How To Integrate Continuous Testing Into Your Current Workflow

Oct 20, 2022 | Uncategorized

With businesses looking to move products to market faster, they’re shifting to continuous testing. The conventional testing approach involves a testing team stepping in after completing the development process. Everyone follows a tight plan involving lots of documentation and specifications, leaving little space for changes. In contrast, continuous testing allows more flexibility and fosters team collaboration throughout the development lifecycle. 

What Is Continuous Testing?

Continuous testing is a methodology that encourages developers, testers, and other stakeholders to interact from the start of a project rather than only toward the end. Testers try to find errors and other issues closer to the beginning of the process. 

With shorter software release cycles becoming the norm within many organizations, continuous testing allows teams to adjust to changes more quickly while still delivering a quality product. Code gets tested right after it’s written, speeding up the release process. 

Continuous integration saves time for developers by eliminating the wait for quality assurance (QA) teams to complete their work before returning code for fixes. Embedding testing throughout the development cycle, with feedback from those affected by the product, allows for a more proactive approach to dealing with code quality and security issues. 

The Benefits of a Continuous Testing Tool

DevOps teams have used continuous testing as a continuous integration and delivery model (CI/CD). Continuous testing tools automate manual tasks that are a normal part of software testing. Teams can integrate them into established development and testing environments to help them become more adaptive and responsive. 

Another benefit of a continuous testing tool is that they generate automated tests that provide immediate feedback to team members. They help companies assess the risks of an evolving product and find ways to increase the quality and reliability of a software project. 

  • Bugs get found more quickly upon the introduction of new code, lowering the risk of introducing them to a production environment.
  • There’s more transparency in the CI/CD pipeline as team members receive quick updates about the state of the code.
  • It’s easier to facilitate automated application testing for faster releases.
  • Teams can still ensure quality in the end product.

Challenges of Implementing Continuous Testing

Even though there are many benefits to using a continuous testing model, shifting from a traditional testing methodology can bring some challenges. 

  • Lack of a continuous testing tool for agile and DevOps environments
  • Unwillingness to move away from standardized testing methods
  • Failure of developers to correctly integrate their code regularly
  • Not having a proper testing environment
  • Not having a production environment that matches the final testing environment

Key Factors of Continuous Testing 

A commitment to collaboration is necessary to establish continuous testing effectively. Let’s review the critical factors in setting up a successful delivery process.  

1. Automated Testing

Robust automation testing is critical to a continuous testing strategy. Your testing plan should cover all aspects of software testing, including:

  • Unit testing — Involves a review of how specific components function by the developer during the build phase.
  • Usability testing — Involves reviewing an application from a user’s perspective. The focus is primarily on an application’s look, feel, and user-friendliness.
  • Integration testing — Focuses on evaluating two or more different modules of an application as one testing unit. 
  • System testing — Involves reviewing how a system functions against the requirements laid out by the product owner. 
  • Security testing — Focuses on checking how code performs when exposed to internal or external security threats. 

When evaluating automating testing tools for your organization, consider how well they accommodate the need to use different types of testing.  

2. Continuous Integration

Continuous integration (CI) focuses on moving code projects into a shared repository at least once daily. Software builds happen automatically and give developers immediate feedback about the code’s usability. 

CI provides developers with a consistent way of configuring code, letting developers continually expand on their code builds, execute required tests, and follow consistent standards within a testing environment. 

3. Continuous Delivery

Continuous delivery (CD) focuses on getting code changes prepared automatically for production release. It relies upon continuous integration and provides developers with an artifact that’s already undergone rigorous testing and is ready for deployment. 

One of the benefits of continuous delivery is that developers get to initiate code testing beyond basic unit testing. That gives them room to validate updates to an application in various ways before pushing the code out to market. 

Best Practices for the Testing Phase

Continuous testing helps organizations save time and effort throughout the development process while still delivering a quality product. Using a continuous testing tool increases efficiency, enables manual testing automation, and makes teams more effective at weeding out issues before they make it to a production environment. Below are some tips on optimizing the benefits of using continuous testing methodologies. 

1. Understand the Project Requirements

Getting continuous testing flowing smoothly starts with understanding the project itself. Think about what you’re building, if it’s intended for web or mobile, and the skills of your development team. Mapping out what’s needed clarifies the type of test cases to evaluate at each stage of the development cycle. You can look for places where you can add automated testing and determine the number of test cases needed.

2. Integrate a Continuous Testing Tool

Make sure you have a continuous testing tool capable of making the process faster and more effective. It should facilitate a comprehensive review of each piece of code and eliminate as much manual testing as possible. 

3. Keep Track of Metrics

Outline metrics to track that give you insight into your success and failure rate during continuous testing. You should see immediate results that tell you if the software or application is working as intended. Use the data results to review your team’s progress level and code output quality. 

4. Establish Clear Lines of Communication

Make sure that team members collaborate during every stage of continuous testing. That helps your team avoid the silos and bottlenecks that can occur when there is no transparency throughout the software delivery pipeline. Active communication keeps things moving fluidly and increases the productivity of every team member. 

Receive Actionable Feedback With a Continuous Testing Strategy

Ranorex provides a functional UI test automation platform to facilitate and streamline the testing process. The software integrates with popular DevOps tools to automate error tracking and speed up release cycles. Learn more about how your teams can benefit from using Ranorex Studio by setting up a demo today.

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