No piece of software should ever reach its users untested. That’s a rule no software development manager should ever compromise. Yet, when you see how conventional software testing slows down your DevOps, it gets quite tempting to run sloppy tests or skip testing here and there. Luckily, there’s continuous testing, a practice of running automated tests against every code commit without human intervention. Read on to find out why implementing continuous testing in DevOps is the final piece you’re looking for.
Continuous Testing vs. Test Automation: What’s the Difference?
Let’s get something straight: continuous testing and test automation are not the same. The two notions might be similar, somewhat co-dependent, but not identical. Test automation is the type of testing where scripts run the code to be tested through testing tools. Continuous testing means executing automated tests as an integral part of the application development and delivery processes. It ensures that the source code is validated as soon as it reaches the repository, giving the developers and managers a smooth integration process and instant feedback.
Simply put, automated testing is the basis of continuous testing, but using automated testing on your mobile apps doesn’t mean you’re implementing continuous testing. But if your team did choose to go with continuous testing, be sure they’re automating all the testing they can.
A Critical Piece of DevOps Success
Continuous testing is key to ensuring that software quality keeps up with DevOps practices. And since the market tells development teams to roll out releases quickly (especially in mobile apps), continuous testing becomes the backbone of efficient DevOps processes.
Advanced DevOps teams have been leveraging AI technology to boost continuous testing in DevOps. Along with faster releases, continuous testing helps these teams to identify and control business risks immediately – a critical point if you take into account the pace of delivering modern applications.
Imagine the process of software development as a fast-moving train. Conventional testing would mean stopping at every station to test new features or updates because testers aren’t on board. Continuous testing, on the other hand, would mean that all the testing is done on the train independently as it moves, so the locomotive doesn’t have to stop.
The primary focus of continuous testing is improving the quality of software, well, continuously. And it meets this goal wonderfully. Executed without human interaction, continuous testing makes the testing process faster and eliminates human error. It helps to discover and evaluate risks at every stage of the software development life cycle, addressing them accordingly and improving the application quality.
Another benefit is the adaptability of continuous testing. You can easily align the test execution process with the ever-changing customer requirements. Integrated within DevOps, continuous testing lets you update an application constantly based on rapid feedback. This kind of flexibility helps to keep software robust and stable.
Plus, as continuous testing is implemented starting from the initial stages of the application development process, it speeds up the delivery time. With testing integrated into the software delivery pipeline instead of being executed right before the release, you can fix bugs and errors just as they appear.
Overall, you save time, cost, and resources when following continuous testing practices. Finding bugs early means releasing on time, not to mention how much more expensive fixing bugs can get closer to big releases.
Myth Busting of Continuous Testing in DevOps
Regardless of its benefits, the success of continuous testing in DevOps can be hindered by myths surrounding its implementation. Here are some of them, busted.
Myth #1: Establishing test environments and automation frameworks are tough and expensive.
This may sound plausible but only at first sight. When it comes to return on investment, though, continuous testing is totally worth it. While it’s a significant one-time investment, continuous testing allows cutting costs in the future with better code quality and accelerated time-to-market of your applications.
Myth #2: Since continuous testing requires dynamic interaction between developers, tester and product owners, you’ll never reach high-level coordination within the team.
This kind of problem can be solved with the right, highly skilled professionals in their positions as well as competent management and employee engagement. Impossible is nothing, especially when it comes to building an effective team.
Myth #3: Scaling an infrastructure enough to run test suites over and over again isn’t for all organizations.
If you feel like your organization’s infrastructure can’t handle continuous testing, prioritize. This means focusing your testing on the most vital parts of the application and splitting the test base.
Continuous Testing Tools
There are numerous tools and frameworks you can turn to as you start implementing continuous testing into your DevOps. The ones we recommend will make your operations smoother and help your developers to write efficient test scripts that can be run at any point of the application development process.
- QuerySurge, a DevOps solution for continuous testing. It allows generating, executing and updating tests using API calls.
- Jenkins, a Java-based continuous integration tool. Jenkins allows you to execute automated testing within your CI/CD processes easily.
- Travis, a GitHub-hosted tool that is an excellent option for quick code testing. You can choose to use it as a hosted or an on-premises variant, with detailed documentation at your fingertips.
- Selenium, an open-source framework to advance web application testing that supports most popular browsers like Chrome, Firefox, Safari and Internet Explorer. You can read our big Selenium review here.
Testing the Continuous Way
Consider continuous testing as a powerful tool for meeting today’s business demands: the ultimate software quality and speed. As a modern software development manager, you’ve probably put a lot of effort into implementing the CI/CD principles in your projects. Wouldn’t it be sad to find out that all this effort was a waste of time and money only because you forgot (or chose not to) implement continuous testing along with your continuous delivery?