When companies create and implement an effective test automation strategy, they frequently mistakenly believe they are conducting continuous testing. They are mistaken.

One of the most important aspects of continuous testing is test automation. Continuous testing, on the other hand, starts with a multi-layered test strategy that encompasses all types and degrees of testing required, such as unit, integration, functional, exploratory, and automated testing. A method for embedding testing throughout the continuous integration process is also required for continuous testing.

DevOps is used by businesses to increase value and improve the customer experience by increasing delivery speed without sacrificing quality. DevOps makes things happen by putting in place a continuous delivery pipeline, which necessitates constant testing.

But what is continuous testing, exactly? Beyond conducting automated tests across the software delivery pipeline and providing instant feedback on the risks associated with a prospective release, this technique goes a step further.

Throughout the continuous integration process, continuous testing necessitates constant business and technical risk assessments, as well as process improvement and automation. Developing a culture in which quality is a shared responsibility of all team members is also crucial. It’s based on a risk-management strategy that aims to reduce testing bottlenecks by improving the efficacy and efficiency of your testing operations.

Here are the four important phases to a successful continuous testing plan, along with what you should know about each one.

1. Streamline the test process

Focusing on business risk, finding and managing bottlenecks, and optimizing your testing are the three components of this strategy.

The ultimate purpose of DevOps and, by extension, continuous testing is to reduce business risk, which includes both customer and corporate risk.

Understanding which application workflows are most critical to the customer and organizing your risk-based test coverage accordingly is what customer risk is all about.

Awareness of the intricacies of the business climate as well as the product requires an understanding of organizational risk. Is it more vital to be first to market, or is it more necessary to provide a healthy or safe product? After you’ve accurately assessed the total business risk, you should map requirements, application components, and tests to those risks.

Bottlenecks stifle both quality and speed, thus they must be identified and eliminated. Test constraints can be found all the way through the process, from requirements to post-production checkout. Testers aren’t included in backlog refinement, so they don’t get a chance to help establish acceptance criteria, defects aren’t addressed on a timely basis, automated test suites run too long, and post-production checkouts are done manually, to name a few instances.

Optimize your tests

Test optimization is the technique of selecting the proper tests that give the test coverage you need with the fewest amount of test cases, which is the cornerstone for an effective automation plan for continuous testing.

This method can be used for everything from selecting tests for a full regression suite based on risk to selecting tests for targeted testing and regression of new features. It is a dynamic, ongoing process, particularly when used in conjunction with a continuous testing architecture. Prior to automation, test optimization should take place, and it should continue throughout the continuous testing process.

The first step is to optimize the test scope by learning about all of the integrations involved in essential user workflows, as well as the technologies used in those apps (web, mobile, message/API layer, and so on).

The next step is to optimize the test cases once you have a good grasp of the test scope. This entails not just evaluating test cases for quality and detail, but also selecting tests with the highest level of test coverage. To improve both quality and velocity, your test suites should be built to deliver the most coverage with the fewest number of test cases.

The process of test optimization is fluid. Maintaining an optimal test suite necessitates evaluating effectiveness. Tests that are no longer needed should be deprecated, flaky tests should be addressed, and new tests based on new features should be added to the suite on a regular basis.

2. Automate testing throughout the CI pipeline

Throughout the delivery process, continuous testing necessitates test automation. Test automation speeds up deployment and lowers the risk associated with continuous delivery.

However, automation in the context of continuous testing entails more than merely creating and maintaining an automated regression suite. Indeed, automated regression suites, particularly those that run overnight, clog up the continuous deployment process. Continuous testing necessitates a test automation strategy that benefits the continuous delivery process rather than hindering it.

Implementing an optimized regression test suite isn’t enough. At each stage of the construction process, the automation test plan must incorporate automated checkpoints. This starts with unit tests, which check individual lines of code, and component tests, which check major features. Risk-based regression test suites should be tailored to the features you’re implementing right now.

After deployment, automated testing continues with post-deployment health checks to ensure the applications are up and operating. Production monitoring, as a final phase, should detect functional and performance concerns before the customer does.

Test automation must be built to run effectively while producing reliable, consistent, and reproducible findings as part of your continuous testing approach. Your automation approach should be well-thought-out, and it should contain a test maintenance plan as well as a timetable for when automated tests should be run at various stages of the delivery pipeline.

3. Shift left 

It’s vital for the team to adopt the shift-left tenet of quality engineering, which supports testing as early as feasible in the development process, in order to create a successful continuous testing approach. Quality engineering is the technique of ensuring product quality throughout the manufacturing process; it begins with development and focuses on preventing rather than detecting faults. Quality engineering and continuous testing are made possible by shifting testing to the left.

To “shift left,” methodologies such as test-driven development (TDD), behavior-driven development (BDD), and acceptance test-driven development (ATDD) are utilized.

TDD requires developers and testers to collaborate to design the test first, then write the code to make the test pass. TDD with a design focus on customer behavior is known as BDD. ATDD emphasizes customer-centric design, in which the “three amigos”—developers, testers, and product owners—share responsibility for design sessions and collaborate.

When it comes to nonfunctional testing, it’s also critical to employ a shift-left strategy. Because many performance and security flaws may be traced back to design flaws, it’s vital to identify flaws before the design is finalized. When flaws are discovered late in the process, they become significantly more difficult and expensive to correct.

4. Take responsibility for the quality

The foundation of the continuous testing strategy is this stage. It will be impossible to properly apply the other parts unless all team members recognize their duties in quality assurance.

Taking responsibility for quality necessitates a mental shift that must begin at the top. Because each member of your team must grasp the nature of his or her involvement in quality engineering, education is essential.

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Also Read: https://www.guru99.com/software-testing.html