The role of Continuous Testing in DevOps

In a highly competitive sphere such as the IT industry, only those companies that can deliver seamless user experience can stand out and get noticed. This calls for the faster release of high-quality products. Continuous Delivery is a software development practice that introduces automation and speeds up the various stages involved in software development.

Continuous Testing is an important part of Continuous Delivery. In this article, let us take a look at the definition of Continuous Testing and its role in DevOps.

What is Continuous Testing?

Continuous Testing is the process of embedding the various process involved in software testing into the development process itself, thereby making it possible to deploy product changes at a faster pace.

It also makes it possible to identify the business risks involved in a release candidate (software under testing) quickly. It involves the automation of testing and QA processes thereby speeding up the software release process.

These automated tests are faster and more accurate than those performed manually. This is because computers are better equipped to perform repeatable steps at a faster pace than humans.

This automated testing makes it possible for organizations to release better quality products quickly, thereby improving their performance and brand image.

Combined with continuous feedback integration and Continuous Delivery processes, Continuous Testing helps in reducing errors and speeds up the software release life cycle.

What is its role in DevOps?

The DevOps framework focuses on breaking down organizational silos and bringing together the Development and Operations teams. This calls for a coordination among the various teams involved in software development, testing, and deployment stages. Continuous Testing also needs the coordinated efforts of the different teams involved in the Software Development Life Cycle. Therefore, it helps solidify the DevOps framework.

The following are the different processes involved in Continuous Testing that calls for collaboration between Dev and Ops teams:

  • Testing: As soon as the Development team readies the code for a new application/ software, the code needs to be tested for optimal performance in different software environments. Organizations can make use of open source testing tools such as Selenium for this step. The software is tested for its functionality, user experience, API, performance, etc.
  • Continuous Integration: Once the tests are performed, the results have to be integrated into the software so as to improve its performance. Developers work with the test results to integrate the changes into the existing code.
  • Quality Assurance: The QA team needs to work on assuring that the testing process happens in parallel so that the new changes can be tested.
  • Assuring optimal performance: The Operations team screens the new software so as to ensure its optimal performance before its release. The performance of the software is continuously monitored by the Operations team so as to identify and correct any technical/ performance issues.

These processes, though different, often happen simultaneously and need coordinated efforts from all the teams involved. If organizations can integrate Continuous Testing into the software delivery lifecycle, the goal of Continuous Delivery of better products can be easily met.