Continuous Testing 101 | All You Need To Know
Continuous Testing is necessary for keeping pace with Agile and DevOps. It is a great way to ensure your product is released to the market at quality customers expect. While continuous testing is beneficial in many ways, it can also be challenging. By providing truthful answers to the What-When-Why questions, in this article, we will walk you through the general knowledge of continuous testing, its benefits and how to measure success.
What is continuous testing?
Continuous Testing is a software testing type in which the product is evaluated early, often, and throughout the entire Continuous Delivery (CD) process. Continuous testing uses automated tests to ensure teams receive immediate feedback to quickly mitigate as many risks as possible throughout the software development lifecycle. Moreover, team members are able to continuously learn about their product and what can be done to increase quality and reliability.
Importance of Continuous Testing
- Find errors: Ensure as many errors are found before being released to production
- Test early and often: Tested throughout the development, delivery, testing, and deployment cycles
- Accelerate testing: Run parallel performance tests to increase testing execution speed
- Increase release rate: Speed up delivery to production and release faster
- Reduce business risks: Assess potential problems before they become an actual problem
Key Components of Continuous Testing
The continuous integration (CI) and continuous delivery (CD) pipeline is an essential part of continuous testing. Basically, CI is a development practice that helps ensure that software components work together. It helps gather code from developers working on one project and placing it into a code repository. Integrating different developer’s code into one project can generate a lot of bugs. Automating your test executions each time the code is integrated will allow you to find bugs as early as possible and fix them faster. Find bugs before they’re released to production and you can save yourself a lot of time, money, and effort to fix at a later date.
Continuous delivery (CD) is a strategy for software releases wherein any commit that passes the automated testing phase is automatically released into the production deployment. It is an integral part of continuous testing. It can often be confused with continuous deployment. Both practices require you to work on small, frequent changes. A great way to think about the difference is continuous delivery is having any code version ready to deploy to production.
Continuous testing cannot be done without test automation. The best part about test automation is the quick feedback the team receives. Continuous testing allows early and often feedback so that changes can be made far before releasing features to the market.
Main Challenges of Continuous Testing
As devops teams embrace continuous testing to assure quality, they encounter new challenges on their road to success. Below are several challenges that software development teams must take into consideration:
- Code integration: Developers who don’t integration their code on a regular basis (recommended several times daily) create defect issues with duplicated coding efforts and non-compatible code
- Change in culture: Cultural shifts among your development and testing teams may happen if traditional processes are maintained
- Update testing strategy: Maintaining only traditional testing methods and test data management that is not clearly defined keeps continuous testing from reaching its full potential
- Test environments: Make sure your test environments work within your code repository base for seamless testing of the newest available code
- Production environments: Also, make sure your production environments reflect the test environment to ensure every area was properly tested
Continuous Testing Tools for Agile Teams
Jenkins is a continuous integration tool using Java language and is configurable via both GUI interface and console commands.
Katalon Studio is built on top of Selenium. This tool offers a comprehensive platform to perform automated testing for Web UI, Web services, API services, and mobile.
Travis CI is a continuous testing tool hosted on GitHub offering hosted and on-premise variants.
Selenium is an open-source software testing tool. It supports most mainstream browsers such as Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Internet Explorer. Selenium WebDriver is used to automate web application testing.
Continuous Testing is crucial in a modern development environment as it helps bring testing up to speed with the pace of Agile development. Overall, it is all about testing early and often, which can be challenging to implement. So make sure that you have a solid plan in place before incorporating this testing procedure into your organization.