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How Continuous Testing with Automation Helps Build Robust Software Products

How Continuous Testing with Automation Helps Build Robust Software Products

DrewZola
by Andrew Zola — 3 weeks ago in Future 4 min. read
967

Nowadays, customers and end-users expect top-notch software and mobile applications. Any unforeseen bugs in the system can lead to abandonment quite quickly.

This scenario makes it critical for software teams to engage in continuous testing throughout each iteration. It’s also the best approach to eliminating (or containing) technical debt and stay on budget as your digital product grows.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s define it.

What’s Continuous Testing?

Continuous testing can be described as a software testing process that starts early in the development cycle and continues through each sprint. When software development teams engage in this activity, you evaluate the quality of the code through each step in the continuous delivery process.

By leveraging automated testing tools, software engineers can receive immediate feedback to mitigate as much risk as possible during the development cycle.

This approach helps development teams better understand the project at hand and find better ways to build a robust and quality product.

However, incorporating continuous testing protocols is challenging. To make it easier, organizations should develop a testing strategy to minimize disruptions and ensure a smooth transition.

Traditionally, software testing was conducted independently by the Quality Assurance (QA) team after the product was developed.

Once bugs were identified, they sent it back to the developers to fix them. While this approach is relatively functional, it leads to delays and unexpected expenses.

Continuous testing with while ensuring time to market. As bugs are identified before more code is written, you’re saving a lot of time and money.

Furthermore, it complements both the Agile framework and DevOps approaches, where the code is continually moving from stages such as Development, Testing, and Deployment.

Benefits of Continuous Testing

. Accelerate software delivery

. Continuous testing improves code quality

. It helps to assess exact business risk coverage.

. Seamlessly integrates into DevOps Process

. Helps to create an agile and reliable process in just hours instead of months.

. Accelerates time-to-market with a continuous feedback mechanism.

. Merges traditionally siloed teams to meet modern enterprise needs. Dissolves disconnect between development, testing, and operations teams.

. Test Automation helps to achieve consistency by maintaining the same configuration for all relevant tests.

. Emphasizes business expectations to mitigate business risks

. Providing ubiquitous test environment access with Service Virtualization

What Should You Consider before Incorporating Continuous Testing?

When deploying continuous testing protocols, there are a few key points to consider. For example, testing should always be conducted on high performing staging environments that look exactly like the production server.

Building such a staging environment demands considerable bandwidth, infrastructural investments, and resources. However, it’s worth the effort to avert any potential disasters after the product goes live.

It’s vital for both the development and QA teams choose the right set of automation and testing tools for the following layers in the automation pyramid:

  • Unit testing
  • API testing
  • UI testing

The results generated by automated tools need careful evaluation to identify false negatives and positives. When testers don’t do this, it often leads to significant disruption during the production stage.

No matter how good your team is, and even if you’re following best practices, there’s always the possibility of the system crashing. Most often, when you add a new function or feature, it can create problems elsewhere.

So it’s imperative to have a robust roll-back plan in place. By planning thoroughly, your team will be ready for any worst-case scenarios that may lie ahead.

In other words, make sure that all developers back up all code and critical data before pushing it into the production stage. The team can then roll back to the previous production version and start testing it to identify what’s causing problems.

It’s essential to understand that you can’t just validate your pre-production code and commit the changes. The entire production pipeline demands a thorough evaluation to identify any potential issues.

Also read: Best Ways for Project Managers to Prepare for VR Project Development

Continuous Testing and Automation Tools

While continuous testing and automation are widespread, we still don’t have a single tool that can cover all aspects of QA testing. But regardless of the type of testing, every code change needs to undergo regression testing in each replica testing environment.

Continuous testing also means that you’re testing a single change across multiple environments before deployment into production.

As a result, this can quickly get time and resource-intensive unless you learn how to leverage automated testing tools simultaneously.

Some leading automated testing tools are as follows:

  • Eggplant
  • Katalon Studio
  • Jenkins
  • Travis CI
  • Unified Functional Tester
  • Watir

As mentioned before, no matter what tools you’re using to engage in continuous testing, be alert to false negatives and false positives.

These are relatively common and often show execution errors even when the system runs without any issues, or it can show a successful test script when there are errors in the system.

While both false positives and false negatives are a headache for development and testing teams, false positives are the worst. This is because you can run into a crash or product failure when everything looks perfect before the launch.

Automated continuous testing is now at the foundation of successful software products. However, without thorough planning and the right tools, it can be a challenging endeavor.

What’s essential is to strategize with each team to develop a seamless testing flow throughout each iteration.

the approach helps eliminate any potential silos between the development team and QA team and help them work better together to build robust software products.

Andrew Zola

Andrew is a freelance technology journalist and a regular contributor to publications like Business2Community, Hackernoon, Security Boulevard, and more. While he’s not obsessing over cybersecurity, you can find him traveling around the world with his dogs and trusty Lumix camera.

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