive testing environment.
Continuous Testing & Test Automation
Most organizations that are aiming at a progressive digital strategy tend to rely heavily on continuous testing for effective bug detection and fixing of issues. However, attaining precision in the continuous testing process is a complicated process if not pursued through automation.
As continuous testing keeps a constant check on the software under development, automation allows testers to keep the testing process scheduled in advance while feeding the test automation tools with test data. Also, the use of tools even supports instant updates of the change in the requirements allowing rapid testing.
Thus, organizations that need to ensure a sustainable approach toward continuous testing require an effective selection of tools and the right test strategy established well ahead of time to complement agile testing goals.
Automated Continuous Testing: Key Considerations & Best Practices
As we have already discussed that yielding maximum efficiency from continuous testing initiatives requires access to automation, there are certain considerations and best practices that help make the process smooth. These usually involve keeping a focus on communication while taking care of details like test data management.
Let us dig into detail to explore what all factors or key best practices make smooth integration of automation with continuous testing:
Though manual testing brings along the scope for continuous testing, automation testing helps to improve error coverage by offering speed. However, the only thing that could hamper test automation in a continuous testing strategy is the inability of testers to plan effective automation.
Remember, automating the test process to the maximum might bring you speed with the releases, effective automation involves careful analysis of the test lifecycle to ensure only the most relevant tasks are automated. Besides, when you make a switch from manual testing to automation, make sure you understand that establishing a perfect plan for automation is time-consuming.
See also: Mobile App Development: The Complete Guide.
Tools & Tactics
Another important factor that you need to consider when planning on a continuous testing plan with automation is working on the selection of tools according to the project objectives. A good automation testing plan always keeps a focus on effective integration among tools that are being used by developers and testers. Also, you must reconsider all those tools and tactics that are not capable of improving the test process.
Keeping up with Analytics
Since data is the foundation of quality, make sure any activities you plan for your continuous testing strategy must be checked. Doing an analysis of all the data for success and failure could allow testers to enjoy measurable success and always have validation for the information.
In the beginning, you can simply aim at recording the defects and failures for the test data you own. Furthermore, you can aim for a long-term valuation on a quarterly basis to adjust your development and testing practices to create test strategies that can help produce better-performing products.
Automation that Follows Containerization
When you need to drive maximum value from your continuous testing strategy, aiming at containerization always helps to leverage the impact of automation. In its most basic form, containerization is all about bundling different components of an application within an operating system.
Doing so makes the testing process more convenient since you can run a test for configuration files, libraries, and dependencies within the defined environment. Besides, containerization simplifies the testing of complicated code and functionalities through a defined test environment for the immediate release of the code to production. Also, failure of test suites, if it happened for any container, could be discarded right away without worrying about any corrupted data that could otherwise get difficult to find within the entire code.
Transparency in the Communication
One of the most significant factors that define the success of your continuous testing strategy is communication and collaboration. Therefore, it becomes necessary to maintain transparency in your operations at all times to ensure smooth collaboration of the teams.
It must involve effective allocation of responsibilities amongst testers who need to work on test environment setup, test case development, automation, or maybe tracking of the data.
Another potential strategy that could help testers improve their test strategy is the effective incorporation of headless execution. To define, it is the process of automating the user interface tests that could be run without browser GUI.
Headless execution allows testers to improve the execution time while skipping any unnecessary cache, cookies, or resources while confirming that the product works well as per the defined expectations.
Besides, when you have worked on headless execution, make sure you run a subset of your tests on browsers to ensure your end users should not face any issues running the web application in a non-headless environment. However, the process enables you to run more in-depth tests in less time.
A Multi-layer Test Approach
Working on a multi-layered approach streamlines the entire testing process for every stage of the development lifecycle. From working on unit testing to checking on the APIs, testing through layers allows test teams to automate the various aspects of the product into multiple testing processes. Such an approach could even benefit testers who need to work with microservices applications or products that contain greater complexity.
Align Performance Testing & Delivery Cycle
Usually, performance testing of a software or application is considered to be an after aspect to functionality and exploratory testing. But since it is important to understand if an application is working optimally during heavy use, integrating performance testing into the delivery cycle creates space for speed and responsiveness.
More importantly, integrating performance testing into the delivery cycle helps analyze the response of the system under test to given commands which is vital to continuous testing. Besides, the addition of automation to the process allows improved access to the data with more accuracy, which ultimately helps enhance the overall returns.
In the current software development landscape, achieving seamless continuous testing is significant for delivering high-quality applications. However, the need for rapid deliveries that do not compromise user experience makes it essential to plan for automation.
In other words, automation plays a pivotal role in enabling seamless integrations, providing speed, efficiency, and accuracy to the continuous testing process. However, automating the continuous testing process requires a collaboration of cross-functional teams as their combined effort could help achieve Continuous Testing at speed.
All in all, continuously testing an application provides instant visibility into potential failure scenarios every time an update is made to the code. Thus, the added efficiency could not only help the organizations of the future to develop error-free software without delay but can complement sustainable quality engineering.
Good Luck! Happy Testing!
Author: Kanika Vatsyayan
This article is written by Kanika Vatsyayan. Kanika is Vice-President Delivery and Operations at BugRaptors who oversees all the quality control and assurance strategies for client engagements. She loves to share her knowledge with others through blogging. Being a voracious blogger, she published countless informative blogs to educate audience about automation and manual testing. Follow her: Twitter | LinkedIn.