The last ten years of IT have been about changing the way people work. The next ten years of IT will be about transforming your business. Aaron Levie, CEO of Box
The most common and often repeated word of recent times is “Digital Transformation”. Companies that want to deliver software faster and better to customers take this route to stay ahead of the competition. While it is true that speed is indispensable to stay competitive, it is also a fact that customers today value quality more than anything else. Thus, to derive the desired customer satisfaction levels, quality should be the driving strategy — the fuel to every digital initiative wagon for modern enterprises.
The underlying concept of Digital Transformation is “Continuous” everything; Continuous testing, continuous integration, and continuous delivery.
Continuous Testing is no more a “buzzword” but a business imperative. Continuous testing strategy guarantees that Agile and DevOps do not cost an organization the quality of their products and services. With proper continuous testing in place, we can realize the benefits of Agile.
But what is continuous testing?
It’s the practice of executing automated tests throughout the software development life cycle. Unlike traditional testing methods, it follows a shift-left approach; applying the right level of automation at each stage including development, integration, pre-release, and in production. It ensures that bugs are fixed at each stage and quality software is delivered at speed.
Shift Left Through Right – CI/CD
Automated testing when integrated with the CI server, tests can instantly be started with every build and alerts with passing or failing test results can be delivered directly to the development team in real-time. On the other hand, Continuous delivery means that once all tests have passed, updates can be pushed directly to production with confidence.
Continuous Delivery is an absolute requirement of Agile and DevOps practices. The confidence to push the “Go” button and that your changes will bring value to customers can come from Continuous Delivery practices. And to be successful at continuous delivery, it is critical to do continuous integration and continuous testing well. With a solid foundation, you will win on all three fronts: Quality, Agility, and Predictability.
Here are the 5 continuous testing best practices that differentiate Agile businesses from Laggards
- They consider automating the software quality process to be a “critical business differentiator”
- Focus on contextual metrics such as Flaky Tests and Requirements Coverage
- Measure user experience across an end-to-end transaction
- Build continuous testing suites based on business needs
- Focus on real-time business risks in testing to promote acceptable releases
Lead with example
In today’s era of volatility, there is no other way but to re-invent. The only sustainable advantage you can have over others is agility, that’s it. Because nothing else is sustainable, everything else you create, somebody else will replicate. – Jeff Bezos.
The man leads others with an example of his own.
At Amazon, they test at all the integration points between development and production and automate the testing of production code. Along with continuous delivery, they average an update release every 11.6 seconds. A lot of companies many do not have such fast release cycles, but it’s encouraging to know that with the right continuous testing practices, companies can take the Digital Transformation path to release quality software at speed.