Given its usefulness in software development, Agile methodologies have come to be embraced across the IT ecosystem to streamline processes, improve feedback, and accelerate innovation.
Organizations now see DevOps as the next wave after Agile that enables Continuous Integration and Continuous Delivery (CI/CD). While Agile helped streamline and automate the entire software delivery lifecycle, CI/CD goes further. CI checks the code often, and the tested chunks are integrated, sometimes several times in a single day, to create a stream of smaller and frequent releases through CD.
As a principal analyst at Forrester Research puts it succinctly: ”If Agile was the opening act, continuous delivery is the headliner. The link that enables CI/CD, however, is Continuous Testing (CT).
What is Continuous Testing?
Continuous Testing is a process by which feedback on business risks of a software release is acquired as rapidly as possible. It helps in early risk identification & incremental coverage as it’s integrated into the delivery pipeline. Continuous Testing is achieved by making test automation an integral part of the software delivery pipeline. It’s seamlessly interwoven into the software delivery pipeline (not tagged at the end).
Though CI/CD enables speed-to-market, inadequate end-to-end experience testing can turn it into a liability. A key aspect of CT is to leverage test automation to enable coverage and speed.
Test Automation – Continuous Testing’s Secret Success Factor
Automation of tests is the key to ensure that Quality Assurance is as continuous, agile, and reliable. CT involves automating the tests and running them early and often. It leverages service virtualization to increase the test coverage when parts of the business functions are available at different points in time.
Automated Testing binds together all the other processes that comprise the CD pipeline and makes DevOps work. By validating changing scenarios, Smart automation helps in faster software delivery.
In part II of the blog series we will talk more about why test automation is essential for CI/CD Testing, and automation framework.