Software testing often gets a bad rap—it takes too long, requires too many resources, and impacts the production schedule. In various industry surveys, the testing phase is the primary factor for software delivery delays. While testing is recognized as the most significant bottleneck, it is also essential to ensure quality software is delivered. This means that using better methods to improve and accelerate testing processes candirectly impactn achieving delivery goals. Many organizations understand the importance of software testing to improve the time to market for their applications while meeting increasingly complex compliance and security requirements.
They are turning to DevOps and Agile development methodologies to update their testing processes and implement effective testing strategies to keep up with the demand for more frequent production deliverables. But while these dev workflows can provide some guidance on code testing considerations, they do not recommend specific steps or best practices to improve your test strategies and processes.
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The first step is to perform testing earlier in the development process, aligning test creation with code development during the sprint schedule instead of waiting until the code is complete to start verification. This reduces delivery cycle time and increases software quality by integrating test automation within the development life cycle. This is known as the “shift left” approach, which enables testers to provide better feedback sooner in the dev process. In turn, developers can correct defects before releasing the code to production.
Once teams achieve that shift-left integration, continuous testing is the next step. Continuous testing is the paradigm of automating and running tests continuously throughout the DevOps workflow, repeatedly, in sync with development cycles. It’s important to incorporate the right mix, optimizing valuable manual test practices while automating as much as possible. This will maximize end-to-end coverage for continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) development projects and create a stable test environment that is easier to maintain.
Challenges for implementing continuous testing
Many companies have already realized that they can improve testing performance by adopting an automated continuous testing strategy. The goal is to simplify, accelerate, and optimize test processes while achieving high-quality code with fewer bugs. This enables them to obtain measurable results of greater efficiencies, better quality code, and faster time to market.
Why isn’t every company with software development teams using a continuous testing methodology with all these benefits? More often than not, it comes down to one of these things:
Commit to invest in quality