The 3 Keys to Effective Continuous Testing

March 15, 2019

There is increasing pressure for software developers to develop features and products that provide customers with everything they want. On top of that, there is a need for these products to be delivered on time and under budget.

It’s for these reasons that developers are turning to continuous testing. As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, continuous testing differs from traditional testing because it occurs earlier and more often in the development lifecycle.

Testing earlier and more often means that bugs can be uncovered sooner which prevents potential production delays or other issues that would otherwise be discovered at the launch of a product. 

When implemented within your team, continuous testing is undoubtedly an important aspect of development. Here are three keys to effective continuous testing. 

Change the culture 

As with most team-wide changes, shifting to continuous testing can only be successful if everybody is on the same page. The idea that development solely falls on developers and testing solely belongs to the QA team can lead to the types of problems outlined above. 

For continuous testing to be effective, these notions have to be broken down. Developers and testers must have a mutual understanding that the quality of a product is the collective responsibility of everyone on the team, regardless of role. 

A shift in culture can make some individuals feel uneasy so communication will be a key part of implementing continuous testing into your team’s development workflow. Make sure that each team member is aware of the change, and identify a common goal for the team to collectively work towards. 

Use analytics to your advantage

So you’ve begun implementing continuous testing to your development workflow, how do you determine if the switch has been effective? Well, taking a strategic approach to analytics can certainly help. 

Analytics can help your team identify a number of things, and provide insight that can be shared cross-team. Analytics is a measurable way to determine the quality of your product, and whether or not testing is consistent and accurate.

Beyond serving your team internally, analytics can paint a picture of how your product functions when it reaches its end user. Leverage analytics to understand the quality of the user experience and determine where improvements can be made in future tests. 

Find a balance between humans and automation

Human testers are reliable, but they can’t possibly test at the speed and scale as an automated system can. For continuous testing to be effective, you need to be able to replicate and run tests ad nauseam. 

By employing automation, you can administer tests several times throughout the delivery pipeline and identify issues that human testers may have glossed over. 

With that being said, your human testers will always be the most important aspect of the QA and testing phase, so be sure to strike a balance between human and automation. 

For more information on effective continuous testing, check out this post written by Lubos Parobek for DevOps.com.

Have more tips for effective continuous testing? Share them in the comments below!