The Five W’s (and an H) of Continuous Testing and Low Code Test Automation

Ever since DevOps grew in popularity, breaking down the software testing silo has been a goal for many organizations. However, many teams are still struggling to meaningfully transform when and how software testing is performed during the software development process. That’s where continuous testing comes in. Find out all about it in this article written by Mabl, sponsor of our Quality Sense Conference.

By Mabl

Continuous testing is a testing strategy that monitors for errors from the very start of the development cycle through to production. While this might sound like a pipe dream for teams still primarily testing at the later stages of development, it can become a reality with low code test automation.

Read on to learn why continuous testing matters, when and how to use it, what it looks like and where it can be implemented, and finally, who can be involved. We call these the five W’s and an H of continuous testing and low code test automation.

Why Continuous Testing Matters

As the rate of innovation in today’s software industry continues to accelerate at a rapid pace, organizations need to release code changes quickly to remain competitive. This means software engineers need high velocity, high throughput pipelines for efficiently delivering code to production. More importantly, development teams need to rapidly deploy these code changes without introducing errors. 

The problem is that current software testing strategies aren’t always compatible with accelerating development velocity. In fact, software testing is often the most significant pain point for development teams. The traditional software testing approach — where testing occurs in a silo — isn’t effective in the modern world of DevOps and agile development.

In short, modern organizations are turning to continuous testing to improve their quality engineering efforts in today’s fast-paced software industry. Continuous testing throughout the development pipeline is the only way to efficiently introduce code changes without sacrificing quality.  

When and How Should You Use Continuous Testing

We’ve covered why continuous testing matters, but quality assurance teams often wonder when and how they can get started. The most effective way to begin continuous testing is likely at the earliest stage of the development lifecycle when it’s significantly easier to fix a defect.

As mentioned before, developers want to quickly deliver new code to production because they believe this will immediately add value to a software product. However, there’s always a risk that they’re introducing unintentional defects. Testing at this early stage, and isolating potential bugs for developers, is a great way to reduce errors without adding friction to development workflows.

While introducing testing at the coding stage is essential, there are many ways to expand a software testing strategy. The reality is that testing needs to happen continuously because things can break at any time. If quality engineering teams only test in the earliest stage of development (ie. shift left), they’re limiting the effectiveness of their quality engineering efforts.

What Continuous Testing Looks Like, and Where It’s Implemented 

When implementing continuous testing throughout the development pipeline, it needs to be as seamless as possible. This means using low-code automated testing tools that can run in the background while developers are coding. Using this approach, developers can gain confidence in their code changes with limited disruptions to their workflows.

More specifically, developers should have the ability to perform smoke, API, visual, regression, and cross-browser tests quickly and easily. By giving developers the ability to receive early feedback within the context of their development workflows, they can more easily fix bugs and understand the overall quality of a code change. This seamless approach also helps promote developer adoption of continuous testing.

Beyond the initial development stage, collecting quality information after the application is deployed can help developers decide whether to move the code to production. Then the code change can be transferred to production for user impact testing. More importantly, this end-to-end testing approach can come full circle when developers use earlier tests to continuously monitor and validate production code.

Who Can Be Involved in Continuous Testing

Everyone involved in delivering software should also be involved in continuous testing efforts. Developers and quality assurance teams need the ability to run tests and find relevant data about the quality of a particular code change. In addition, non-technical team members like business analysts and product managers should be able to view continuous testing data and make simple changes. 

That’s why low-code automated testing tools are the key to implementing continuous testing and gaining adoption from both technical and non-technical team members. When everyone can contribute to software testing, the quality engineering team can focus on higher-level tasks that make a lasting impact on quality.

Transform Your Organization with Continuous Testing

Modern software development demands a better approach to testing that happens continuously and involves everyone. This might sound difficult to achieve, but modern low-code automated testing tools can turn this into a reality for many organizations.

Continuous testing does more than just reduce the number of defects that reach production. It also establishes a foundation for a culture of quality, where everyone is active in delivering high-quality software faster than ever. This makes it easier for organizations to iteratively improve their user experiences and remain competitive in today’s fast-paced software industry.

Learn more about mabl’s low-code test automation platform that unlocks the power of continuous testing for developers.

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